Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 14 April

detail of the painting 'Miracle of the Holy Body' by Luís António Bernes, 1908, showing Saint Peter Gonzales sailing on his cloak; Chapel of Our Lady of Conception and Holy Body, Câmara de Lobos, Madeira, Spain; photograph in 1992 by Rui Camacho; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsBlessed Peter Gonzales, called “Telmo,” Confessor, O.P.

One Christmas Day, Blessed 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 our Order, to which he was attracted by the perfume of its 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 travellers, vessels, ports and towns have experienced his protection. Many confraternities, especially in seaport towns, have been erected in his honor and enriched with indulgences. (1246)

Prayer

It is necessary that our feelings should suffer, in order that our souls may receive the fruit of life: that is the law. Saint Catherine of Siena

Practice

When you have committed a fault in the presence of others, instead of being discouraged, say with David: “It is good for me, O Lord, that Thou has humbled me” – Psalm 118