John Good (1168?-1249), sometimes called John the Good, was a hermit who was known for his trust in God, love of the Church and spirit of penance.
He was born in Mantua around 1168. John’s father died while John was a boy. At the age of 16, John left his mother and wandered around various regions of Italy. For a time he was a court jester. He contracted a serious illness, which caused him to examine his way of life. He decided to change his ways, and, upon recovering his health, he became a hermit, leading a life of penitence.
For a short time, he lived a solitary life near Bertinoro. Then he moved to Butriolo.
He attracted many followers, as his reputation as a holy man spread. This group of hermits began to be known as the Order of Butriolo, after the Church of Saint Mary of Butriolo, which was next to their hermitage.
Witnesses in his process of beatification testified that John took part in the daily celebration of Eucharist in the church, and that he received Holy Communion with great devotion. He was humble, kind and loving. He urged everybody to be respectful of the priests, even if they did not deserve respect.
As a hermit John practiced prayer and penance. Although he probably did not know how to read or write, he preached to those who came to him, and guided many souls to a more intimate relationship with God. He established an association for lay people called the Brothers and Sisters of Penance.
The Butriolites did not have an approved Rule of their own, so Rome gave them the Rule of Augustine as their guide.
The Order of Butriolo joined the Augustinian Order during the Grand Union of 1256, when many diverse religious groups following the Rule of Augustine were incorporated into the Order.
John died October 16, 1249 at Mantua. His remains are preserved at the former Augustinian Church of Saint Agnes in Mantua. Pope Sixtus declared him Blessed in 1483.