The most intimate confidant of the first King of Portugal
Born in 1082 at Ganfei, Valença do Minho, São Teotónio became the first Portuguese saint when he was canonized one year after his death, in 1163.
For his role as advisor and confessor to D. Afonso Henriques, Teotónio became known as one of the great reformers of religious life in the reign of the Afonsina Dynasty, becoming involved in the political-religious process that led to the recognition of the independence of the kingdom of Portugal.
During his life he made two pilgrimages to the Holy Land where, in the latter, he was invited by the Regular Canons of the Sepulchre – guardhouses of the Holy Sepulchre of Jesus Christ – to live with them. After the denial of this appreciable invitation and already in Portugal, São Teotónio implants his idea brought from this experience, becoming one of the twelve co-founders of one of the largest monastic houses of the Dynasty, the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, where one of the greatest Portuguese poets, Luís Vaz de Camões, is estimated to have studied.
Direct to the Vatican
A image of the first Portuguese saint is now in the Vatican Saints’ Gallery, in an offer made to Pope Francis by the Delegation of Valença do Minho, in a private audience, on October 24, 2018.
The image of St. Teotonio was previously blessed in a ceremony in the Church of Ganfei where he was baptized.