Mystical theologian, b. at Waterford, Ireland, in 1591; d. in Mexico, Dec., 1644
Wadding (GODINEZ), MICHAEL, mystical theologian, b. at Waterford, Ireland, in 1591; d. in Mexico, December, 1644. At an early age he lost his father, Thomas Wadding, and his mother, Marie Valois. For two years he studied at the Irish seminary of Salamanca, entering the Society of Jesus, April 15, 1609. After years at the novitiate of Villagarcia he obtained permission to go to the missions of Mexico, where he took the name of Godinez, by which he is best known. He made his profession, August 26, 1626. He devoted several years to the rough mission of Sinaloa, and in 1620 he was among the Mayos and the Tephanes; he also took charge of the Comicaris, and, at the cost of much labor, won over the Basiroas, whom he joined to Christian tribes. He relates in his “Teologia mistica” (I, 3, VII), as one who endured them himself, the privations and sufferings undergone by the missionaries. He taught for several years in various colleges in Mexico. Father Alegre remarks that according to the archives of his province he died on December 18, and not 12, as is generally stated in agreement with Father La Reguera. Michael Wadding was distinguished by his profound knowledge of the supernatural states and by rare prudence in the direction of souls. His “Practica de la teologia mistica”, the fruit of long personal experience rather than of study, was published nearly 40 years after his death (1681), and has gone through 10 editions; but outside of Spanish it is chiefly known by the voluminous commentary of Father Manuel La Reguera (2 vols. in fol., Rome, 1740-45). In his notice of the author La Reguera also ascribes to him a “Life of Sister Mary of Jesus”. Godinez certainly left notes on this servant of God whom he had directed, but it does not seem that they were ever published.
ERNEST M. RIVIERE