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Saint Peter Gonzalez

Saint Peter Gonzalez
  • Century: 12th & 13th Century
  • Patronage: Sailors
  • Feast Day: April 14th

St. Peter Gonzalez, O.P. was born in 1190 in Astorga, Leon, Spain.  He is sometimes referred to as Pedro Gonzalez Telmo, St. Telmo, or St. Elmo.  His uncle, the Bishop of Astorga, educated him.  He was given a Canonry when he was very young by his uncle, the Bishop of Astorga.  Later he resigned this position and entered the Dominican Order, where he became a renowned preacher.  Crowds would gather to hear him and numberless conversions were the result of his efforts.  He accompanied the King, St. Ferdinand III of Castile and Leon on his expeditions against the Moors, but his real ambition was to preach to the poor.  

He devoted the remainder of his life to the instruction and conversion of the ignorant and the mariners in Galicia and along the coast of Spain.  He died on April 15, 1246, at Tui, and is buried in the local Cathedral there.  Pope Innocent IV beatified him in 1254.  Although he was confirmed in 1741 of having a large dedicated following, and for his innumerable conversions, he was never formally canonized.  The Church considers him a saint.  Since St. Erasmus is the patron saint of sailors, generally St. Peter Gonzalez is considered the patron saint of Spanish and Portuguese sailors specifically.  They both to this day, are popularly invoked as the patron saint of sailors. 

Practical Take Away

St. Peter Gonzalez was born in Spain, and was educated by his uncle the Bishop of Astorga.  He was drawn to the faith through the mentoring of his uncle, a very popular Bishop in his time.  He was drawn to the spirituality of the Dominicans, and entered their Order and became a Preacher.  He was known for the large crowds of people that he would draw while preaching, and the numberless conversions that would take place from these.  He truly was a gift to the Church, in building her up in his time.  Many people are Catholic today because of their ancestors being converted by him in the 12th and 13th centuries.