Peter González

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Blessed Peter González, O.P.
San Telmo representacion con cirio y barco.jpg
16th-century painting of the Blessed Peter González, by Alejo Fernández, in the Alcázar of Seville
Religious, priest and confessor
Frómista, Kingdom of Castile and Leon
DiedApril 15, 1246
Tui, Galicia, Kingdom of Castile and Leon
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
(Dominican Order)
Beatified1254, Rome, Papal States by Pope Innocent IV
CanonizedDecember 13, 1741, Rome, Papal States by Pope Benedict XIV (cultus confirmed)
FeastApril 14
AttributesDominican holding a blue candle or a candle with a blue flame; Dominican lying on his cloak which is spread over hot coals; Dominican holding fire in his bare hands; Dominican catching fish with his bare hands; Dominican beside the ocean, often holding or otherwise protecting a ship

The Blessed Peter González, O.P. (1190 - 1246), sometimes referred to as Pedro González Telmo, Saint Telmo, or Saint Elmo, was a Castilian Dominican friar and priest, born in 1190 in Frómista, Palencia, Kingdom of Castile and Leon.


González was educated by his uncle, the Bishop of Astorga, who gave him a canonry when he was very young. On one occasion, he was riding triumphantly into the city, his horse stumbled, dumping him into the mud to the amusement of onlookers. Humbled the canon reevaluated his vocation and later resigned his position to enter the Dominican Order. González became a renowned preacher; crowds gathered to hear him and numberless conversions were the result of his efforts.

He spent much of his time as a court preacher. After King Saint Ferdinand III of Castile and Leon captured Córdoba, Peter was successful in restraining the soldiers from pillaging the city.[1]

After retiring from the court, Peter devoted the remainder of his life to preaching in northwest Spain, and developed a special mission to Spanish and Portuguese seamen. He died on April 15, 1246, at Tui and is buried in the local cathedral.[2]


Although his cultus was confirmed in 1741 by Pope Benedict XIV, and despite his common epithet of "saint," Peter was never formally canonized. Peter González was beatified in 1254 by Pope Innocent IV.[2]

The diminutive "Elmo" (or "Telmo") belongs properly to the martyr-bishop Saint Erasmus (died c. 303), one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, of whose name "Elmo" is a contraction. However, as Erasmus is the patron saint of sailors generally, and Peter González of Spanish and Portuguese sailors specifically, they have both been popularly invoked as "Saint Elmo."

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 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

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