Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fr. Diego Alvarez de Paz, S.J. : One Of The Last Representatives Of The Ancient Schools Of Mysticism

On the day of the Jesuit, Fr. James Alvarez de Paz 's death 100,000 men in the silver mines of Potosi stopped work to assist at his obsequies. He is said to have had the gift of prophecy, and it is reported that after his death his body remained incorrupt. Hunter says of the three folio volumes of his works: "Summi aestimantur; rara et cara sunt". His first treatise is "De viât spirituali ejusque perfectione" (1608); his second, "De exterminatione mali et promotione boni: (1613); his third, "De inquisitione pacis, sive de studio orationis" (1611). The work has been widely used in compendiums, extracts, and translations. In the opinion of a recognized authority on mysticism, Father Poulain, S.J., writing in Vacant, "his bent is not so much to observe patiently, as to philosophize and display much erudition. He is the first to use the expression oratio affectiva, implying a species of contemplation meditation in which the affections dominate. He does not appear to have read St. Teresa, whose works were just published, and he may be regarded as one of the last representatives of the ancient schools of mysticism."
Link (here)  to The Catholic Encyclopedia. 
Engraving is of 17th Century Potosi in present day Venezuela the place were Fr. Diego Alvarez de Paz, S.J. labored and died.

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