This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12 -- Feast of Saint John Gonzales de Castrillo

Such a serious young saint
John's dad was a pious and wealthy Spaniard who bought his son benefices in the Church so he would have a comfortable, privileged career.  John resigned all but one of them, donating the proceeds to the support of the poor.  Of course, there was no good way to get rid of the credit for having resigned all that income, which helped him become majordomo at the bishop's mansion, before rising through several offices of the Augustinian Order in Salamanca.  

He is reputed to have been a heck of a preacher.  At times, he would experience visions during his sermons, prolonging them considerably.  I imagine that would have irritated some of his parishioners, except that sometimes he levitated during sermons.  If I knew a preacher who flew around the altar sometimes, I think I would be in his church every Sunday. 

also called Saint John of Sahagun
John preached against the sins that grew from wealth, privilege, and indulgence.  He stuck up for the workers, calling out the wealthy for their exploitation of the poor.  A duke took exception to this message and hired some assassins to take the preacher out.  They of course repented of their plan and confessed to him.  Not long after, the duke fell ill and only managed to recover after John prayed for him. 

A little girl fell in a well once, and though she did not drown immediately, the townsfolk could not find a way to rescue her.  They summoned John, who knelt by the well and prayed.  The water level rose until the girl floated to the ground level, when she was recovered, John gave thanks and the water sank to its normal level. 

One would not really expect a priest to have a way with the ladies -- if such a thing were said of a priest, the implication would be damning.  Still not every priest has rocks thrown at him as he walks down the street, and if it does happen, the stone-casters are probably not often from the town's finest homes.  But John had censured the fancy, expensive clothes worn by the fashion-conscious women, and they in turn censured him.  With rocks. 

His death in 1479 may have resulted from poison.  If the story is true, a particular woman had sworn revenge.  She had been the publicly recognized concubine of a married man who had been stung by the saint's criticism of his lifestyle.  The lover put an end to their sinful relationship so she put an end to his meddlesome teaching. 

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