San Juan de Dios was born in the Duarte in 1495, in Montemor-o-Novo (Portugal). He was the founder of the religious order called Orden de los Hermanos Hospitalarios.
His conversion and his stay in the Hospital Real de Granada are very important, since it was here that he first helped the sick and it allowed him to reflect upon his religious ideas and philosophy that would shape his legacy.
In autumn 1539, full of enthusiasm and compassion yet with barely any money, he began his work of helping the sick and disadvantaged of the city of Granada. Although not trained in the medical profession he soon founded several hospitals.
He was beatified in 1630 by Pope Urban VIII and canonized in 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII. Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) declared him the patron saint of the sick and of hospitals.