St Aloysius (1568 – 1591) was born the eldest of seven children into the illustrious Italian House of Gonzaga. He was destined to become the next Marquis and, in preparation, given early military experience from the age of 5. At 8, he was sent to Florence to further his education and gain royal experience. However, he became ill and spent much of the time in prayer and reading religious books.
When he returned to his family’s castle in Castiglione, he started planning a life as a missionary. His father prevented him from joining a religious order but in 1585, St Aloysius gave up all rights to his family’s inheritance, as the eldest son, and joined the Society of Jesus in Rome as a novitiate.
In 1591 when the plague broke out, St Aloysius volunteered to work in a Jesuit hospital, specially opened to care for plague victims. He became infected but unexpectedly recovered although his health remained poor.
St Aloysius received many visions during his short life and was told the day of his death. He died on the feast of Corpus Christi; he was only 23 years old. Numerous miracles were and continue to be attributed to his intercession. He is the Patron Saint of young students, plague, and AIDS sufferers. His Feast Day is the 21st June.
St Aloysius Gonzaga:
Pray for us that we will devote time to reading Jesus’ Gospel News and continuously strive to do as He asks.
Glory be to the…