Image: Statue of Saint Telmo (Pedro González Telmo) in Frómista, province of Palencia, Spain | photo by Lucien leGrey
Saint of the Day for April 14
(1190 – April 15, 1246)
Blessed Peter Gonzalez’s Story
Saint Paul had a conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Many years later, the same proved true for Peter Gonzalez, who triumphantly rode his horse into the Spanish city of Astorga in the 13th century to take up an important post at the cathedral. The animal stumbled and fell, leaving Peter in the mud and onlookers amused.
Humbled, Peter reevaluated his motivations—his bishop-uncle had secured the cathedral post for him—and started down a new path. He became a Dominican priest and proved to be a most effective preacher. He spent much of his time as court chaplain, and attempted to exert positive influence on the behavior of members of the court. After King Ferdinand III and his troops defeated the Moors at Cordoba, Peter was successful in restraining the soldiers from pillaging, and persuaded the king to treat the defeated Moors with compassion.
After retiring from the court, Peter devoted the remainder of his life to preaching in northwest Spain. Having developed a special mission to Spanish and Portuguese seamen, he is considered their patron.
Peter Gonzalez died in 1246 and was beatified in 1741.
How often we have heard stories about some misfortune or disaster only to hear later on that it was now seen as a good thing. Not every “disaster” is truly bad in its consequences for the Lord can bring good out of what appears to be a misfortune. Such was the case for Blessed Peter. His being dumped in the mud by a falling horse turned out to be a good thing in his life.
Blessed Peter Gonzalez is the Patron of:
Spanish and Portuguese sailors