Saint John Grande

Saint John GrandeAlso known as

  • John the Great Sinner
  • Juan Grande Pecador
  • Juan Grande Román
  • Juan Grande
  • Juan Pecador



Raised in a solidly Christian family, John was a choir boy from age 7 to 12. He was apprenticed in the linen business in Seville, Spain from age 15, and then returned to Carmona, Spain to start his own shop. At age 19 he left business behind, gave away his possessions, and became a hermit at Marcena. Referred to himself not just as Juan Grande, his given name, but Juan Grande Pecador (John the Great Sinner).

Worked in prisons and hospitals in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. With the aid of a wealthy couple in the area, he founded and managed the Hospital de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of Candlemas) at Jerez. He affiliated the place with the Order of Hospitallers, handing it over to Saint John of God, and joining the Order himself at Granada, Spain in 1574. During an outbreak of the plague in 1574, he organized a group to help tend to victims; they were very successful. At the request of the Archbishop of Seville, Spain he completely reformed the Church‘s health care system in the diocese, improving efficiency and services.

John was blessed with mystical gifts, and predicted the fall of the Spanish Armada. He ran afoul of many in authority, chastising officials and those who ran charities when they lived well, and those they were supposed to serve continued to suffer. Arranged anonymous dowries for poor girls so they could marry and avoid lives on the street. He fed and clothed prisoners and refugees, and died tending to plague victims.







Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint John Grande“. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 April 2020. Web. 23 January 2021. <>