Granada, the capital of the province that bears its name, is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is crossed by the Genil river.
It was the capital of the Nasrid kingdom and conserves a very significant Muslim legacy, the main reference of which is the Alhambra. The magic of its streets and monuments, the countryside that surrounds it such as the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the Alpujarra hills, make Granada a truly “enchanted” city.
Granada was home to St. John of God, the father of the poor and the founder of the Hospitaller Order. and our Foundresses, Maria Josefa Recio (19/03/1846) and Maria Angustias Giménez (21/08/1849), were born and lived here.
Important Hospitaller sites in Granada are:
1. The Church of the Saints Justo and Pastor, known as “the collegiate church”, with a baroque-style façade and paintings by Anastasio Bocanegra in the interior which allude to the Company of Jesus, the institution to which it first belonged. Our Foundresses were baptised in this church and it was here, in 1864, that Maria Josefa was married to Amador Fernández. A side chapel bears a plaque commemorating these events.
2. The Sacromonte Abbey, located on the Valparaíso hill opposite the Alhambra, has a great deal of spiritual and cultural significance for Granada, particularly since the year 1595, when the sepulchral panels and relics of Saint Caecilius and other martyrs were discovered. Sacromonte was a frequent pilgrimage destination for our Foundresses, who would walk, in the early hours, the three and a half kilometres that separate the Abbey from the city. Here, they partook of the Eucharist and gained direction for their spiritual lives with the help of wise spiritual directors including Canon Fermín Ruiz Vela.
3. The baroque Basilica of St. John of God houses the Saint’s remains. It was at the door of this temple where Father Menni and our Foundresses met in 1878. The surroundings of the Basilica are also linked to the Hospitallers as our Foundresses lived in the neighbouring streets. Other Hospitaller locations include the house of the Pisas, where John of God died and the St. John of God Hospital, the Order’s first hospital, which has recently been returned to the Brothers.
4. The Most Pure Conception Foundation In 1963, the Congregation opened a centre for girls with learning disabilities. The complex now provides integral care for children and young people with disabilities and other associated problems.