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At the frontier of hospitality

· ​Brothers of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God among the Ebola victims in Western Africa At the frontier of hospitality ·

The Hospitaller Order of St John of God, known also as the “Fatebenefratelli”, is celebrating the Year of Vocations to Hospitality. Hospitality — a tradition ever more pressing for our Hospitaller mission — is the charism of our founder, whose feast day is 8 March.

The General Chapter of the Order, celebrated in 2012 in Fátima, approved the celebration of this special year. It was proposed by our young brothers and co-workers. In addition to celebrating this year, the goal is to revitalize hospitality and promote and encourage the vocation to his charism, whether religious or lay in the Church and around the world. Currently, our Order has nearly 400 charitable services in 53 countries.

The current evangelical image which defines hospitality is the response to the Ebola epidemic in various countries in Western Africa. Four of our brothers, a women religious of the Missionaries of the Immaculate and 13 of our collaborators are among those who lost their lives to Ebola, after having been infected with the virus while helping other patients at the Order's hospitals in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Faithful to their vocation, our brothers and co-workers chose not to abandon their fate or the people affected by this deadly virus; they stayed put. The radical nature of their dedication put them on a path which led them to lose their lives. Meanwhile despite their grief, many other brothers and co-workers continued and still continue to give assistance as prophetic witnesses and as Samaritans of hospitality. They are signs of love and of God's presence standing next to people who suffer from the harshness of this tragedy.

Jesús Etayo Arrondo

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June 26, 2019

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