The Cult of the ‘Surfer Angel’

Crowned by a frothy Wall Street Journal A-Hed.

Today’s front page Wall Street Journal A-Hed is a good one. It reads: “In Brazil, Support Swells for ‘Surfer Angel'”.

The online version of the same article has a headline that is not nearly as wink-wink: “In Brazil, ‘Surfer Angel’ is Considered for Sainthood.” From the top of Brazil WSJ correspondent John Lyons’ piece:

The would-be patron saint of good vibes is Guido Schäffer, a Brazilian priest-in-training who was 34 and about to be ordained when he drowned while surfing near Rio de Janeiro in 2009.

After he died, locals started calling him the “Surfer Angel” and made pilgrimages to his tomb. Some left engraved stone plaques thanking him for answered prayers. Others left molds of feet and heads indicating body parts healed through his intercession.

Posthumously, there was also a book written about Schäffer by a Portuguese journalist. And now, per Lyons and some other recent coverage, an effort sanctioned by the Vatican to gather evidence in support of a formal consideration of the man’s holiness.

Read the rest of the article here. And if you’ve forgotten where the term A-Hed came from, click here.
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