Success In Failure: A Lesson From Blessed Rudolf Acquaviva


Have you ever heard the term “success in failure?” Did you know that there’s actually a patron for that? Blessed Rudolf Aquaviva is the patron of eternal perspective, missionaries, pursuit of holiness and success in failure.

I was intrigued by Blessed Acquaviva when I read about him in Voices of the Saints by Bert Ghezzi. Here was an ordained Jesuit, sent as a missionary to Goa, India, who embraced and longed for his own martyrdom! Rudolf’s attempts to convert the Muslim king fell on deaf ears. It is believed the king had no intentions of converting and was easily distracted when Rudolf tried to explain Christian doctrine.

When Rudolf’s mission failed in 1583 he was appointed as a superior of the Jesuit outreach to Hindus at Salsette, just north of Bombay. The villagers in Cuncolim were resistant to the building of a church and they massacred Rudolf and his associates on July 25, 1583.

Can there really be success in failure? In my own life, my many failures have drawn me closer to God. I have immersed myself in prayer, either begging for a solution or throwing up my hands in surrender. Sometimes, I felt like the bad dog slinking away with my tail between my legs because of my failures. Yet when I emerged from my trial, my faith would be stronger and I could move onto the next challenge.

Today on Blessed Rudolf’s feast day, let us pray for his intercession for all our failures, that we are brought closer to God because of them.

"Success In Failure: A Lesson From Blessed Rudolf Acquaviva" by Pam Spano (

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When have you had “success in failure?” How did it affect your faith? What did you learn from the experience?

Copyright 2017 Pam Spano


About Author

Pam Spano converted to the Catholic faith as an adult over 30 years ago. Her conversion story started when she sarcastically said to her Catholic boyfriend at the time, "I suppose if we were to get married, you would want me to convert." He thought for a moment and said, "Well, I am worried about your soul." And so the journey began ...

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