Godínez, Miguel [formerly Michael Wadding]
(1591-1644), Jesuit missionary to New Spain,
was born in
1591 in Waterford, the son of Thomas Wadding and his wife, Marie
an early age, Michael Wadding was sent to
he studied at the Irish College in Salamanca and adopted the
name of Miguel Godínez. On 15 April 1609 he entered the
Villagarcía novitiate of the Society of Jesus. Fr. Godínez
obtained permission from his superiors to go to the Jesuit
missions in Mexico, where he professed on 26 August 1626. He was
first assigned to the mission of Sinaloa, and in the late 1620s
he was working among the Tepehuan indigenous people of Sonora.
He also worked with the Comicaris and, having expended much
effort, converted the Basiroas. Miguel Godínez taught in various
colleges in Mexico, including San Ildefonso and the Jesuit
Collegium Maximum. In 1642 he became involved in the Mexican
Inquisition as counsellor and advisor.
was the confessor of several religious women in
los Angeles and Mexico, including the mystic nuns Isabel de la
Encarnación of the Carmelite convent, and María de Jesús
Tormellín of the Inmaculada Concepción convent. Godínez charged
their secretaries, Sor Francisca and Sor Agustina de Santa
Teresa respectively, to write the biographies of both mystic
women, and significantly influenced their writings. Politically,
Fr. Godínez was part of the faction supporting Juan de Palafox y
Mendoza, Bishop of Puebla de los Angeles and then Archbishop of
Mexico and interim Viceroy of New Spain.
Godínez was the author of a popular theological treatise,
Práctica de la theología mystica (1681), which was published
posthumously owing to the reservations of the local inquisitors.
A biography of María de Jesús Tormellín
entitled Vida de la Madre María de Jesús, written by her
secretary Sor Francisca, is sometimes attributed to Fr. Godínez.
Godínez died on 12 (or 18) December 1644 in
Asunción and Rosalva Loreto (eds.), La escritura femenina en
la espiritualidad barroca novohispana. Siglos XVII y XVIII (Puebla:
Universidad de las Américas – Archivo General de la Nación,
Ernest M. 'Michael Wadding' in The Catholic Encyclopedia,
Vol. XV (New York: Robert Appleton Co., 1912).
Francisco and J. Gutiérrez Casillas, Diccionario
biobibliográfico de la Compañía de Jesús en México, 16 vols.
(México: Buena Prensa, 1961-1975), Vol. 7, pp. 199-206.