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Jesus appears in Gaucín PDF
Friday, 19 February 2010 00:00

altBy Kevin Guyan and Paul Whitelock

Gaucín has welcomed many famous people over its long history. Nobody quite compares, however, to one alleged 16th Century visitor.

The town’s motto, ‘Balcony of the Ronda Mountains, where the Holy Child appeared to St. John the Divine: the illustrious, always noble, very hospitable village of Gaucín’, identifies the mystery man: none other than Jesus Christ.

According to the Roman Catholic Church, a young Jesus appeared to a holy man as he travelled the area around Gaucín.  This man, John, worked in the region selling religious books and pictures to small villages.  It is during this work that he claimed to have seen a vision of the young Jesus Christ.

Through this revelation, Jesus bestowed the name John the Divine and instructed him to travel to Granada.  Following this advice, the newly named John the Divine made the journey where he opened his home to the needy and devoted his life to the care of the poor, the homeless, the sick and the dying.

Born João Cidade to pious parents in Portugal in 1495, John the Divine is a central figure in the history of Christianity in Spain. Seen by many as a madman, he battled a history of mental health problems and for a period of time was a psychiatric patient in the Royal Hospital in Granada.

John the Divine was canonised as a saint in 1690 and was later made patron saint of hospitals and the dying by Pope Leo XIII in the 19th Century.

The Basilica of Saint John the Divine in Granada is home to a wooden chest that contains the saint’s relics. Curiously it is now a hospital for sexually transmitted diseases.


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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