Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Alexandre de Rhodes

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 13
Alexandre De Rhodes

by Nicholas Aloysius Weber


A missionary and author, born at Avignon, 15 March, 1591; died at Ispahan, Persia, 5 Nov., 1660. He entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Rome, 24 April, 1612, with the intention of devoting his life to the conversion of the infidels. He was assigned to the missions of the East Indies, and inaugurated his missionary labours in 1624 with great success in Cochin China. In 1627 he proceeded to Tongking where, within the space of three years, he converted 6000 persons, including several bonzes. When in 1630 persecution forced him to leave the country, the newly-made converts continued the work of evangelization. Rhodes was later recalled to Rome where he obtained permission from his superiors to undertake missionary work in Persia. Amidst the numerous activities of a missionary career, he found time for literary productions: "Tunchinensis historiæ libri duo" (Lyons, 1652); "La glorieuse mort d'André, Catéchiste . . ." (Paris, 1653); "Catechismus", published in Latin and in Tongkingese at Rome in 1658.

DE BACKER-SOMMERVOGEL, Biblioth. de la Comp. de Jésus, VI (9 vols., Brussels and Paris, 1890-1900), 1718-21; CARAYON, Voyages et Missions du P. Rhodes (Paris and Le Mans, 1854).

N. A. WEBER