Commentary on St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

Alphonsus RodriguezAlphonsus Rodriguez:

  • became the hall porter at the Jesuit College in Palma, Majorca, at the age of 40, after his wife and children had died
  • was a lay brother, meaning he never went through the training to be a priest
  • died in 1617 at the age of 90
  • lived a prayerful and cheerful life, though towards the end of his life he seems, according to his biographer, to have suffered periods of depression and even violent temptation
  • was not canonised till 1887.

It was this (recent) event that Hopkins was asked to celebrate. In so doing, there are not a few personal parallels he brings out.

Investigating St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
  • Can you see what these parallels might be?
    • To what extent is this a poem about Alfonso?
    • To what extent is it about Hopkins himself?
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