|St. Francis Borgia, SJ (1510—1572)
Update: Borgia and his supporters had little trouble taking down Hurtado. Will they have the same luck with Rodriguez and his fans?Some people wish they had all the skills needed for the game; Borgia is not one of them. At the young age of eighteen this saint jumped onto the court ready to impress—that is, the imperial court of Spain. He impressed local and far away Church scouts both on and off the court with his ability to father eight kids and still never miss a practice. But after his wife, Eleanor de Castro, died, he got the call from upstairs and laced up for the second half. He entered religious life with the Jesuits and quickly went from novice to MVP in a few short years.Why Francis wins The first three reasons: Pope Alexander VI, King Ferdinand of Aragon, and Emperor Charles V—yup, Borgia was related to all of them. This saint brings with him a center and two guards that together form the dream team for missionary work unparalleled by any other religious order at that time. Another reason why Francis wins is the fact that he brings discipline to the game. He was able to build religious players (Jesuits) with such execution that it’s no accident that under his guidance he helped establish the New World in Florida, Mexico, and Peru. Francis is known to have told his players frequently, “That being naked of earthly things, we may also embrace the cross.” Borgia takes care of business.
|St Alphonsus Rodríguez, SJ (1532-1617)
Update: In his first round contest, Rodriguez never lost the lead. He cruised to an easy win. Will this next round be as easy?
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 underdog.