The feast day of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez is celebrated on October 30. He was born in Segovia, Spain on July 25, 1532. His father was a wealthy merchant.
At the age of 14 Alphonsus’ father died. He left school to help his mother run the family business. When he was 23 he married. However, three years later his wife died during childbirth. Within the next several years his mother died as well as his three children. He also found it necessary to sell his failing business.
In response to his grief and suffering, Alphonsus turned to a life of prayer. He applied to become a Jesuit, (The Society of Jesus). He was denied entry due to lack of education. He returned to school and reapplied. In 1571 he was accepted as a lay Jesuit brother. He was sent to Montesione College on Majorca. He served a s a doorkeeper for 45 years.
As doorkeeper, St. Alphonsus believed Christ was in every person at the door. He ministered to both the visitors and the students. He became friends with St. Peter Claver who was a champion of slaves rights.
St. Alphonsus developed a method for finding joy in his hardships which followed him throughout his life into old age. He became a contemplative who meditated on the crucifix and the suffering of Christ. He stated that by bearing his suffering with prayer
“I felt the grandeur of the Lord”.
“This I encourage myself to endure for love of the Lord who is before me, until I make what is better sweet. In this way, learning from Christ Our Lord, I take and convert the sweet into bitter, renouncing myself and all earthly and carnal pleasures, delights and honors of this life so that my whole heart is centered solely on God.
St. Alphonsus Rodriguez was canonized on September 6, 1887.
“Whenever you do anything, you must offer it to God, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.”
Quote of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
October is the Month of the Most Holy Rosary