Angulo Day - Celebrating Our Staff

The 19th of January has been designated "Angulo Day", an annual date when Saint John of God Hospitaller Ministries celebrates the contribution, skills and commitment of our staff members.

The day is called after Angulo, a close companion and Co-worker of Saint John of God.


Angulo - The First Co-Worker

Saint John of God’s first biographer, Castro, tells us that John felt the need to have a paid helper, a young man to accompany him in the streets of Granada and to mind the house during his absence. And that he chose one who was trustworthy, “alike in spirit”, reliable, and who stayed with him to the very end. His name was Juan de Avila, which by coincidence, was the same name as Master Juan de Avila who was John's spiritual mentor. Presumably to avoid any confusion, John gave his helper the nickname 'Angulo'.

Angulo had just turned 30 when he joined John in 1544. John took Angulo on as a paid employee, ie, a Co-worker, not a disciple. Angulo came to enjoy the absolute confidence of his employer with John referring to him affectionately as 'my companion'. Angulo married Beatriz de Ayvar in 1549 and the couple had four children. His commitment to Hospitality continued for 33 years after John’s death.

So we have two men with the same spirit but living different personal lifestyles - Angulo becoming a family man with a wife and children, while John of God was a celibate charity worker. Their different lifestyles did not prevent them from being "alike in spirit". John of God was the prototype “Brother of the Order” and Angulo was the first co-worker of the Order, dedicated to service of the poor and needy. Their relationship was also the prototype of the one between Brothers and Co-workers today, marked by genuine friendship, companionship, mutual trust and a sharing of the same values and a mutual and genuine concern for one another. 

adapted from an article by Brother Brian O’Donnell OH


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