John of God: The Story of a Modern Pilgrimage

João Texeira de Faria, known as João de Deus (or John of God), born in Brazil in 1942, is a trance medium. Like Edgar Cayce, João is “unconscious” when he is channelling. Unlike Cayce, he not only brings forth words, but also performs both physical and psychic surgery and other forms of on-the-spot healing.

According to what has been written about him, João was clairvoyant at a young age and only went to school through second grade. But over the past 43 years, he has healed thousands of people from all over the world. He emphasizes that he does not do the work himself, but lets the “entities” work through him, and has no recall of the work they do.

No one has ever suffered infection or complication from a physical surgery performed by John of God. But the work takes its toll upon João himself, and in more ways than one. Those who visit him at the Casa de Dom Inacio understand the personal sacrifices he has had to make.

In a dingy room at the Casa – next to a collection of wheelchairs and crutches thrown away by people he has healed – there hangs a photograph that shows João operating on himself while the Entity guides his hand. The surgery was to help him recover from a stroke he incurred because of the energetic demands of his healing practice.

What’s not portrayed are the other sacrifices João has been called upon to make. For he has been both beaten and imprisoned by the “authorities” for offering his gifts as a healer.

João has become extremely famous. When our writer, Celeste Allegrea Adams, was there, Baba Ram Dass was in residence, and many other celebrities and spiritual figures visit the Casa. Celeste’s fascinating story tells of her pilgrimage to Brazil – how she came to be called, and what happened to her there.

The Calling

Celeste Allegrea AdamsI had never heard of João de Deus and the Casa de Dom Inacio in Abadiania, Brazil. Then, within a week’s time, it seemed that a dozen people spoke to me about “John of God.”

It started with an email announcing the showing of a video about him. I decided to attend the showing. And as I watched the video and talked to the videographers, I knew I was going to Brazil. I just didn’t know how.

Soon, however, money for the trip arrived from unexpected sources. So I bought my plane ticket, planning to leave in a week.

Then I suddenly realized that obtaining my visa could take up to ten days. I mentioned this to a woman I happened to meet at a café – and it turned out that she was married to the man who handled visas at the Brazilian consulate! She simply picked up her cell phone, called her husband, and asked him to make sure my visa would be ready in time.

In similar ways, everything I needed for the trip was effortlessly taken care of. In less than two weeks from the time I first heard about João de Deus, I was on a plane flying to Brasilia. I didn’t even know the monetary exchange rate!

I’ve since learned that the types of synchronicities I experienced are not uncommon where João de Deus is concerned. For example, a German engineer told me his call to Brazil came when a book about João de Deus fell off the shelf in a bookstore and hit him on the head.

The Casa de Dom Inacio

João de Deus performs his work at La Casa de Dom Inacio. Dom Inacio refers to St. Ignatius Loyola, the overlighting entity of João’s work. The Casa is a kind of “hospital” where the doctors are spirits and where miracles occur on a regular basis. The testimonies and oral histories of people who have experienced miraculous healings there have been collected in a number of books that describe the healing work of João de Deus.

The Casa complex is entered through an iron gate and includes a cluster of buildings and a garden that features a bust of St. Ignatius de Loyola. There is an assembly room where people wait to see João in one of several lines. Physical surgeries by João “in Entity” are performed on a low stage for everyone to witness. Journalists and doctors are encouraged to take photographs and videos of these sessions.

There are rooms for “current” meditation (more about this “current” concept below), and a room for performing “invisible surgeries.” Spiritual soup is served free of charge each day in a café area, and there also is a modest gift shop where crystals can be purchased that come from the land surrounding the Casa. In addition there are staff offices, a kitchen, and rooms where people may have crystal baths.

The Entities

Heather Cumming, a shamanic practitioner and superb guide for those visiting the Casa, helped me understand how to recognize the different entities that were working through João, based on energetic as well as physical changes in him.

St. Ignatius de Loyola

St. Ignatius de Loyola (1491-1556) is the guiding entity of the Casa and, like João de Deus, he suffered a great deal of persecution in his lifetime. Heather says that when St. Ignatius comes through, João’s eyes turn blue and become huge, he has more hair, and – apparently because St. Ignatius has a big consciousness and a big energy – João’s body seems to become bigger.

Besides St. Ignatius de Loyola, João de Deus incorporates more than 35 different Beings of Light. Certain entities stay for a while, then leave, and others come in. These entities were formerly physicians, surgeons, saints, and notable figures on Earth.

Some entities reveal their identities. Others do not. The Casa staff told me about some of the new entities and some that were no longer working through João on a regular basis. They said that as a person’s clairvoyant abilities become stronger, he or she can identify on an energetic level which entity is coming through.

In addition to St. Ignatius, other regulars include Dr. Augusto de Almeida, who is said to have been a military doctor and a rubber tapper in previous incarnations, and Dr. Oswaldo Cruz (1872-1917), who was credited in his lifetime with eradicating the yellow fever epidemic in Brazil.

Paraplegics are often healed through João by Dr. Jose Valdivino, and tooth extractions are frequently done by Francis Xavier.

As I began to learn how this worked, I became less sensitive to the different interactions I had with the entities through João. I admit that I wasted energy by concerning myself with the significance of the Entity’s hand gestures and smile or lack of smile, or whether, when I stood in front of João, the Entity looked at me or at the person down the line. I didn’t understand at first that the variation in response was not based upon me but upon the personalities of the different entities that overshadow João.


Before standing in line for the first time, visitors to the Casa are encouraged to write down questions for the entities. Sometimes these questions are addressed with clear answers, and sometimes the answers take a long time to understand.

Not all questions are about physical healings. In my case, I primarily sought spiritual answers.

As I stood in front of João, a member of the Casa staff translated into Portuguese my request for “the ability to access higher levels of wisdom in my writing.” I was told to come back in the afternoon line so that a different entity could work with me.

At 2 p.m., another entity incorporated himself in João, and I was told to come for surgery in the morning. I looked forward to this.

Physical and Invisible Surgeries

Those who volunteer can receive physical surgeries, which are recorded on video each week. I’ve watched the surgeries and photographed them, and they are amazing, although very graphic, and difficult to watch.

Although no anaesthesia is used, most people experience no pain during the surgeries. Others experience minor discomfort. I did talk to a few people who had lingering pain, though it sounded quite manageable.

In these surgeries, I watched closely as the Entity worked through João, making incisions to remove tumours, then sewing them up; scraping eyeballs; sticking a long, slender metal instrument up someone’s nose.

In my case, the work began even before the surgery itself. In the middle of the night, my left brain and throat began heating up. I had a terrible stomach ache and nausea, and suspected that I was releasing toxins.

I had been told that nine different things could be worked on by the entities during one invisible surgery. I assumed that various physical problems (or potential problems) were being addressed, even though I hadn’t directly mentioned any physical concerns to the Entity.

Somewhere between 4 and 5 a.m., the roosters began to crow; first one, then another, until it seemed that all the roosters in Brazil were crowing all at once.

As I dressed (in white clothes, as requested), I noticed that the left side of my head was already aching and still heating up.

At 7:30, I joined others in walking to the Casa, all of us dressed in white. A number of roosters scurried past, and I wondered how such scrawny little creatures could crow so loudly.

I sat on a wooden bench in the surgery room with twenty other people for approximately twenty minutes, and could already feel precision work being done on various parts of my left brain. Other people have actual scars that linger for a few days, even though they received “invisible” surgery.

After leaving the surgery room, we had a healing soup, prepared daily by the Casa staff, and purchased bottles of herbs. Although the herbs were all made of passionflower, they were energized by the entities for each individual’s particular needs. (Since I received three surgeries, I ended up with three prescriptions for herbs, which equalled about a six-month supply).

My head ached for many days after the surgery, and I couldn’t tolerate listening to more than a brief conversation – it felt like all the circuits were overloaded.

After a few days of resting in bed, I went back to the Casa to present pictures of some friends and family members for distance healing. The Entity that was working through João at that time scribbled herbal prescriptions for me, and I was told to rest for a week. But first I was told to sit in the Entity’s “Current” Room, where the Entity would “work with me.”

The Current Room

Pilgrims to the Casa are encouraged to sit in the Current Room three days a week. They are asked to keep their eyes closed and their arms and legs uncrossed so that the current will not be broken. One entity even requests that people remove their watches before sitting in the current.

We also were asked to remain in this position even if someone fell off a bench or even if someone began screaming. The Casa staff keeps a close eye on people sitting in current and they know when intervention is appropriate.

As I found my way to an empty bench, I looked at all the other people sitting on benches with their eyes closed. A few people were vibrating. One woman was waving her hands in the air in geometric patterns. Two others were sitting in strange positions with their heads close to the ground. The mediums often hissed, and from time-to-time there were screams when people experienced a release of some sort.

Although spirit attachments are removed in the Current Room, and depossessions take place, the energy in the room is clear and clean as a result of the meditation and prayer.

Sometimes there was music by a popular Brazilian musician, folk music from the Andes, a lullaby, or even show tunes, like “To Dream the Impossible Dream” or “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.” At the same time, a Brazilian woman or man softly recited prayers or words of inspiration in Portuguese.

I enjoyed the amazing layers of sound, but a number of Americans shook their heads, wondering how they could possibly meditate in this kind of environment. It was nothing like visiting an ashram in India!

Shortly after I sat down in the Entities’ Current Room, my breathing started to change. I wondered why I was taking such deep breaths and such long exhalations. Soon I found my body bending forward with each seemingly endless exhalation, until I had to unbuckle my belt and open the buttons on my pants so I’d have more room to breathe. My head had slowly moved between my knees and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that it was almost touching the floor, although with my stiff lower back that would have seemed an impossible stretch for me. I felt appreciation at being “guided” through this breathing exercise.

My mind was blank, and in that emptiness, I heard one word: “Kuthumi.” And I “saw” a clear column above my head. I felt the bench rapidly vibrating and wanted to check on the person sitting next to me, but kept my eyes closed since I didn’t want to contribute to breaking the current. Later, when I opened my eyes, I realized that there was no one else on the bench, so it must have been me that was shaking so rapidly.

I also noticed that Baba Ram Dass was sitting in a wheelchair in the aisle next to me. I saw him regularly at the Casa for a couple of weeks after that.

After Surgery – Revisions

A week after surgery, people are asked to wear white clothes to bed and place a glass of water by their beds to drink in the morning.

The night I did this, around 2:30 a.m., I felt a cool breeze scanning up my body, starting at my toes and working its way up. This was intriguing, not only because there was no breeze in my room but also because I was covered with a blanket! I later learned that 2:30 a.m. is the approximate time that the entities commonly make their visits.

The next morning, I stood in the “revision” line and talked to a perplexed German engineer who told me that even though he didn’t believe in entities, he had seen a stream of golden white light on his wall the night before. He knew there was no other source for it except Spirit.

When my turn came to stand in front of João in entity, I was told that I needed a third surgery, and I did receive this before returning home.

Receiving the Gifts We Need

The mystery of hearing the name Kuthumi stayed with me. One member of the Casa staff affirmed that he was familiar with Kuthumi’s presence at the Casa, but had no other information to offer.

I mentioned my Current Room experience to an Englishwoman, and she brought me two gifts: One was a Kuthumi Aura Soma essence, and the other consisted of pages and pages of information about Kuthumi that she had copied by hand from one of her books.

As I read through her notes about Kuthumi’s qualities and incarnations, my thoughts went in their own direction, and I began to understand how I could become more skilled in dealing with people and places where neither love nor appreciation was extended to the intellect.

Other meditations at the Casa were dominated by images from the life of a female Biblical character. I received gifts of her wisdom. I also experienced expanded revelation of past lives.

After many meditation sessions, I began to get a sense of a new book that I would write, and I received a blessing for the book from the Entity.

I believe a second visit I intend making to the Casa will lead me to a greater certainty about the focus of that book.

Days Off

On Wednesday through Friday – the days that João works – the Casa is usually packed with busloads of pilgrims. From Saturday to Tuesday, most people rest, and many take walks in the hills or linger over meals served at the various pousadas or inns.

During my days off, I had deep conversations with members of the Casa staff, tour guides, local Abadianian townspeople, shamans, mediums, and other pilgrims from many countries.

In conversations at Alton’s juice bar, one Englishwoman insisted that people could only be healed if they had faith. The next week, I spoke to a college-age woman from Los Angeles who explained that she was only there because her mother had brought her, that she had come with no faith, even hating everything spiritual. And yet she had nevertheless experienced instantaneous healing in her left eye. She was no longer blind in that eye.

Another Englishwoman spoke of complete healing from cancer. A young Australian woman told by her doctors that she would die in a month from cervical cancer, was struggling to believe the Entity’s last message that she was cured and could go home. A man from the Pacific Northwest, told that his blindness came from a limited ability to love, had asked to be able to love unconditionally.

Although many of the people that come to the Casa have extremely serious illnesses and some are even near death, the focus of most conversation seems to be less about illness and more about philosophies of life. And there were times when listening to so many differing philosophies, spoken with such absolute conviction, made my head whirl. At those times, meditating at the Casa helped me return to my center.

The Sacred Waterfalls

In the vicinity of the Casa are waterfalls where profound healings also happen. For this reason, there are a few rules about visiting them, one of them being that you have to receive permission to go there.

I went to the waterfalls with a writer whose work followed themes similar to my own. While she stood under the waterfalls, I carefully walked on stones that crossed the fast-flowing stream below the falls. And even though I was walking with enormous care, I suddenly found myself lying on my back in the middle of the stream, on one of the flat stones. I was stunned. I knew I hadn’t slipped – but there I was. It seemed as though there had been a time lapse during which I was actually placed there.

I slowly got up and wondered if I had damaged my lower back. And as I moved around, I realized not only that there was no damage, but that my lower back felt better than ever.

The woman I had come with suggested I had been given a chiropractic adjustment. And when I returned to town and asked a gifted medium about it, she said the same thing.

However, although the lower back stiffness went away for a few months after that, it returned. I mention this because I believe we need to be active participants in co-creating our own healing. I was given the opportunity in those three months to go deeper into understanding this minor body challenge, but I didn’t run with that opportunity.

Lights in the Night Sky

During the rainy season, there are sudden rainstorms in the high plateau region of Brazil. One evening, I looked into the sky and saw heavy, dark, long grey clouds hanging low above the horizon. There was something unusual about these clouds, because one section of cloud would light up and then go dark, then another part would light up and go dark, then another, and another – but there was no sound of thunder! This went on for several hours, and still there was no sound.

An English medium in a wheelchair was told by her guides to get her camera out and film the clouds. Although she filmed for an hour, only three minutes of footage came out. Her digital footage captured three large globes behind the clouds, with small lights at various points on the globes. None of this was visible to the naked eye. Dozens of people who watched the clouds and the “mock thunderstorm” pondered the footage for the next few days.

On several evenings after that, I wheeled the English medium into the hills behind the Casa, accompanied by a devoted mother who brought her beautiful teenage daughter, Hannah, also in a wheelchair. I will never forget these magical evenings when we lay on blankets studying the stars in the night sky. Hannah looked radiant as she waited in wonder and anticipation for an extraterrestrial craft. The English medium struggled to film the approaching lights in the sky that surrounded us, but her digital camera kept jamming.

There was a difference of opinion about the lights. Some thought they were car lights, others felt they were UFOs.

Today, writing this, I feel a swirl of emotions as I look at a photograph of Hannah’s smiling face. For I have just learned that she has passed over. Mostly, I feel awe as I recall the magic and peace of the nights we shared under the jewelled blanket of the mysterious Brazilian night sky. I also think of a visionary drawing that she made for João. It’s on the wall now in the Entities’ Current Room. I wish I had a copy to hang above my desk.


On my last day at the Casa, peace escaped me and confusion suddenly set in. I was confused because I could not access a significant chunk of a story that was playing inside of me, though I had been given so many other pieces.

I stood silently in front of João and wondered why a particular Biblical figure kept coming through during all my Current Room meditations, and why I couldn’t access certain essential pieces of the full story.

The entity that spoke through him said, “Come back.”

For some people, brief responses leave them frustrated, since questions are rarely answered directly. But for me, this was the perfect answer.

Walking the Labyrinth

On my final day in Brasilia, at the Temple of Good Will, I walked past an inscription that read: “Those of little faith waste their time.” I descended into the temple, which looks like a pyramid.

Embedded in the floor there is a spiral labyrinth where black marble guides you on a path to the center and white marble leads you back out.

Walking to the center is a sacred passage. In doing this, I passed through different lifetimes. The center of the labyrinth seemed like the point at which I entered the Earth plane. From there I could look out at many incarnations of myself, standing at different points on the spiral. I sensed the geometric patterning of my life and realized that my experiences in this life and all past lives were connected, and that nothing had been superfluous.

Returning home

As with most journeys, mine ended with returning home and sharing stories of my adventures. And as with most sharing of stories, there were many different responses. I watched my father’s eyes widen with wonder at a few tales I told. Some of my most cherished friends and relatives who didn’t believe in life beyond death expressed frustration.

I finally said to one relative, “You have to take the journey before you say it can’t be true.”

St. Ignatius of Loyola phrased it differently: “For those who believe,” he said, “no proof is necessary. For those who disbelieve, no amount of proof is sufficient.”

Some people heal completely of physical ailments after their visits to the Casa. Many heal after several visits. And some people, like Hannah, do not physically heal but receive other glorious gifts before passing over.

I heard Ram Dass speak in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, and asked him if he had been healed of some of the complications caused by his stroke. He took my hand, and his face beamed. The visit, he said, had healed his heart. (I also learned that he has plans for a second visit which coincide with mine.)

As I look through photographs from my pilgrimage, I pause over the ones that capture light from spirit energies that surround João de Deus as he works, and I look with fondness into the faces of the courageous people who came there for so many different reasons. I am “ashudder and aglow” over these magical and mysterious experiences, too many to describe in these pages.

Thank you, João de Deus, for your dedication. Thank you, magnificent spirits, for all your blessings. Thank you, friends and staff of the Casa, for sharing your stories.

And thank you, Hannah, for the sweetness that you shared with me in the radiance of your bright spirit.

Printed by Merlian News with kind permission of Celeste Allegrea Adams. Celeste can be reached

or visit her website


Merlian News Podcasts With Heather Cumming

Merlian News Podcasts With Heather Cumming: Part 2

John of God The Brazilian Healer Who’s Touched the Lives of Millions by Heather Cumming and Karen Leffler

Please visit for more information on the book, reviews of the book, as well as videos and interviews!

For more overall information on John Of God, please visit

by Celeste Allegrea Adams
Celeste Allegrea Adams travels around the world, exploring sacred places and the rituals and spiritual ceremonies of all cultures. She is the author of the visionary fiction novel, "Keeper's of the Dream," available at her website In addition to being an author, she is a visionary screenwriter, metaphysical journalist and writes documentary narration.