About Us

John Cidade was born in 1495 in Montemor O Novo, Portugal. He spent most of his life in Spain and eventually settled in the southern city of Granada.

It was here that he met St. John of Avila whose preaching had a profound effect on him. The experience made him realise the depth of God’s love for him and how little he had done to love God in return. Many people considered him mad and some people who knew him took him to the Royal Hospital in Granada. Where he was treated with cruelty and harshness.

When John came out of hospital he was determined that he would help those who were suffering and look after them with love and compassion.

He took shelter in the porch of the home of Don Venegas where he brought those who were sick, poor or in any kind of need, John went on to set up shelters and eventually a hospital.

News of John’s work spread far and wide. He began to attract others who wanted to help him to look after those in need. John died on the 8th March 1550 aged 55. He was canonised in 1690. Twenty two years after his death those who were his followers were recognised as a religious order and called the Hospitaller Brothers of Saint John of God.

Today the work which John began in a porch in Granada continues in 52 countries in the world including Ireland, and covers a wide range of care for those with physical and learning disabilities, the homeless and poor, those with mental health problems and older people.

The Saint John of God Group was established in 2019, a year in which we started a process of introspection and strategy building that would deliver an organisation fit for purpose in a world that has changed beyond imagination in recent years. In November 2023 St. John of God underwent an important relaunch of the organisation that changed the image we presented to the world and tells a story of a modern organisation that’s fit for purpose in a complex and challenging world. It celebrates the dedication and devotion of our people, who make a real and tangible difference supporting thousands of people every day in Ireland.

Our three core pillars of accessibility, responsiveness, and advocacy, are central to everything we strive to do as an organisation. We fundamentally believe that every human being is a unique creation, with their own intrinsic value and inherent dignity.

We also believe that we are following directly in the steps of our founder by following a path of hospitality, compassion, and respect, and these are unshakeable values that underpin everything we do.

Close to four thousand people work within the overall Saint John of God Group, making us approximately the size of Google in Ireland. An organisation of this size needs to be managed and governed in a professional and business-like manner and this is facilitated by the structure that is now in place and that will carry us through the coming decades and beyond.

Our story of impacting the lives of 25,762 annually is ready to be told, setting out the huge changes we bring about every single day, following in the footsteps of our founder and guided by his compassion and care for all those who struggle for their rightful levels of support.

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