|St. Jean-Francois Regis, SJ (1597-1640)
Update: Regis soundly defeated Brebeuf in an epic back and forth battle during the first round. And Bellarmine was no contest in the second round. Are Regis and his supporters headed to the championship? Jean Francois was born in the south of France in 1597 and entered the Jesuit novitiate at age 19. His enthusiasm for the faith was contagious and he strived for the conversion of the French Huguenots. He is a major player thanks to his courageous work with people suffering from bubonic plague. His skill as a preacher and evangelist were second to none, and he was known to convert entire crowds to the faith in one fell swoop!Regis should not be overlooked because of his skinny and often infirm constitution. He is fiery, courageous, and “has heart,” which makes him a serious threat to those more established/well known saints. He’s got a horse in this race, and you’d better believe it!
|St Alphonsus Rodríguez, SJ (1532-1617)
Update: In his first round contest, Rodriguez never lost the lead. He cruised to an easy win. The second round was much of the same. Will the Final Four 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.