|Dude, is that a halo?|
It was just as well. He received a calling to join the Dominicans. Once he was decked out in the white-and-black, he received special permission to live as a hermit. That seems pretty exceptional to me -- I don't think of the Dominicans as a special permission organization.
He built a bridge over the Tamega River in Portugal. Hermits were good for bridges and ferries and such. He did most of the work himself, but there are a couple of good reasons for team-work in bridge-building. First, it would be a dangerous thing to build it poorly. Second, as a metaphor, a bridge connects; building one in isolation seems to defeat the purpose. At one point, the workers ran out of wine. Gonzalo hit a rock with his staff and wine gushed forth. On another occasion, they ran out of food so Gonzalo called for the fish to jump from the river onto the bank to feed the workers. The first readily complied. In the several rounds of contract negotiations in which I have participated, I have never included wine and fish as a compensation or working condition. Patron saint of bosses?
|Saint and his bridge|
Although he died on January 10, 1259 around age 71, his feast is celebrated today. Want to celebrate it in style? Do something nice for your boss, your employee, or both. At least give him a thought when you're crossing the bridge to work in the morning. And don't set the dogs on anyone -- he might just be your long-lost uncle.