Courtesy of Susan Casey
Millions of people are flocking to Abadiania, a remote town in Brazil, in search of a miracle. They come with every kind of ailment you can imagine—cancer, arthritis, depression—all to see one man: John of God.
Some believe John of God, a simple farmer with no medical degree and little education, is a medium who channels the spirits of more than 30 dead doctors and saints to bring physical and spiritual healing. Working out of a place called the Casa, a spiritual center open to all faiths, he performs surgeries seemingly without anesthesia or sterilization. These surgeries mostly take the form of incisions, eye scrapings and nasal probes. Many who have experienced these procedures claim they feel little to no pain, and reports of infections are hard to find.
However, the majority of the healings don't involve physical contact. The Casa is also famous for its "invisible surgeries," where it's believed that the spirits are the ones doing the work. Some have even reported finding incisions on their bodies after these invisible surgeries.
People around the world have credited John of God, and the spirits that they believe work through him, with miraculous healings. Others have accused him of impropriety. Despite his detractors, those whose lives he has touched say he is a simple man with a gift. John of God charges no fees and takes no credit for what he does. He says it is the power of God working through him.