Mural de José Gregorio Hernández

The interesting life of Blessed Dr. José Gregorio Hernández

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José Gregorio Hernández was one of the kindest doctors, scientists, and intellectuals in Venezuela and the world. The most interesting thing about the so-called “doctor of the poor” is that even though he was an internationally recognized figure, he never had a controversial personality.

In April 2021, the Venezuelan doctor received his beatification by the church, approved by Pope Francis. This fact made known the healing of Yaxury Solórzano, the girl of the miracle that made José Gregorio a blessed by the Catholic Church.

Now, in addition to the miracles and his beatification, there are other curious facts about the life of the “doctor of the poor” that are worth knowing.

Curious Facts of José Gregorio Hernández

The “doctor of the poor” was born on October 26, 1864, in the town of Isnotú, Trujillo state, that is, in the Venezuelan Andes. At first, he wanted to study law, but his father convinced him to study medicine, a career with which he fell in love. He studied at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV). He studied at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV); it is said that he was the best student in his class.

Due to his academic merits, he studied at the University of Paris, thanks to a scholarship granted by the then president of Venezuela, Juan Pablo Rojas Paúl. In Paris, he studied Microscopy, Bacteriology, Normal and Pathological Histology, and Experimental Physiology.

He was a professor at UCV for almost 30 years and was the founder of the Chair of Pathology. At the same time, he dedicated himself to curing those most in need. His achievements in medicine and his dedication to healing the sick join to other curiosities little known in the life of José Gregorio Hernandez. Here are some of them:

Religious heritage

According to his biography, in the lineage of his great-grandfather, José Gregorio Hernández was the family of Santo Hermano Miguel on the paternal side. Meanwhile, on the maternal side, he was a descendant of Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros. Meanwhile, on his mother’s side, he was a descendant of Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros.


Due to his difficult economic situation, when studying medicine, a tailor friend taught him how to make suits. This knowledge served him to earn a living and make various costumes for himself.


In addition to his love for medicine, José Gregorio Hernández was passionate about reading and writing. He wrote five literary works, 4 of which he published in a Venezuelan magazine called “El Cojo Ilustrado.” (the illustrated lame).


He had a perfect command of Spanish, French, German, English, Italian, Portuguese, and understood Latin.

Curiosities about his death

José Gregorio Hernández, died on June 29, 1919. One day after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which sealed the First World War ended. The renowned doctor turned out to be a fatal victim of the second car accident registered in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital. Due to the high cost of spare parts, motorized vehicles had not become so popular in Venezuela at that time. According to estimates, there were about 700 vehicles including buses, cars, and trams, many of them were not in operation.

The car driver was Fernando Bustamante, a 28-year-old mechanic friend of José Gregorio Hernández, who had borrowed the car. He was arrested by the authorities, but the blessed’s brothers asked that he be acquitted. Later, Bustamante had to flee to Curaçao. The police accused him of being involved in a plan to overthrow the dictator Juan Vicente Gómez.

It´s said that, at the time of his fall after the accident, José Gregorio Hernández shouted “Virgen Santísima”. Others affirmed that after hitting his head the doctor said “this had never happened to me; what a horrible thing ”.

Bustamante and another companion took José Gregorio to the José María Vargas Hospital. However, the doctor passed away after arriving at the health center.

The blessed presented a skull fracture that took his life. Curiously, Yaxury Solórzano, the girl that miraculously was saved by Dr. José Gregorio Hernández and allowed him the beatification, had the same injury.

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