Today's Saint of the Day is Saint Peter Gonzalez. He was born into a noble family on Castile, Spain, as Pedro Gonzalez Telmo in the year 1190. In the 13th century, on Christmas Day, Saint Peter Gonzalez triumphantly rode his horse in the Spanish city of Astorga in front of many townspeople. The horse stumbled and fell on to the ground, leaving Saint Peter Gonzalez in the mud and bystanders amused at the sight. Embarrassed, Saint Peter Gonzalez withdrew from society in a period of meditation and prayer. During this time, he was taught by his uncle, the bishop of Astorga, and experienced a conversion and spent the rest of his life, making up for his old ways. He served as the confessor in the king's court and soon left, fearing that the honor and easy life would lead him back to his old ways. Saint Peter Gonzalez spent the rest of his time preaching to sailors. He died in 1246 and is buried in the Cathedral of Tuy. In 1254, Pope Innocent IV beatified him, and in 1741, Pope Benedict XIV canonized him. He is the patron saint of Spanish and Portuguese sailors, since he preached mainly to sailors.
Through the intercession of Blessed Saint Peter Gonzalez, God, help us to gain the strength to lead our lives in prayer, dedication, and kindness through these times. Amen