About Alphonsus Rodriguez

Alphonsus Rodriguez was born at Valladolid in the year 1526, and in the twentieth year of his age he renounced the world to consecrate himself to God in the Society of Jesus at Salamanca. After having been engaged about thirteen years in teaching moral theology at Monterey, he was sent to Montille, in the province of Andalusia, to be there master of novices, and to deliver such spiritual exhortations as are delivered weekly in the houses of the Society. In these two employments he acquitted himself for thirty years together with all possible zeal and ability, and hereby evinced how skilled he was in the science of saints and in the direction of souls.

Being afterwards chosen to go to Rome, to the Fifth Gen­eral Congregation, he there also gave marks of exemplary virtue and consummate prudence. At his return he was sent to Cordova, where for twelve years he had the direction of spiritual things, that is to say, the care of taking an account of the interior state of all the religious in the house, to help them to overcome and root out of their souls what­ever opposed their advancement in perfection. As at Mon­tille, so at Cordova his office was to make the weekly exhor­tations; and it was towards the end of the twelve years he remained here that, collecting together what he had writ­ten on various subjects, he compiled these volumes of the practice op perfection and christian virtues. He did not, however, publish them until a long time after, when he went to the Provincial Congregation held at Seville in the year 1606, where he was ordered to stay to take care of the novices and at the same time to publish this his work.

After having applied himself for eight years together, without any relaxation, to the discharge of both these duties, he became so infirm that he had neither force to exercise any longer the painful function of master of nov­ices, nor even to celebrate the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Lest, however, he should be deprived of the precious body of Jesus Christ, he daily received it from the hand of another; and, having lived two years in this languishing condition, at length upon the twenty-first of February in the year 1616, in a good old age, full of merits, he happily rested in our Lord, in peace.   His death was not less uni­versally regretted than his sanctity was esteemed.   He was a great lover of retirement, an exact observer of rules, and had a very great zeal for the salvation of souls.   His self-abnegation was such that in all things he had but God in view.   The time in which he was not engaged in the dis­charge of other indispensable duties, he spent in prayer and spiritual reading, adding to these pious exercises very fre­quent austerities, which he continued to the end of his life; and when it was once represented to him that he could not practise such penances without shortening his days, he answered: “An un-mortified religious man is already dead.” Behold in short the life of this most excellent master of a spiritual life; but the reading of his works will still give you a better knowledge of him, for there was nothing he proposed to others to practice, of which he gave not first an example in himself, his life being nothing else than a con­stant practice of what in his writings he had taught others.

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GodIsLove May 13, 2014 at 10:54 AM

The British edition of Fr. Rickaby’s translation of Fr. Rodriguez’ “Practice of Perfection” can now be read online in its entirety:


Peace of Christ be with you.


admin November 6, 2017 at 12:36 AM

Very Nice Find!


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