|St Alphonsus Rodríguez, SJ (1532-1617)
Rodriguez comes from a mid-majors background. His mother, wife, and son all died within a few years of each other. Struggling to make it as a trader, Rodriguez realized a late call to the Jesuits, but was initially rejected from the Company for lack of education. He headed back to grammar school training. He entered the Jesuits as a brother at age 40. Though suffering fromscruples, Alphonsus worked hard as porter at Montesione College in Majorca.
There, he took up informal spiritual coaching, eventually guiding powerhouse St. Peter
Claver to missionary work among slaves.Rodriguez is a mid-major dark horse. With a bit of red-shirt age on him, he proves
a strong but un-lauded pick. Alphonsus sometimes struggles with confidence,
but has an unquenchable desire to stand under the Banner of Christ. Look for him
to start a bit slow, but come on strong late in the game. Reasons to pick: Calm but fierce
determination; absolute love and dedication despite setbacks; and we all love an
|Peter Claver, SJ (1581-1654)
Claver was born about 50 miles from Barcelona, Spain in June of 1581. When he was 20 years old he took his game to another level and entered the Society of Jesus. He was sent to do his philosophy studies in Mallorca where he met super-star Brother, Alphonsus Rodriguez.A-Rod urged Claver to give his life to the missions in South America where
the motto was, “New Spain, New Gain.” Sure enough he was missioned to play ball in Cartagena, Colombia in 1610. Little did P Claves know that his life would be forever changed by the African slaves that he met in the “new world.”Hard work and dedication are what make Peter Claver a perennial guest at the Big Dance. He labored tirelessly to care for the survivors of the brutal Atlantic slave-ship crossing from
Africa. He brought medicine, food, and comforting words to men and women who were being treated like live-stock. He insisted that each African captive be treated as a dignified Christian and as a result over 300,000 slaves were baptized during his 40 years of ministry. He was branded the “Apostle of Cartagena” and was given a hero’s burial in 1654. Claver is known as the “Most Valuable Peter” for good reason. He knows how to act when things look bleak and he hustles hard till the very end.