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Alfonso was the third child of a well-to-do merchant in Segovia. He met the Jesuits early on when Blessed Peter Fabre and another stayed with them for a while, and at fourteen was sent to Alcala to study under the Order.

St. Alphonsus RodriguezBut his father soon died and he carried on the business with his mother. At twenty-three, his mother retiring, he ran it alone. He married Maria Suarez with whom he had two children, a girl and a boy.

But business began to go badly, then his little girl died and after, his wife. Two years later his mother died, and this succession of misfortunes turned Alfonso’s thoughts to what God might be calling him.

After selling his business, he moved in with his two sisters, pious women who initiated him in the practice of meditative prayer, to which he took assiduously.

After a few years his son also died, and dividing all he had left between his sisters and the poor of Segovia, he applied to the Jesuits. Being forty, and not too strong in health, he was refused. With the support of a friend, Father Louis Santander, S.J., he put himself through Latin school, and was finally accepted in the Jesuit Order as a lay brother.

Sent to the College of Montefiascone in the island of Mallorca, he was made hall-porter. He fulfilled this duty until too old and infirm. At this post he was known by all: clergymen, noblemen, students, professionals, poor men, merchants, etc. All grew to respect and love Br. Alphonsus. One of his “pupils” was St. Peter Claver.

Every minute that he was not working was dedicated to prayer, and Alphonsus developed a deep intimacy with God, though he had periods of painful aridity. He wrote many a manuscript on the spiritual life, which, after his death, was published as “Obras Espirituales del Beato Alfonso Rodriguez”.

In October, 1617 Alphonsus sensed that his end was at hand. After receiving Holy Communion on October 29, all pain of mind and body left him. He lay in an unbroken ecstasy until midnight of October 31, when a terrible agony began. After half an hour he again became peaceful. Looking around lovingly at his brethren, he kissed the crucifix, cried out “Jesus”, and died.

He was canonized in 1888 with St. Peter Claver.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 9, 2021

The privilege of our Church is such that it is never stronge...

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May 9

 

The privilege of our Church is such that
it is never stronger than when it is attacked,
never better known than when it is accused,
never more powerful than when it appears forsaken.

"Treatise on the Trinity"St. Hilary of Poitiers

 
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The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is......

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Mother's Day

 The loveliest masterpiece 
 
of the heart of God is... 
 
the heart of a mother. 

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

 
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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Pachomius

So much did they impress him, as he observed them daily brin...

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St. Pachomius

Pachomius was born to pagan parents in Upper Thebais in Egypt in the year 292. According to one biographer, he was unwillingly drafted into the Emperor’s army when he was about twenty years old. Along with others pressed into the service of the emperor, Pachomius was ferried down river to Thebes, in which city the young pagan encountered Christians for the first time. So much did they impress him, as he observed them daily bringing food and comfort to the army recruits, who were kept close confined and ill-treated, that he vowed to investigate the Christian religion thoroughly once he had completed his time in the service of the Emperor. He later converted and was baptized in the year 314.

A few years after his conversion, Pachomius became acquainted with several well-known ascetics and decided to pursue their way of life. After seven years of preparation and study under the guidance and direction of a hermit named Palemon, Pachomius received the habit of a monk and set out to join St. Anthony of Egypt in the desert.

For a time Pachomius imitated Anthony’s solitary asceticism, living in his own hut, as the other followers of the great desert father did, and meeting occasionally with them for divine worship. Some time later, Pachomius heard a voice which instructed him to build a monastery at Tabennisi on the banks of the Nile where hermits who were physically or mentally unable to follow the rigor of Anthony’s solitary life could come to live as a community. Thus Pachomius is considered the first founder of cenobitic monasticism.

The first to be received into this new monastic community was his eldest brother John; within a short time their number grew to a hundred. Not only was Pachomius obliged to expand this first monastery at Tabennisi, but eventually, when this became inadequate, to build ten additional monasteries for men and two convents for women. For forty years he ruled the cenobites as their abbot. By the time of his death in 348, there were some seven thousand monks living under the monastic rule he had drawn up for them.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Here we discover something akin to the “Secret of Mary,”...

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Secret of Mary

Considering Our Lady’s action upon the three Fatima children in a broader sense, the changes she brought about in them was something extraordinary — something far beyond their capacity. From this, we gather that Our Lady suddenly and suavely transformed them through her repeated apparitions.

   
    St. Francisco Marto     St. Jacinta Marto

Here we discover something akin to the “Secret of Mary,” of which Saint Louis de Montfort speaks. We see grace working profoundly in souls, and we see how it works silently, without the person perceiving it. As a result, the person feels truly free. More than ever, the person feels inspired to practice virtue and reject the evil chains of sin; consequently, their love of God blossoms.

Their desire to serve Him increases, and so does their hatred of sin. This marvelous transformation of soul occurs in such a way that the person does not experience the systematic uphill struggle of those who follow the classical system of the spiritual life to obtain virtue, sanctity, and Heaven. Much to the contrary, Our Lady changes them suddenly.

The changes in the two children Our Lady called to Heaven, Jacinta and Francisco, was particularly striking. What does this mean? Does this mean Our Lady will perform the same transformation upon us?

Is it a foretaste of how Our Lady intends to change Humanity when she fulfills her Fatima promises?

Can I say that the transformation in the souls of Jacinta and Francisco are the beginning of Our Lady’s reign? Is this not her triumph over the souls of Jacinta and Francisco, heralds of Our Lady’s message, who helped others accept the Fatima message through their prayers and sacrifices? And who still help us today through their prayers in Heaven?

If this is true, it is logical that Jacinta and Francisco be our intercessors before Our Lady and obtain the coming of her reign in our hearts. Is this not the mysterious transformation that we call the “Secret of Mary”?

I firmly believe that we must ask Jacinta and Francisco to transform us, to grant us the same gifts they received, and to guide us, whose mission it is to live and to preach the Fatima message.

Adapted from a lecture of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira on October 13, 1971.

Here we discover something akin to the “Secret of Mary,” of which Saint Louis de Montfort speaks.

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