He often carried the sick poor on his own shoulders to the hospital, and there he provided them with everything they could want, whether for soul or body. His charity was also exercised outside the hospital; he secretly provided food for needy widows, and especially for virgins whose virtue was in danger, and with indefatigable zeal he laboured to drive out the lust of the flesh from those of his neighbours who were stained with this vice. On the occasion of an immense fire breaking out in the royal hospital of Granada, John fearlessly rushed into the flames, ran through the several wards, taking the sick upon his shoulders, and saving the beds from the flames by passing them through the windows; although half an hour in middle of the flames which now raged with wildest fury, by the mercy of God he came forth uninjured to the astonishment of the whole city; thus clearly shewing to the disciples of love, that the fire which burned outside of him was weaker than the fire which burned within him.
He excelled in every kind of austerity, in the most humble obedience, extreme poverty, zeal for prayer, contemplation of divine things, and a wonderful devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and he was noted for the gift of tears. At length, falling seriously ill, he fervently received all the sacraments of the Church. Though reduced to a state of utter weakness, he dressed himself, rose from his bed, fell on his knees, devoutly took the image of Christ the Lord hanging on the Cross into his hands, pressed it to his heart, and died (as it were) in the embrace of the Lord, on the 8th day of March, in the year of salvation 1550. His body remained in this attitude, holding the crucifix, for about six hours after his death, until it was forcibly removed. The whole city came to see the corpse which remained in such a strange position, giving forth a remarkably fragrant odour. Made famous by many miracles before and after death, the Sovereign Pontiff Alexander VIII added him to the number of the Saints; and Leo XIII, at the desire of the bishops of the Catholic world, and after consulting the Sacred Congregation of Rites, declared him the patron in heaven of all hospitals and sick persons of every place, and ordered that his name should be invoked in the litany for the dying.