MAKING SPACE FOR THE MIRACULOUS:
SPIRITUAL HEALINGS IN BRAZIL
By Josie RavenWing
Dawn dances through the gardens of the Casa de Dom Inacio, a healing center located in a small town in the interior of Brazil. A golden blanket of mist hangs over the lush green valley and hills, while the sounds of parrots, roosters, horses, and children blend in a harmonious morning song. Today, as on many other days in this town, the Spirit world will touch the human world for the purposes of healing and renewal of faith. I know this because I have witnessed it again and again.
Do you, the reader, have room in your mind for events that defy our Western rational and scientific thought? If so, I invite you — however briefly — to enter a world in which what most of us would call the miraculous and the extraordinary quickly becomes the norm and the ordinary.
I have spent the past 30-plus years in contact with spiritual healers from many cultures, in addition to working as a psychotherapist and dance movement therapist. In turn, in my seminars and private healing work I have shared much of what I have learned along the way.
But never had I been so touched by my experiences with other healers as I have been since witnessing the work of famous Brazilian healer, Joao de Deus (John of God), known by some as “the miracle man.” Over the past four years I have spent about one third of my time in Brazil, researching Joao’s work and taking groups to his private healing center, the Casa de Dom Inacio, for physical, psychological and spiritual healing, and for spiritual development.
Joao was suddenly and spontaneously “initiated” as a healer when he was a young teenager. One day after he had bathed in a river, the glowing figure of a beautiful woman appeared near Joao and told him he was expected at a nearby spiritual center. She then disappeared. So Joao went to the center, and upon knocking on the door, went into a trance during which the spirit of King Solomon spoke through him, introduced himself and announced to the people at the center that he was there to heal whomever needed healing.
Four hours later when Joao returned to normal consciousness, he was greeted by a circle of people standing around him weeping and thanking him for performing miraculous healings. Joao recalled nothing of the sort, but the next day the same thing happened to him again, and then again, and over weeks he slowly began to believe the mounting evidence.
Since that time more than forty years ago, Joao — sometimes despite great adversity — has been used by the Spirit to heal millions of people from such diverse maladies as cancer, AIDS, asthma, paralysis, psychological problems and more. In addition to the spirit of King Solomon, other healing spirits — or “entities,” as they call them at the Casa de Dom Inacio — also use Joao as a vessel or medium of healing. According to those people who have spent a great deal of time witnessing Joao’s work, these entities are the spirits of departed spiritual masters as well as doctors, herbalists, chiropractors and other healers who apparently have chosen to continue helping humanity from the spirit realm. These entities say they do not cure problems — they heal the source of the problems. Joao himself says he has never healed anyone — that it is God who heals.
At the Casa, many people receive what are called “invisible operations”. No physical hands touch these people, yet internal incisions that have been made and then sutured sometimes show up in x-rays taken after these surgeries, and many miraculous healings take place. Joao and his healing spirits are able to work on people without physically touching them.
I realize that this kind of invisible work may be a very difficult concept to believe. So I will share some stories with you to hopefully help you over this paradigm hurdle!
During my first trip to Brazil, I had my first “invisible operation” at the Casa. I was told to simply sit on one of the benches in the room used for such operations, close my eyes, place my right hand over my heart, and to pray for healing. I was to focus on everything I wanted help for. Within a few minutes of closing my eyes, I felt a wave of what I can only describe as pure love begin flowing through my body. It was almost like a flame ? warm and brilliant, yet completely comforting. I began to silently weep as my heart, which had held so much pain from the past, began to open and release its burdens.
After the session was over, I returned to my hotel for the recommended 24-hour “post-surgery” rest period. The next day, as I was dressing, I glanced in the mirror and received a huge surprise. A large cyst that had been on my chest for several years was completely gone! Apparently it had been removed by “the entities” during my operation of the day before. I had not felt it being taken out during this invisible work, but the cyst was undeniably gone and has not returned in the four years since.
Another effect I noticed as a result of my operation was psychological. I had periodically dealt with depression throughout my life before going to the Casa. After my operation, it was as if some heavy weight had miraculously been lifted from me and since that time, I don’t go through the long depressions I had suffered in the past. If I start to feel depressed, an almost invisible barrier comes up to prevent it from “getting inside” for more than a brief time, after which it lifts.
And spiritually, my life has been enriched and enhanced by my many visits to the Casa de Dom Inacio. When I made my first journey to meet Joao, I was coming out of what many would call a “dark night of the soul” experience. Prior to going to Brazil, I had been through some experiences during which my faith had been seriously tested, and I was at a point of trying to re-evaluate what it was that I truly believed in. During that first journey of two weeks at the Casa, I saw and experienced so many of what most people would call miracles that my faith in a Higher Power was restored.
During a subsequent trip to Brazil, I met a woman who was one of the angriest and most withdrawn people I had been around in some time. She actually was a gifted healer, but she admitted she wasn’t interested in using her gift because she just didn’t like people very much. By the end of her first week under the loving treatment of Joao and the entities, she was transformed. She had become a compassionate, caring woman who regularly inquired as to others’ well-being, who smiled, who laughed, and who was getting ready to explore how to help others through her own healing gifts when she returned home.
On another visit to the Casa I met a young Brazilian woman who told me her story. By that time I was doing numerous interviews to include in the book I was then writing about Joao’s work. This young woman had had rheumatic fever some years earlier, and the result was that many of her organs had been severely damaged and she had lost her eyesight.
Her parents began taking her every few months to Joao for treatment. The health of all her organs steadily returned, until the only problem left was her blindness. Then that too was cured and she could see again. Not only was all this miraculous in itself, but the young woman, upon being able to see again, went to her ophthalmologist to give him the good news. He was amazed, did some tests on her eyes, and then was even more amazed! The test results showed that she had absolutely no optic nerve function, which meant she should not be able to see at all. And yet she could see perfectly well! All I can surmise from this is that Joao and the entities must have somehow rewired her in a new way to enable her to see without any optic nerve function.
I have often seen Joao ask any medical doctors present to stand near him and closely observe his healing work. One medical doctor, Ron, came with me several times to Brazil as he was so impressed by what he experienced at the Casa. On one occasion during a session, Joao invited him to palpate the abdomen of a woman who was being treated for colon cancer. Ron was instructed to feel for a crescent moon-shaped tumor, which he located. Then, after doing a bit of invisible energy work on the patient, Joao had Ron palpate again for the tumor, but the tumor was now nowhere to be found!
There is an entire room at the Casa filled with discarded crutches and wheelchairs from people who have been healed. There are also numerous written testimonials of people who have been helped. My book about Joao’s work is filled with interviews and stories of people who have been healed as a result of his efforts.
Joao treats an average of 500 people daily, three days a week. When he first established the Casa de Dom Inacio over 20 years ago, he saw an average of 1,500 people daily. And when he travels to parts of Brazil for a weekend to see people who can’t travel all the way to the Casa, he treats an average of 20,000 people over a three-day period. He does not charge anyone for healing. A devout Catholic and Spiritist himself, he treats people of all races, religions and social standing equally. If the herbs of the Casa are prescribed by him, which they often are, there is a small cost for each bottle, and the modest profits help sustain the ongoing upkeep of the Casa. Each morning, free soup is served to everyone, and everyone is treated by the Casa staff with a great deal of love and respect. It is an amazing community of service and goodwill, and I feel that this atmosphere in and of itself contributes to the healing of those who come.
I personally have received various benefits from this overall environment of love, from the invisible operations, and from sitting in the “current rooms” for hundreds of hours. The current rooms are so named because Joao, the entities and the other volunteer healers — or mediums as they are often called in Brazil — provide a constant and powerful spiritual current of healing energy pouring through the rooms. Visitors are asked to spend most of their time in the morning and afternoon sessions sitting in the current rooms for the healing energies there. I’ve experienced visions, spiritual awareness and a great deal of personal healing in the current.
One of the greatest benefits I’ve enjoyed as a result of my time in the current of the Casa, is that over the years, I’ve absorbed — as well as given — a huge amount of healing energy. This has allowed me to become an increasingly strong “medium” of the healing spirit of the Casa, thus enabling me to more powerfully help others in the healing sessions I conduct here in the U.S. During these sessions people have received invisible operations, other healings and spiritual work.
In general, I have observed that what people receive from their time at Casa de Dom Inacio (which I now see as a high level spiritual “hospital”) is profound spiritual healing and a deepening — or renewal — of faith in the invisible world of Spirit and Divine love. The staff at the Casa feel that the cause of most visitor’s maladies is spiritual and emotional, and that imbalances in those areas often lead to physical illnesses. So in order to treat the cause, the source of illness, a great deal of spiritual work is done with each individual.
Time and time again I have seen people who have been in spiritual and psychological misery and darkness be transformed in two weeks into beings of love and peace through the effects of the healing energies at the Casa. Even if no physical healing ever occurred, that would be miracle enough! And yet, although Joao does not guarantee cures, many also receive healing from physical ailments that doctors have given up on.
I have also noticed that not only myself, but other people already involved in the healing arts including medical doctors, become more powerful and effective healers due to their contact with the energies and entities of the Casa. And people cannot help but benefit indepth and quality of spiritual experience as a result of their time there. An overriding aura of love — the greatest healer — permeates the functions of the Casa and those who both work and visit there. Complete strangers help each other face life-and-death struggles, emotional upheavals, and the disorientation of being in a new place and culture. As the staff often comment in their opening talks each “working” day, the Casa is a House of Love.
In addition to the spiritual operations, the herbs and the current rooms of the Casa, there are several other aspects of the healing treatment. One is the “sacred cachoeira.” This is a small waterfall set in a tiny, gem-like grotto of greenery and colorful butterflies. With Joao’s permission or at his suggestion, individuals or small groups go to the waterfall, which is about a half mile from the Casa but still on its private land, and bathe in the amazingly healing waters. Some people have experienced the culmination of their healing process there.
And finally, there are what are called “crystal baths” available to everyone who visits the Casa. One lies on a cot, and colored lights pulse through seven totally clear crystals, each one pointed toward one of the patient’s seven chakras. This is a very relaxing and/or energizing treatment that is said to balance the chakras (energy centers) of the body, thus promoting overall health and well-being.
On the last day of my first visit to the Casa, Joao looked into my soul and told me that an important part of my life’s mission was to bring people to experience the work at the Casa. I have found it a great honor to be able to do so, and May of 2002 marked my 18th journey since 1998. Being able to take groups to the Casa every few months has not only helped the participants, but has had a massive and transformative effect on my own life.
I also spend time in the U.S. doing presentations on Joao’s work so people can find out about this incredible resource for healing of body, mind and soul. My third book, “The Book of Miracles: The Healing Work of Joao de Deus,” gives a great deal of information about work at the Casa de Dom Inacio. It also includes a section that explores the mystery of healing and gives practical information and processes people can use in their lives.
During my many trips to Brazil, I have discovered other spiritual treasures in addition to those of the Casa, as well as the incredible natural beauty of the country and the general kindness of the Brazilian people. It is a great joy to share what I can of these treasures with those who travel with me.
I hope this article has opened your mind even more to the possibility of what many would call miracles, and stimulated your interest in the work of Joao de Deus and in the spiritual riches of Brazil. If so, you can contact me for further information, including the itinerary of Healing Journeys to Brazil.
Josie RavenWing, M.A., M.F.C.C., has been working in the holistic health field since the late 1960s. For the past eighteen years, she has taught workshops in the U.S. and abroad, integrating her psychology background with multicultural spiritual healing and practices. She is the author of the recently re-leased “The Book of Miracles: The Healing Work of Joao de Deus,” “The Return of Spirit” and “A Season of Eagles.” In addition to offering her Brazil “Healing Journeys” several times a year, Josie continues to conduct other “sacred journeys,” teach workshops, and give presentations on Joao’s work. To learn more, you may visit www.healingjourneys.net , e-mail her at email@example.com , or call (954) 922-1596 in Florida.
Return to the July/August Index page