Oct. 30 is the feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, Laybrother of the Society of Jesus.
And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield
Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field,
And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day.
On Christ they do and on the martyr may;
But be the war within, the brand we wield
Unseen, the heroic breast not outward-steeled,
Earth hears no hurtle then from fiercest fray.
Yet God (that hews mountain and continent,
Earth, all, out; who, with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more)
Could crowd career with conquest while there went
Those years and years by of world without event
That in Majorca Alfonso watched the door.
--Gerard Manley Hopkins
Alphonsus Rodriguez was a husband and a father and a businessman before entering the Society of Jesus at Segovia in 1571. He was almost forty. His wife and children had died, and his business had failed. He was admitted as a lay brother and sent to the Colegio Nuestra Señora de Montesiónat Mallorca, where he served as porter for 45 years, influencing all who passed through his door, including his spiritual son, St. Peter Claver.
-- Submitted by Gerelyn Hollingsworth