John of God

In October of this year I had the remarkable opportunity to travel to Brazil to spend time in a tiny village that is known for a healing center called ‘The Casa de Dom Inacio’. This healing center is home to one of the most revered healers alive in the world today. His name is Joao Teixeira de Farias although he is affectionately known throughout the world as ‘John of God.’ My interest in John of God has been both personal and professional, and over the last year I have to admit I have been awed by what I have learned and experienced. It has been deeply impactful in ways both expected and not.

The phenomenon around these healings is extraordinary, yet the man who performs the healings is decidedly ordinary. Joao Teixeira de Farias was born into abject poverty in a small village in Central Brazil. Although history surrounding his early years is hard to verify, historically it is said that during his teen years he was greeted by the apparition of a young woman who told him that his mission in this life was to be a healer. The young woman was later identified to be Saint Rita of Cascia. John of God is known as a ‘full trance channel’, which in laymen’s terms means that healing energy comes through him, and not from him.

Although John of God has been performing healings since the early 1960’s, the actual healing center known as the Casa de Dom Inacio was not founded until 1979. It is named after Inacio de Loyola (St. Ignatius). Since that time the Casa de Dom Inacio has been the place where John of God fulfills his weekly healing mission. “The Casa” as it is referred to by many, is considered to be an ecumenical spiritual hospital. People from all over the world come to the Casa each week in search of faith, healing, and miracles. No one is ever turned away from the Casa- no matter your religion, creed, race, education, social background, nationality or financial position. Indeed, if you have arrived at the Casa gates, you will be welcomed, healed, and fed. There is no monetary charge for anything, and any reference to commerce is blatantly absent from all healing work performed by John of God. For the past thirty three years, the Casa gates swing open wide every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For three days out of every week, every person who walks through those gates and requests a healing receives a healing. After their healing, they are offered a bowl of homemade ‘blessed soup’ and a piece of bread. This was an impressive statistic to read about, and I wondered if my own experience would affirm this lofty statement. It did. Those who show up to the Casa are taken care of in more ways than I can aptly describe. The only thing asked of them in return is that a prayerful silence be maintained in the main hall and healing rooms.

Before gearing up for the 19 hour trek to Brazil I did my homework. I watched films, I read books, and I scoured the web and interviewed people ad nauseam. I felt intellectually prepared for my journey, but part of the magic of the Casa is that the atmosphere is so charged with something unlike anything else you have ever felt, that all you can really do is surrender and trust. All of my intellectual preparedness evaporated the minute I arrived.

The town that the Casa sits in is called Abadiana. Now I knew I was not heading to the Four Seasons, but I was momentarily taken aback as I stepped out of the cab and into the piercing Brazilian sun. I squinted down the red dirt road before me, and my eyes fell upon azure blue gates and a rather ordinary looking sign that read simply ‘Casa de Dom Inacio’. I was surprised at how humble the surroundings were. The buildings of the Casa are well kept; a combination of blue and white cement outbuildings, with corrugated metal roofs. The grounds are clean and well manicured, but the general atmosphere is understated to say the least.

It was abundantly clear that the only thing going on in this little town was happening at the Casa. On days when John of God was not doing his work, the primary movers and shakers of Abadiania were the plentiful collection of stray dogs that roamed the streets in search of their next meal. And it was equally clear that what was going on at the Casa was not anything slick or commercial. Truly, there was not even a modicum of materialism to be found. The dozens of Casa workers that were there to help first timers like me find their way were all volunteers. The people that were cleaning and cutting the vegetables for the blessed soup were all volunteers. The translators that helped visitors write down their healing petitions in Portuguese were all volunteers. You get the picture, and John of God himself, was noticeably the head volunteer. The kindness of the place was palpable.

There are three things that typically bring people to the Casa gates; Pain, Faith, or Curiosity. Those that fall into the category of curious usually display varying degrees of skepticism, from mild to venomous. It has been my experience that those who are skeptics and take the time to get a first hand glimpse of the goings on at the Casa de Dom Inacio, either quietly profess an inability to either explain or discredit their experiences, or they lay there skepticism aside and take up the lantern of faith.  The lantern of faith is what had brought me to Brazil- and it had been lit when this healer and I were 5,969 miles apart, according to google earth. I had requested a ‘distance healing’ for my son many months prior to making this trip. The events that transpired in the 24 hours after this request knocked down my old House of Truth and there are now doorways where there used to be solid walls.

There are two different types of healing that John of God performs at the Casa. These healings can be broken into two basic categories; physical and spiritual. The most common by far are of the spiritual type; variably called a spiritual intervention, a spiritual surgery, or a spiritual pass. This type of healing involves nothing more than transference of healing energy from John of God to the person who stands before him. The physical surgeries occur less frequently although I saw at least a half a dozen of them performed each day I was there. A physical surgery is something that an individual asks for and is never subjected to against their will. Physical surgeries are hard to watch-  using unsterilized instruments and no anesthetic, invasive procedures are performed on the spot in front of hundreds of people. My scientific curiosity took me front and center for some of these surgeries. The skeptics who say that sleight of hand is involved have certainly not witnessed these surgeries first hand, nor interviewed the patients afterward. To my surprise and delight I was allowed to do both.

The work performed by John of God is best described as soul healing. Physical healings occur in droves, but it is the way that one’s spirit is touched that produces a deep and abiding change. This notion does not appeal to everyone, but for those who might be wanting to knock at the door of a larger reality, the healings that occur in the midst of John of God , throw that doorway wide open.  Later this year I will once again make my way toward the miracles this healer offers. I will be bringing a group of twenty people along with me.  If you feel called to know more about his work feel free to send a  private message to me and I will be happy to answer any questions.

John of God is not someone to worship or bow in front of. He is a man who has spent his life at the end of a red dirt road- that just happens to lead to miracles.