at prayer

St. Alonso Rodriguez
St Alonso Rodriguez
Feast Day 30 October
1532 - 1617

Originally not considered educated or healthy enough to belong to the Jesuit Order, he reapplied when he was forty, having studied Latin with small boys, and was again refused. However, this decision was overruled by a senior Jesuit who said that even if Alonso were unfit to be a priest or brother he could, nonetheless, enter to become a saint. Prophetic words.

After six months in Valencia, he was sent to the newly founded Montesion College in Mallorca where he served as porter or gatekeeper for the next forty-six years. It was said that every time the bell rang, he envisaged it was God and always answered it with a smile on his lips.

Prone to bodily mortifications, which undermined his health, and professing absolute obedience, he had to be ordered to sleep in a bed rather than on the floor. Tested by a. Superior, when he was over seventy and failing in health, and told he was being sent to the West Indies as missionary, he had to be detained at the gates as he at once went to seek a ship. He died in Mallorca, of natural causes. His relics are housed in the Montesion Church in Palma de Mallorca.

In 1633, he was chosen by the General Council of Mallorca as one of the special patrons of the city of Palma and of the Island. See also St Alphonsus Rodriguez by Gerald Manley Hopkins. Poems. 1918