Alphonsus Rodriguez


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Jesuit lay brother. The son of a wool merchant of Segovia, Alphonsus followed his father's profession. He married, but his wife and two children died young. He also failed in business. In 1571 he entered the Jesuit Order. He was sent to the college of Montesione (Majorca), where he was the hall-porter for the rest of his life. His prayer, self-sacrifice, and obedience were remarkable and bore fruit in his widespread influence as a counsellor. He also wrote a few ascetical works. A famous poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins praises him as an example of holiness realized in and through the duties of an unspectacular, humdrum life. He was canonized in 1888. Feast: 30 October.

AA.SS. Oct. XIII (1883), 585–657; J. Nonell, Obras espirituales del beato Alonso Rodriguez (1885–7); id., Vida de San Alonso Rodriguez (1888); M. Farnum, The Wool Merchant of Segovia (1945); W. Yeomans (tr.), Autobiography of Alphonsus Rodriguez (1964).

Subjects: Christianity.

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