When the Historic Complex of San Juan del Hospital, born, 800 years ago, pfirst it was an ospedale (germ of a hospital) for pilgrims, homeless and sick; as there in the Holy Land was founded by the first volunteers: compassionate merchants from Amalfi.
That group of people who selflessly sheltered, they healed and fed the underdog, and in many cases they were buried, It grew under the name of Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem and for centuries they exercised their charitable mission throughout all of Europe.. Also in Valencia, thus reaching our story.
The Hospital Complex of San Juan del Hospital stood out for centuries for the exercise of its double charism: assistance to prison inmates and burials for people without resources.
When the nineteenth century arrived, with the Napoleonic expansion and the political confiscations, everything got complicated; However, when things normalized at the beginning of the s. XX, the hospital complex continued to house brotherhoods and healthcare centers, as a constant of service in an enclosure born in the Middle Ages for these purposes.
In 1967, at the request of the Archbishop of Valencia, He entrusted the Church to the attention of priests of the Prelature Opus Dei, at the service of the diocese of Valencia and the cult was resumed. And again it is surprising that the first ones who took care of adapting it and cleaning it up were university volunteers. To later give way to an uninterrupted pastoral work while they have been recovering for almost 20 years the spaces that make up the medieval complex.
In the decade of the 90, with the help of the European community: "Project man", the Volunteering of San Juan del Hospital. began its work of support and assistance to incarcerated women and men recently released from prison. Opening in the premises attached to the complex, a school for immigrants where in addition to basic knowledge of the Spanish language and the country's Constitution so that they can access nationality, they were taught various practical knowledge about indigenous products, notions of computer science… etc. That will facilitate their labor integration.
For several years it was called "School of mothers”To the initiative by which training was given to women through cooking classes, cleaning, Spanish, culture, hygiene and values human, etc.
In the year 1995, It constituted the Association of volunteer el Hospital de San Juan (No. 7256), to give coverage legal to them people that came devoting part of his time to collaborate through the different workshops and actions; In addition, is were putting up other activities of support and collaboration with different entities.
But Volunteering continued to grow and already in the new XXI century, and in the second decade of the same, to be able to attend this work and be able to reach more people becomes Social Centertaking over theFoundation of Valencia set San Juan del Hospital Valencia.
Increasingly those involved as Volunteers, both in training workshops and other actions taken in collaboration with various entities.
It is a troubled historical moment, globally, that recalls those times of massive migrations and terrible poverty and helplessness. Pope Francis calls us to go to "the peripheries", that is to say to the excluded, to those outside the welfare society. The current pilgrims and homeless, the emigrants. Also el Pope Francisco, with more than 2.000 Volunteers gathered in Rome, He said to them: “You are called to interpret these signs of the times and become a tool of the role of the poor”. To do so - he recalled- “It is necessary to promote solidarity and peace” (December 2014).
The Social Center of San Juan del Hospital aims to the improvement and socio-labor integration of people in situations of vulnerability or risk of social exclusion. The welcome, help and personalized attention to migrants is another of its objectives, also in the spiritual framework. Every year, hundreds of people benefit from the activities of the Social Center, for it, we develop different training programs and training workshops: Kitchen room, English, Español, Food handler, Basic financial education, Sewing etc. We have a job bank and we carry out solidarity projects. We collaborate with different entities such as the Red Cross, ACCES, Integra Foundation, food Bank, "La Caixa" Foundation, etc.
For more information You can call the Church: 96 3922965 (Josemaria or ask Maite C.) or write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Attention to the public Monday through Thursday 10:30h a 12h).