Peter González

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Blessed Peter González, O.P.
A statue honoring the Blessed Peter González in Frómista, Spain
Religious, priest and confessor
Born 1190
Frómista, Kingdom of Castile and Leon
Died April 15, 1246
Tui, Galicia, Kingdom of Castile and Leon
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
(Dominican Order)
Beatified 1254, Rome, Papal States by Pope Innocent IV
Canonized December 13, 1741, Rome, Papal States by Pope Benedict XIV (cultus confirmed)
Feast April 14
Attributes Dominican 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
Patronage sailors

The Blessed Peter González, O.P., 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.[1]

González was educated by his uncle, the Bishop of Astorga, who gave him a canonry when he was very young. Later he resigned this position and entered the Dominican Order, where he became a renowned preacher; crowds gathered to hear him and numberless conversions were the result of his efforts. He accompanied the King, Saint 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 of 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. He was beatified in 1254 by Pope Innocent IV.

Although his cult (i.e., those who venerated him as a holy person, from Latin "cultus") was confirmed in 1741 by Pope Benedict XIV and despite his common epithet of "saint," Blessed Peter was never formally canonized. 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."

González is buried at the Cathedral of Tui, Galicia.


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