Welcome to Hospitaller Order of St. John of God St. Thomas Province, India

Hospitaller Order of
St. John of God

The First Beginning In India-The Order In Goa


India is a land of varied cultures, religions and peoples and is one of the most ancient civilisations. It is a land of the sages and is famous for its religious tolerance and hospitality. The population is now over 1,000 million with 40% of the people living below poverty line. Education and medical health services are concentrated in the cities and readily accessible to the rich only.


Portuguese India

The Portuguese adventurer Alphonse Albuquergue occupied Goa in 1498 for Portugal. In 1510 Goa was established as the political and religious capital of the ‘Portuguese Empire of the Orient’. In 1681 there was a hospital in Afica/Mozambique and it was from this hospital that the first Hospitaller Brothers (Portuguese) came and founded hospitals in India. One of the four hospitals of the Order in India became the headquarters of the Father Commissioner General for the houses that belonged to the Portuguese Province in the East (he had formerly lived at Mozambique). This Commissariat became extinct in 1835 during the time of secularization in Spain and Portugal.

1. Goa

The first four Brothers arrived in 1685. A house and the church of ‘Our Lady of the Mount’ were handed over to the Brothers.

In 1688 the Brothers went to a former monastery, near the Chapel of St. Catharine, and made it into a small hospital. The Brothers erected their second hospital near this chapel. It was abandoned in 1690, as the place was ‘unhealthy’ – most probably infected by malaria.

Then the hospital of ‘Our Lady of Counsel’, with 12 beds, was built in 1690. The number of Brothers was between 8-12. There was a yearly contribution by the Portuguese state for the maintenance of the hospital. The Regional Superior resided in Goa. The Brothers worked in ships as ‘medical staff’ when requested. This foundation also became extinct in 1835 during the time of secularization in Spain and Portugal.

2. Bassein (About 35 km from Bombay)

The ‘Hospital of Our Lady of Health’, with 60 beds, was founded in 1686 from Goa. There were about 7 Brothers. The ruins of our former hospital and monastery still exist and are protected by the Indian Government as historical monuments. The Dutch in collaboration with Marati Military Forces destroyed Fort Bassein in 1739. The entire population, including our Brothers, was killed.

3. Diu

 The Brothers had a monastery (4 Brothers) and a hospital with 20 beds, named ‘Our Lady of Carmel’. It was founded in 1687 from Bassein and existed till 1835.

4. Daman

The Brothers had a monastery (4 Brothers) and a hospital (20 beds), named ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’. It was founded in 1693 from Diu and existed until 1835.

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