Peter Gonzalez
San' Elmo, San Telmo
ca 1190 - 14.04.1246

A brief biography.

Peter Gonzalez, popularly known as St. Elmo or San Telmo, was born before 1190 at Astorga, Spain. He was educated by his uncle, Bishop of Astorga, who gave him when very young a canonry. He entered the Dominican Order in the priory of St. Paul at Palencia and became a renowned preacher.
He was the confessor of  Ferdinand III of Leon (1217-1252) and accompanied him on his expeditions against the Moors, but his 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 Easter-Sunday 14th April 1246 in Tuy. Near the cathedral is the church San Telmo, built by Bishop Diego de Torquemada, O.P. (1564-1582). In this church a silver shrine with the body of Gonzalez. He was beatified in 1254 by the Pope Innocent IV. His cult was confirmed in 1741 by Pope Benedict XIV.

St. Elmo's fire is a pale electrical discharge sometimes seen on stormy nights on the tips of spires, about the decks and rigging of ships, in the shape of a ball or brush, singly or in pairs, particularly at the mastheads and yardarms. The mariners believed them to be the souls of the departed, whence they are also called corposant (corpo santo).




On the hills
of Fomero near Naples was the fortification Belforte, 1266, rebuilt to castle and extended to the fort San’ Elmo in the 14th century.

It was for many centuries a prison, where among others was
mprisoned Tommaso Campanella, O.P. from 1599 to 1626.
The portrait is of the writer Eleonora de Fonseca Pimentel


Italy 1999, Mi 2643, Sc 2302.




Great Siege of 28th Mai 1565 in which the Knights of the Order
of St. John and the Maltese Christians defeated the Turks.
The fortification S.Elmo, Malta. Detail of the fresco in  the Saint Michel - and Saint Georg Hall in the Palace of the Grand Master in Valetta, by d' Aleciio.


Malta 1962, Mi 281, Sc 290.



Saint Elmo Fort, Valletta on Malta, 17th century.

With bay and lighthouse Saint Elmo.


Malta 1980, Mi 613, Sc 573.



Fort Saint Elmo, Valletta on Malta.

Series of stamps honouring the people of Malta with the Saint George's Cross
because for the defence of their island during WO II.


Malta 1992, Mi 887, Sc 800.                     On order



Fortification S.Elmo, 17th century.In the city Valletta the
Knights of Malta gave the Dominicans 1571 the oldest parish
of the city. Later the Dominicans built a priory with church
1916 as a basilica minor. In Valetta also the fortification
San Elmo
, 17th century, bay and lighthouse.


Malta 1998, Mi Bl 16; Sc 939.





Some lighthouses are named after Peter Gonzalez,
in fact
San Telmo. Among others the lighthouse on Malta.


Malta 2001, Mi 1159, Sc 1042.





Fort Saint Elmo, Valletta on Malta, 16th century
with lighthouse Saint Elmo.


Malta 2003, Mi 1264, Sc 1113.






Peter Gonzalez on the ship, painting by an unknown artist
of the Portugese School, 17th century.


Panama 1968, Mi 1069, Bl 90a; Sc 485 f.









Painting of the ship San Telmo de 74 cañones.

Preserved in the Museo Naval, Madrid.


Paraguay 1987, Mi 4160, Sc 2231 c.

The Michel - and the Scott Catalogue named the stamp :
ship S. Hermenigildo.





Coptic Catholic Knights of Malta Celebration Day.

On this block a view of the fortification of Valletta,

named S. Elmo


Seychelles 1986, Mi Bl 28; Sc 601 a.






Dia del Mar (Day of the Sea), 1980.

San Telmo on the bow of a ship.


Spain 1980. Postmark Palencia 27.09.1980





The 8th Centenary of the birth of San Telmo (before 1190 Astorga).
Telmo on a ship. Elmo died in Tuy 14 April 1246.



Spain 1985. postmark Tuy 12.04.1985.





The sailing ship San Telmo, built in Ferrol, 1788, was in the sea-battle
against the French in Corsica, 1810.

The San Telmo was shipwrecked in a storm at the south of Cape Horn, near the Livingstone-Island, 1819.

Aquarelle by Alejo Berlinguero de la Marca y Gallego (1759-1810).


Spain 1995, Mi 3209, Sc 2811.



During his visit to Geneva, Pope Paul VI crosses the lake of Geneva by the motor yacht Elma to the Parc de La Grange for the celebration of the Holy Mass, on
10th June 1969.


Vatican City 1969. KimCover 282.





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