Rhodes, Alexandre De

Rhodes, Alexandre de, a French missionary, was born at Avignon, March 15, 1591. In 1612 he was admitted to the Order of Jesuits at Rome, and after long solicitation received permission to go to India as a missionary. In the spring of 1619 he left Lisbon, but on arriving at Goa was detained under various pretexts until 1623, when he went on to Macao. He desired to penetrate into Japan, and devoted a year to the study of the language; but the great severity which was exercised against Christians obliged him to abandon his project. He went into Cochin-China, and at the end of six months began to preach in the native idiom. In 1627 he passed into Tonquin, and gained the confidence of the king; but the jealousy of courtiers destroyed the fruits of his labor. An edict was launched against the Christian religion, and Rhodes was expelled. He returned to Macao and remained ten years, teaching and traveling through the province of Canton. He still desired to return to Cochin-China, and was again met by persecution — this time barely escaping with his life, being sentenced to perpetual banishment (1646). On his way to Europe he was imprisoned at Java, which changed his plan of travel. He embarked for Macassar, visited Bantam and Savata, and in 1648 traveled through the whole kingdom of Persia as well as Armenia, and finally left Smyrna for Genoa. The three years following he spent quietly at Rome, but his passion for travel caused him to start on a second expedition to Persia at the head of a new missionary enterprise. He died in that country Nov. 5, 1660. Rhodes's writings are chiefly narratives of travel, and are generally correct. We may mention, Relazione di Felici Successi della Santa Fede nel Regno di Tunchino (Rome, 1650): — Dictionarium Annamiticum, Lusitanum, et Latinum (ibid. 1651): — Sommaire des divers Voyages et Missions Apostoliques du P. A. de Rhodes, etc. (Paris, 1653). See Sotovel, Bibl. Script. Soc. Jesu:

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