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JESUIT FAMILY ALBUM

Chapter 9 (Ro-St)

(formerly Jesuit Portraits)
Sketches of Chivalry From the Early Society


Not all, but many of these portraits came from a rare century-old work concerning famous Jesuits, Alfred Hamy's Galerie Illustree. The names are arranged alphabetically in ten chapters: A-Be, Bo-Cam, Can-Cos, Cot-Go, Gr-K, L-Me, Mi-Pe, Pi-Ri, Ro-St, Su-Z. At the end of each entry are listed, in abbreviated form, the specific sources which I used for writing the short sketch for each man. The eleven triliteral symbols (Ban, Bas, DSB, Ham, JLx, McR, JLP, O'M, Som, Tan, Tyl) signify that the information came from the following eleven books which are more fully documented in the Intoduction to Jesuit Portraits.

Ban = Bangert, William, S.J. A History of the Society of Jesus
Bas = Bernard, S.J. The English Jesuits
DSB = Gillispie, Charles. C. Ed., Dictionary of Scientific Biography
Ham = Hamy, Alfred, S.J. Galerie illustree
JLx = Koch, Ludwig, S.J. Jesuiten Lexicon
McR = McRedmond, Louis To the Greater Glory. New York: MacMillan, 1991
JLP = Mertz, James, S.J. and Murphy, John, S.J. Jesuit Latin Poets
O'M = O'Malley, John, S.J. The First Jesuits
Som = Sommervogel, Carolus Bibliothèque de la compagnie de Jésus
Tan = Tanner, Mathia, S.J. Societas Jesu.
Tyl = Tylinda, Joseph, S.J. Jesuit Saints and Martyrs




St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J. (Spanish: 1530-1617) was a Coadjutor Brother, entering the Society after the death of his wife. He spent his life as a sacristan and as a porter. During this time he had great influence on the young Jesuits of the house: St. Peter Claver's interest in working with the slaves of Cartagena originated from the influence of St. Alphonsus. Many of the community, knowing the Brother's remarkable knowledge of spiritual matters, sought his advice and direction. After school, students told him their plans for the future; priests, businessmen, parents came to seek guidance. Some even brought their wayward children to him, looking to him for some suggestions. Jesuit superiors, seeing the good work he was doing among the townspeople, were eager to have his influence spread far among his own religious community, so on feast days they often sent him into the pulpit in the dining room to hear him give a sermon. On more than one occasion the community sat quietly past dinner time to hear Alphonsus finish his sermon. That is a tribute quite hard to parallel in any Jesuit community before or since.
Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote a poem to commemorate Alphonsus' canonization.

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.


(Ban, Cor, Ham, Som, Tyl)



The three martyrs of River Plate St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J. (Spanish: 1598-1628) was one of three martyrs of River Plate along with Bl. John del Castillo and Bl. Roch Gonzalez. Alphonsus was thrilled to work with the latter, the very experienced missionary Roch Gonzalez, but this mission was not to last long, for both were to be martyred. Alphonsus was ordained in 1624 and then went to the Reductions in Paraguay along the River Plate. He and Roch Gonzalez immediately set about erecting the cross at whose base they would preach. Since the Jesuits were making noticeable progress among those Indians, the witch doctor Nezti saw that his influence was waning and decided to kill them and prepared an ambush. On 15 November Alphonsus went into the woods to fell a tree to use as a bell pole on which to hang the chapel bell. The hired hands fell on the two priests, killed them, threw their bodies into the church and set it on fire. Alphonsus was 30 years old and had been on the mission for 15 days. (Ban, Cor, Som, Tyl)

Cristóbal Rodriguez, S.J. (Spanish: 1521-1581) was received into the Society by St. Francis Borgia when he was already a priest and theology professor. He traveled to Cairo as papal legate to the Coptic patriarch, who was apparently inclined to reconciliation with Rome. Mutual misunderstanding, lack of a common language, and other obstacles caused the mission to fail. Rodriguez later attended the Council of Trent, held the office of provincial superior, and acted as chaplain to the Christian forces at the battle of Lepanto. (Ban, JLx, O'M, Som)

John Rosenthal, S.J. (German: 1612-1665) taught rhetoric, philosophy and mathematics. Later he was assigned to preach in the Cathedral of Cologne where he attracted crowds to hear his sermons, and was the instrument in bringing many back to the practice of the Catholic faith. (Ham, JLx, Som)

Charles de la Rue, S.J. (French: 1643-1725) was a distinguished Latinist, humanist, and court preacher during his 65 years in the Society. The early part of his career was spent in teaching humanities and rhetoric at the College of Louis the Great of Paris. Pierre Corneille paid Charles the compliment of translating into French some of his Latin poems, celebrating Louis XIV's victories over the Dutch and the Bavarians. From this period dates the beginning of Charles' work in drama. To the more strictly literary part of Charles' career belongs the extensive commentary on the major works of Virgil. The explanatory notes, rhetorical exercises, and indices were produced as an aid to the Dauphin. Charles became a court preacher and spiritual director to the nobility. He enjoyed a great reputation as a preacher, and many of his publications were funeral orations. Although immersed in court life, Charles longed to go to Canada and to labor among the North American Indians as a missionary. His superiors thought his talents were better used in France. (Ham, JLx, JLP, Som)

Alphonsus Salmerón, S.J. (Spanish: 1514-1585) was a First Companion. Later as provincial of Naples he experienced the great demand for more Jesuit schools so common in Europe at the time, but he had to cope with the fact that there were simply not enough men to fill the demand. Pope Paul IV tried to get the Jesuits to introduce choir, which was contrary to Ignatius' plan for the Society and clearly contrary to the Jesuit Constitutions. Salmerón accompanied the Superior General Laynez to present to the pope this Jesuit position on choir approved by the Society's First General Congregation. The Pontiff addressed them in very heated and intemperate terms, accusing Ignatius of being a tyrant and the Jesuits of being rebels for not introducing choir. He then commanded them to introduce choir in all their houses. They did immediately until the death of Paul IV a few years later. The succeeding Pontiff Pius IV repealed Paul's decree. (Ban, Ham, JLx, O'M, Som)

John Salvatierra, S.J. (Italian: 1648-1717) was one of the many (55) Jesuits inspired by the Jesuit explorer Eusebio Kino, S.J. The intelligent and courageous Juan Salvatierra labored in Lower California, an arid land inhabited by hostile native Americans. From the time of his arrival there until his death 20 years later he succeeded in building a string of missions throughout the peninsula. They are a monument to his refusal to be overwhelmed by man's opposition and nature's inhospitality. The number of Jesuit martyrs was increased by the indigenous natives who were slow in understanding what John Salvatierra and the other 55 Jesuits were trying to do for them in California. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)

Noel Sanadon, S.J. (French: 1676-1733) was a Latin poet and taught humanities at Caen and at the Louis the Great College. Noel went to Tours where he functioned as a prefect of studies and there finished his translation and edition of Horace's Odes and Epodes. The edition caused quite a stir at the time since Noel drastically altered the arrangement of the poems. His French translations of the poems were used extensively for a long period of time. Noel also published a collection of his own poetry under the title Carminum libri . (Ham, JLx, JLP, Som)

Thomas Sanchez, S.J. (Spanish: 1550-1610) was an erudite moral theologian whose authority on moral questions was quite impressive. He won wide recognition particularly for his frequently re-edited 1602 book The Holy Sacrament of Matrimony . Thomas Sanchez expressed himself with clarity and precision, especially regarding distinctions needed regarding the principle of Probabilism. For example he stated that a genuine probable opinion required that "it does not rest on superficial grounds; the view of a wise and learned man is, however, not a superficial but, rather, a material ground." (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)

Matthew Sarbiewski, S.J. (Polish: 1593-1640) has been called the "Christian Horace" due to the excellence of his poetic skill, his emotional power and the richness of his language. His Latin poems awakened memories of the cadences of Rome's finest poetry. The great number of editions and translations of his poetry into virtually all the European languages emphatically confirms the tremendous popularity his works have enjoyed over the past three centuries. (Ban, Ham, JLx, JLP, Som)

Bl. William Saultemouche, S.J. (French: 1555-1593) was a Coadjutor Brother with exceptional devotion and humility. Present at heated theological debates between his companion Bl. James Salès and the Calvinist ministers, William declared: "I will die with you for the truth of your arguments." He was martyred along with James whose preaching strengthened the Catholics around Aubenas, France. James' writings and sermons concerning the Eucharist marked him for death by his enemies, the Huguenots who were obsessed with hatred for the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist. On 5 February Huguenot troops struck the town of Aubenas and imposed their own rule on this formerly Catholic town. James and William appearing for one of their many public appearances in the local square were confronted by Huguenot ministers. A debate on the Eucharist followed in which James spoke eloquently enough to sway those listening. This worried the Huguenot leader, so both James and William were arrested, thrown into prison and the next day executed in the town square. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som, Tyl)

John Schall von Bell, S.J (German: 1591-1669) was a missionary/astronomer in China. During a change of rulers John was imprisoned and condemned to a slow death, but an earthquake intervened and he was released. His Trigonometria and his many other scientific works were written and published in China. John constructed a double stellar hemisphere to illustrate planetary movement and wrote 150 treatises in Chinese concerning the calendar. His tomb as well as those of the Jesuits Ricci and Verbiest was restored after the Cultural Revolution and relocated on the grounds of a Communist training school and these tombs can still be visited today.(Ban, DSB, Ham, JLx, Som)

Andrew Schott, S.J. (Belgian: 1552-1629) taught rhetoric at Louvain before entering the Society and afterwards in Rome. His presentations in class were well known for their remarkable erudition and precise criticism of the author being studied. He had many publications. (Ban, Ham, Som)

Christopher Scheiner, S.J. (German: 1575-1650) was a brilliant geometer, physicist and astronomer. He published many scientific works. During his long controversy with Kepler, he adopted the pseudonym "Appelles," the mythological figure who could draw the finest line. He engaged Galileo in controversy, and many of his publications deal with aspects of their discussions on the systems of the universe. He discovered sunspots independently of Galileo and explained the elliptical form of the sun near the horizon as the effect of refraction. In his Oculus (1619) he showed that the retina is the seat of vision. His invention (1631) for magnifying curves and maps, the pantograph, is an early example of a geometric transformation and can still be purchased in a stationery store.
Scheiner trained young mathematicians and organized public debates on current events in astronomy, such as the heliocentric vs. the geocentric theories of the universe. In his major work, Rosa Ursina sive so l (1630), he confirmed his findings and method and gave his measurement of the inclination of the axis of rotation of the sunspots to the plane of the ecliptic which is only off a few minutes from the true value. Scheiner explained the elliptical form of the sun near the horizon as the effect of refraction, a phenomenon discovered by another Jesuit named Grimaldi. He gave one of his telescopes to the archduke of Tyrol who was more interested in the scenery than in stars and complained that the image was inverted. Scheiner inserted another lens to invert the image again and so created one of the first terrestrial telescopes. (Ban, DSB, JLx, Som)

Daniel Seghers, S.J. (Belgian: 1590-1661) was an artist famous for his floral designs. Daniel did not paint portraits. The animals, humans, buildings etc. enclosed in his floral frame were painted by other artists such as Peter Paul Rubens who frequently visited Daniel to admire his paintings. In fact Rubens liked the opportunity to paint the figures necessary to finish Daniel's pictures. Few artists have had as many imitators as Daniel. It is surprising to find this quiet Jesuit Coadjutor Brother so influential in bureaucratic circles. Kings and Queens used their influence to get his paintings into their collections. At one time the famous diplomat and physicist, Constantine Huygens, used his friendship with Daniel to have a painting commissioned for the Prince of Orange. Later Daniel was asked to produce a fitting painting for Emperor Ferdinand III to present to Queen Christina of Sweden in order to accelerate the end of the Thirty Year War. Her generals feared her because she had a keener mind than any general or diplomat, but the ardent art collector Christina was calmed by a Segher painting. Later she visited the Jesuits many times and on Christmas night; 1654, at Brussels, she made, privately, profession of the Catholic Faith. About 200 paintings by Daniel Seghers have survived for 300 years and are scattered all around the world. (Ham, JLx, Som)

Paul Segneri, S.J. (Italian: 1624-1694) by preaching and giving retreats made a powerful spiritual impact on the Italian people whom he directed. For 27 years Paul traveled throughout Tuscany and the Papal States. He has been called the John Wesley of the 17th century, who spoke with the eloquence of St. Bernadine of Siena. He walked 800 miles a year and attracted as many as 20,000 people while giving a mission. Once he came to Rome as the papal preacher for the Lenten season. He had extended meetings with Pope Innocent, and with simple candor, he tried to persuade his Jesuit Superior General, Tirso González, to abandon his position (and withdraw his book) condemning the doctrine of Probabilism . He pointed out that a Superior General's obligation was to rule, not to write books. He quoted the many authorities in moral theology who favored the doctrine of Probabilism. Paul, however, did not succeed in convincing Tirso González. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)

Peter Skarga, S.J. (Polish: 1536-1612) This popular theologian, apologist and preacher was called the "Polish Bossuet", due to his oratorical abilities. He abandoned theology for preaching; he also abandoned literary activities for the sake of spreading Catholicism. He established charitable societies in many Polish cities to care for the sick, to guide and protect young women, to clothe the poor and to shield the uneducated from usurers. Peter also founded and enlarged Jesuit schools in Poland. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)

St. Robert Southwell, S.J. (English: 1561-1595) was a Jesuit poet, who was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn for preaching the Catholic Faith in Queen Elizabeth's England. He belongs to that band of Jesuit English martyrs during the persecution of Catholics from 1535 to 1681 who were determined not to abandon the Catholic laity, but to be with them, providing the consolation of the Eucharist. Robert's father had conformed to the new Protestant religion. Robert joined the Jesuits in 1578 and after ordination left Rome for England with Henry Garnet. Both were almost arrested upon landing but escaped capture and went on to work with the Catholics in London. Robert's writings were extremely popular with his contemporaries such as Ben Johnson who declared that he wished he had written some of Robert's poems. The best known of his poems are The Burning Babe and Saint Peter's Complaint (1595), in which he made experiments with verse that were further developed by other poets, including Shakespeare. Robert spent six years in zealous and successful missionary work and moved under various disguises traveling from one Catholic house to another. Finally he was betrayed in 1592. Robert never gave any information about other priests or Catholics, even though for three years he was interrogated under atrocious torture. He was transferred to Newgate prison where he was confined in a dungeon swarming with vermin and frequently chained in such a way that he could neither stand, sit nor lie down. His jailers were exasperated at his answers. When asked his age he would reply: "near that of our Blessed Savior." He was hanged drawn and quartered. The execution of this young talented poet shocked the court and the whole country. (Ban, JLx, Som, Tyl)


Frederick Spe von Langenfeld, S.J. (1595-1635) wrote hymns which are still found in hymnals, both Catholic and Lutheran. He is considered one of the most important poets of the Baroque period because of his hymns found in his two books Trutz-Nachtigal and Goldenes Tugenbuch (a book much loved by Leibniz). During his seminary days he taught children catechism by using hymns of his own. He authored the book Cautio Criminalis which protested the detestable witch trials common in his time, and especially common during the Thirty Years War, trials that came about because of Luther's fixation on the influence of devils. (Canisius' famous Catechism omitted all mention of devils.) The thesis of the book was simply that witches did not exist, and that innocent women had no way of proving their innocence. His conclusion was a novel one: people are innocent until proven guilty. One of his assignments was to administer to the condemned "witches" in their last hours. About them he wrote: "I have not been able to find anything but innocence everywhere . . . and have concluded that innocent people are falsely considered culpable." Although his book eventually brought about reforms, the initial reaction of both ecclesiastical and secular authorities was that his book as well as his crusade were dangerous. An attempt was made on his life leaving him with head wounds and pain that stayed with him for the rest of his life. In 1635, while caring for victims of a plague he caught the plague, and "died a death which was comparable to martyrdom." (Ban, JLx, Som)

Bl. Charles Spinola, S.J. (Italian: 1564-1622) was a missionary to China who died a martyr's death during the Great Martyrdom of Nagasaki on 10 September, 1622. His companion was Bl. Sebastian Kimura, S.J., the first Japanese to be ordained and the cousin of Bl. Leonard Kimura, S.J. mentioned earlier. Around this time 87 Jesuits were martyred after enduring imprisonment and terrible torture. Charles had entered Japan to assist the Christians during this frightful "Great Persecution under emperor Iycyasu. He eluded priest hunters for three years but was finally captured and brought to a prison near Nagasaki. Charles called his pen similar to a bird cage since it was an enclosure made of stakes with neither walls nor roof, open to the heat of the sun, cold rain, icy snow, and whipping winds. They were fed a few handfuls of rice daily and the stench was intolerable. It was so crowded that the prisoners had to squat and lean upon each other. The Christians in Nagasaki bribed some of the guards to supply them with all that was needed for saying Mass, so that Charles celebrated Mass every day for his fellow prisoners. After four years of this Charles was taken to Nagasaki and put to death by slow fire. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som, Tyl)

Joseph Stepling, S.J. (Czechoslovakian: 1716-1778) at the age of 17 calculated with great accuracy the 1733 lunar eclipse. Later Euler was among his long list of correspondents. He transposed Aristotelian logic into formulas, thus becoming an early precursor of modern logic. Even though he passed up a professorship in philosophy in favor of a chair in mathematics, Empress Maria Theresa appointed him director of the faculty of philosophy at Prague as part of the reform of higher education. He was very interested in cultivating the exact sciences and founded a society for the study of science modeled on the Royal Society of London. Many of the findings of the this society were published. At his death Maria Theresa ordered a monument to be erected in his honor in the library at the University of Prague. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)



Intoduction to Jesuit Portraits

Contents Names of 202 Jesuits

Jesuit Portraits Chapter 1 A to Be
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 2 Bo to Cam
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 3 Can to Cos
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 4 Cot to Go
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 5 Gr to K
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 6 L to Me
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 7 Mi to Pe
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 8 Pi to Ri
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 9 Ro to St
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 10 Su to Z



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