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LORD JESUS CHRIST.
FROM THE ORIGINAL PORTUGUESE.
FATHER THOMAS OF JESUS,
OF THE ORDER OF THE HERMITS OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR,
FATHER THOMAS OF JESUS.
FATHER Thomas of Jesus was the son of Ferdinand Alvarez de Andrada, of one of the chief families in Portugal. He was but about ten years old when his father put him und :r the care of Father Lewis de Montoya, a religious man of great virtue, of the order of the Hermits of St. Augustine, to be brought up in the fear of God and study of learning. At the age of fifteen he took the habit of the same order, in the monastery of Our Lady of Grace, at Lisbon. Having finished his studies of philosophy and divinity at Coimbra, and afterwards preached with great fruit, he was made master of the novices : he directed them with so great a care and success in the practice of solid virtues, and particularly in the love of God and prayer, that the whole order, in process of time, reaped a considerable advantage from so holy an education.
As he perceived that some of his religious, touched with the desire of a greater perfection, went into Italy, because there were certain monasteries there of that order, wherein the religious lived in greater retirement, and in all the severity of their original spirit; his zeal for the rigour of observance caused him to undertake a like establishment in Portugal. Father Lewis de Montoya greatly approved of that design ; and Cardinal Henry, who was afterwards king, supported him with his protection; but Father Thomas met with such great obstacles in the execution thereof, and so dreadful a storm was raised against him, that he was obliged to quit his undertaking, even by the advice of those persons who were most favourable towards it. He suffered this persecution with a silence, meekness, and peace of mind which edified everyone: he returned several good offices to those who had opposed
and he once answered a friend of his, who seemed surprised thereat, that in order to do our neighbour a kindness, we must not regard his conduct towards us, since God does not expect our merit for communicating his grace to us, but bestows upon us a thousand blessings, even when we offend him.
He slept little, and applied himself so much to prayer, and to the reading of the Fathers of the Church, that in a short time he became most learned in the knowledge of the saints; and he received from God a particular gift for inducing others to relish the same. He had a great zeal for the advancement of God's service, an extraordinary charity for the poor and sick ; and these virtues acquired him so great a reputation throughout the kingdom, that King Sebastian made him quit his solitude, and accompany bim