Gonçalo de Amarante

Devotional statuette of Saint Gonçalo

Gonçalo de Amarante (variably 'Gonzalo', 'Gundisalvus', etc.) (1187 in Arriconha, Tagilde, Vizela Municipality – 10 January 1259 in Amarante, Portugal) was a Portuguese priest and hermit before becoming a Dominican friar later in life; canonized by Pope Pius IV in 1560.


  • Background 1
  • Reverence 2
  • Cakes 3
  • References 4


Known to be devoted to Jesus from childhood, in adulthood he was ordained a diocesan priest. After some time in an extravagantly comfortable parish ministry Gonçalo is said to have gone on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, turning over his responsibilities to his nephew, also a priest. He is held to have returned after some fourteen years on the pilgrim trail.

Gonçalo returned to find the austerity he now upheld in priestly life to be unwelcome by his nephew who set a dog upon Bl. Gonçalo viewing him a vagrant. Discernment led Gonçalo to the Dominican Order to which he was admitted and, unusual to the mendincant Order's charism, allowed to live as a hermit who was in the service of his local community.


Wax models of parts of the body which need healing are offered in his church at Amarante.[1]

The saint is particularly popular in Brazil and has several localities named after him such as São Gonçalo do Amarante, Ceará.


So-called St Gonçalo cakes (in Portuguese: Bolos de São Gonçalo) are a fertility symbol and closely associated with the town of Amarante, though the reason for the association with the name of St Gonçalo is disputed and obscure.[2]


  1. ^ Rough guide to Portugal - Page 328 Mark Ellingham, John Fisher, Graham Kenyon - 2002 "... devoted to Goncalo's healing miracles, the practice is to offer wax models of every conceivable part of the body ..."
  2. ^ http://www.visitportugal.com/en/NR/exeres/868DAB5F-C94D-4AB4-BC3E-C741FC8A57CD
  • http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=282
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.