Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

John of God

  • Cristina RochaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_538-1


John of God is a Brazilian faith healer who has become famous all over the world by performing surgeries without asepsis or anesthetics while channeling spirits.


John of God was born João Teixeira de Faria in a small village in central Brazil in 1942. According to hagiographical accounts (Cumming and Leffler 2007; Pellegrino-Estrich 1997), from very early age, he started prophesying. Born into a very poor Catholic family, he had just a year of schooling. He left home and his village at 16 to look for work. One day while bathing in a river, he had a vision of Saint Rita of Cascia. Allegedly, she told him to go to a religious center in a city nearby. This was a Kardecist Spiritist religious center, and upon arriving there, he fainted. When he woke up, he was told that he had healed many people while channeling (“incorporating”) the spirit (“entity”) of King Solomon. This was the first entity he channeled, of the over 30 he presently channels in a state of trance....


John of God Healing Globalization Brazil Kardecism Umbanda Popular Catholicism 
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I’d like to thank Oxford University Press for giving me permission to use material from my book John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing (OUP 2017).


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Religion and Society Research ClusterWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia