Many cultures around the world believe in healing by faith, whether invoking the energies of the earth or channelling the healing light of god, it is a long standing fact that people have been healed by means other than science. John of God is a faith healer who was born in Portugal and has become one of Spain’s most influential spiritual figures.
Now a recognised modern day saint, John of God was born João Cidade in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal. His family were once very prominent in the area and had a great faith in religion. Despite their prominence they were not rich by any means. John of God’s mother passed away when he was very young and after that his father joined a monastic order.
Fergus Tigue has captured a small window of John of God’s life in a documentary which was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s show last night. The documentary clearly shows John of God healing people without the use of anaesthetic, making painless incisions and removing all manner of things from their bodies. His healing has yielded great results in the past but many people still question the validity of his work, many believing him to be a fraud.
Generally, a charlatan will aim to use their craft to make money from people, and faith healing is something that should not be profited from. John of God however does not charge for his ‘faith’ surgery or healing, which leads to another question, what does he get out of it if not money?
There’s fame and related wealth of course, but if you look at his past it’s clear that he is a humble individual who is here on earth to serve god – as he sees it. He also encourages patients to continue seeing a regular doctor and stay on medication as it is prescribed.
There have been many cases of fraudulent faith healers, for instance Peter Popoff who was an evangelist. It was discovered that he and his wife were running a huge scam, filling large halls with sick people, asking them to fill out prayer cards. Popoff’s wife had a radio transmitter and sent the information from the cards to a receiver in Popoff’s ear. After investigations into his practises, Popoff was declared bankrupt in 1987.
It’s also true that many pharmaceutical companies have scammed patients by creating placebos, using the patients’ faith in their doctors and the companies themselves to basically dupe them out of money.
So what of St. John of God? Is he another charlatan using people’s faith to scam them, or is he a genuine faith healer who channels the healing power of the universe in order to fix the ailing? Get a debate going right here by leaving a comment.
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