Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 October – St Alphonsus Rodríguez, SJ (1532-1617)

Saint of the Day – 31 October – St Alphonsus Rodríguez, SJ (1532-1617), (Spanish: Alonso) was a Spanish Jesuit lay brother, Doorkeeper, Mystic, Visionary, Apostle of Charity and of Prayer, Spiritual Adviser – born 25 July 1532 at Segovia, Spain died on 31 October 1617 at Palma, Mallorca, Spain of natural causes.  Patronages – Jesuit College, Palma, Majorca, Spain.Alphonse Rodriguez

Alphonsus Rodríguez was the son of a wool merchant.   When St Peter Faber SJ (1506-1546), one of the original Jesuits, visited the city to preach, the Rodríguez family provided hospitality to the Jesuit.   Faber prepared the young Alphonsus for his First Communion. When he was 14, his father died and Alphonsus left school to help his mother run the family business.   At the age of 26 he married María Suarez, a woman of his own station, with whom he had three children.   At the age of 31 he found himself a widower with one surviving child, the other two having died.   From that time on, he began a life of prayer and mortification, separated from the world around him.   On the death of his third child his thoughts turned to a life in some religious order.st alphonsus young

Previous associations had brought him into contact with the first Jesuits who had come to Spain, Saint Peter Faber among others but it was apparently impossible to carry out his purpose of entering the Society as he was without education, having only an incomplete year at a new college begun at Alcalá by Francis Villanueva (1509-1557).   At the age of 39 he attempted to make up this deficiency by following the course at the College of Barcelona but without success.   His austerities had also undermined his health.

After considerable delay, he was finally admitted into the Society of Jesus as a lay brother on 31 January 1571, at the age of 40.   Itis believed that the provincial said that if Alphonsus was not qualified to become a brother or a priest, he could enter to become a saint.alphonsus-rodriguez-46ce2cff-8368-4ede-ae84-c13da36d4ba-resize-750

Distinct novitiates for seminarians and lay brothers had not yet been established in Spain and Alphonsus began his term of probation at Valencia or Gandia—this point is a subject of dispute—and after six months was sent to the recently founded college on Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for 46 years, exercising a marvellous influence, not only on the members of the household but upon a great number of people, who came to the porter’s lodge for advice and direction.   As doorkeeper, his duties were to receive visitors who came to the college, search out the fathers or students who were wanted in the parlour, deliver messages, run errands, console the sick at heart who, having no one to turn to, came to him, give advice to the troubled and distribute alms to the needy.   Alphonsus tells that each time the bell rang, he looked at the door and envisioned that it was God who was standing outside seeking admittance.SAN-ALONSO-RODR--GUEZ-san-alonso-rodriguez

Among the distinguished Jesuits who came under his influence was St Peter Claver (1580-1654), who lived with him for some time at Majorca and who followed his advice in asking for the missions of South America.   He made his final vows in 1585 at the age of 54.

Claver & Rodriguez
St Alphonsus with St Peter Claver

Alphonsus Rodriguez was declared venerable in 1626.   In 1633, he was chosen by the Council General of Majorca as one of the special patrons of the city and island.   In 1760, Pope Clement XIII decreed that “the virtues of the Venerable Alonso were proved to be of a heroic degree” but the expulsion of the Society from Spain in 1773 and its suppression, delayed his beatification until 1825.   His Canonisation took place in September 1888.   His remains are enshrined at Majorca.

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Statue of St Alphonsus Rodriguez in the Church of the Cave of Saint Ignatius, Manresa

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Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

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