Saint John of Matha

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Born to the Provencal nobility. Educated at Aix, France, then lived as a hermit at Faucon, France. Earned a doctorate in theology at Paris, France. Ordained in 1197.

[Our Lady of Good Remedy]At the first Mass he celebrated, John received a vision of an angel clothed in white with a red and blue cross on his breast. The angel placed his hands on the heads of two slaves who knelt beside him. Later, when sitting beside a stream with fellow hermit, Saint Felix of Valois, the two were given the vision of a white stag between whose antlers was suspended a blue and red cross. With the encouragement of Pope Innocent III, he founded the Hospitaler Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of Captives (Trinitarians or Redemptionists) to ransom Christian prisoners of the Moors (the Mathurins). The congregation received papal approval in 1209. The clothing seen in the vision of the angel became the habit of the order, the Scapular of the Most Holy Trinity was instituted, the Order was placed under the protection of Mary under the title of Our Lady of Good Remedy, and John was the first superior general. Hundreds of prisoners were ransomed and returned to their homes.

Because John’s life contains such good story elements (visions, prisoners, rescued knights, etc.), John became the topic for several biographies in the Middle Ages, many of these were loaded heavily with fiction. Today there are around 600 members of the Order working in prison ministries in over twenty countries, and they recently celebrated their 800 year anniversary.

Born

Died

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Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint John of Matha“. Saints.SQPN.com. 23 September 2014. Web. 21 October 2014. <>