St. John of God followed every impulse of his heart all his life. His obvious challenge was to discern what was from the Holy Spirit and what was from his own human temptations. He ran away from home in Spain at age eight, never to see his parents again, after hearing a priest speak of new missionary opportunities in their 16th century world. John worked as a shepherd, mercenary, servant, laborer, dockworker, and book peddler. As a soldier he fell away from Christ, but returned through a major conversion.
Finally, through Mary’s intercession, John of God discerned his true vocation and started a hospital for all the poor and sick in Granada. One memorable time John rushed into a blazing hospital, saving the patients and part of the structure. He died after a futile attempt to save a drowning boy. His motto was: “Labor without stopping. Do all the good works you can while you still have the time. ”