Saints of the Society of Jesus: Blessed Rudolph Aquaviva and Companions

27 July

Blessed Rudolph Aquaviva was a co-novice of Saint Stanislaus Kostka. A story was preserved in the novitiate of Saint Andrew, at Rome, that these two were sent to gather wood, and they were told to bring in so many faggots; Stanislaus obeyed the order literally, but Aquaviva piled upon his arm as big a load as he could carry. He was sent out as a missionary to India, with the hope that he would accomplish great things by his ardent zeal. But he was put to death in an outbreak of Pagan fanaticism, at a place called Salsette (in three syllables), with three other Fathers and a coadjutor Brother. For this reason they are called the Martyrs of Salsette. The names of his companions were Alphonsus Paceco, Peter Berna, Anthony Francisco, and Francis Aranea, the lay brother. Shortly afterwards most of their assassins were converted to the Christian faith, and this spot became a centre of piety and religion.