The lifelong devotion of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez was to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Any time he found a prayer addressed to her, he would press it against his heart. He married a very holy young woman. But his wife died four years after their wedding, when Alphonsus was thirty-one years old. He then applied for admission to the Society of Jesus. The superior of that Order kept refusing him because he thought he was too old, and was not well. But finally, the Provincial of the Society of Jesus said, “Let us receive him on account of his holiness.” He became a lay brother in the Society of Jesus and was made porter at the College of Montesion on the Island of Majorca, just east of Spain. Prayer and mortification were what Saint Alphonsus called “the two wings” by which he would go to God. One of his disciples was the great Saint Peter Claver whom he urged to become the apostle of the Negroes in South America.
Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez died at the age of eighty-six on the last day of October, the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary. His last word was a loud and lingering utterance of the Holy Name of Jesus.
See also: Slave of the Slaves