RIO DE JANEIRO—Praying for waves? Have faith: the Catholic Church is considering a surfer for sainthood.
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 here 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.
The cult of the Surfer Angel grew so much that priests began holding a monthly Mass at Mr. Schäffer’s grave. A Portuguese journalist wrote a book on the phenomenon. Devotees sprang up as far away as Poland.