Saint Aloysius of Gonzaga

Saint Aloysius of Gonzaga

Patron of Catholic Youth
Feast Day: June 21

Aloysius’ story took place long ago. Aloysius was born in the 16th century. His family wanted him to serve as a soldier in the military. At first, all was well with the plan, and Aloysius enjoyed being with the soldiers and using their artillery. By age 7, Aloysius was completely devoted to living a spiritual life. His father tried to keep him interested in fighting and serving his country, but Aloysius took vows of chastity and labored only in prayerful meditation, with the plan of becoming a Jesuit. This angered his father and many attempts were made to change Aloysius’ mind, all to no avail.

He entered the Jesuit Order and studied to become an ordained priest. A plague struck Rome while he was studying there, and Aloysius made time to care for the sick. Soon afterward, while still a very young man, Aloysius contracted the plague he was trying to eradicate. He died in 1591, when he was barely 23 years old. His friend Robert Bellarmine, and many others, believed Aloysius Gonzaga had lived such a pure life he had never committed a mortal sin. This was quite remarkable, and the papacy, when it finally canonized Saint Aloysius, declared him the patron of Catholic youth. Today his name is revered at many institutions of higher learning, and he has led many to live exemplary lives in the Jesuit tradition. © 2001

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“The Saints are the Sinners who keep on trying”
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