Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Saint “Elmo” O.P.? – The Life of Bl. Peter Gonzales

Peter Gonzales

One Christmas Day, Bl. Peter Gonzales, desirous of attracting admiration, was riding through the streets of Palencia on a magnificently decorated horse, accompanied by his dissipated friends, when he was thrown from his horse into the mud. At this sight, the admiration of the bystanders was changed into mockery. But God, who had thus humbled his pride, raised him up by the same humiliation.

He felt suddenly enlightened as to the nothingness of all earthly things, he rendered to the world contempt for contempt, and, led by an interior voice, he entered without delay into the Dominican Order, to which he was attracted by the poor, mortified, apostolic and edifying life. His was not a mere passing conversion due to sudden impulse; he applied himself to lead a new life, he studied day and night in the Holy Scriptures, and became a great apostle.

During his missions he never left a house where he had been received without having heard the confessions of all who lived in it – father, mother, children and servants. During his life, he delivered some sailors from a tempest when they invoked him. From that time, he has been regarded as the patron of mariners and countless travelers, vessels, ports and towns have experienced his protection under the name, “St. Elmo”. Many confraternities, especially in seaport towns, have been erected in his honor and enriched with indulgences.

Inspired by Bl. Peter Gonzales, when we have committed a fault in the presence of others, instead of being discouraged or blaming others, may we say with David: “It is good for me, O Lord, that You have humbled me” (Ps. 118).

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