June Feast Days, Quotes of the Saints

St.Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius Gonzaga left his powerful family to become a Jesuit priest and died as a young man caring for plague victims.

Aloysius Gonzaga was the firstborn in a powerful Italian noble family, one that was deeply involved in the ongoing business of dealing and double-dealing, treachery and betrayal that marked the political life of the time.

Aloysius was thrust into adult responsibilities at the age of four when he began his training as a soldier and courtier. At the age of eight he served in the court of Grand Duke Francesco I de’Medici.

Aloysius Gonzaga began to suffer from kidney disease, and in the process of recovery spent time in spiritual reading and prayer. At the age of nine Gonzaga made a private vow of chastity.

The political intrigue and corruption surrounding Aloysius would take the lives of two of his brothers, but he had strong spiritual allies. Aloysius Gonzaga received his first Holy Communion from St. Charles Borromeo. Aloysius also began to teach catechism to young boys. Much to the displeasure and anger of his father, Aloysius announced his intention to become a Jesuit. His family tried to convince him to be a secular priest so that they could “buy” him a bishopric. Aloysius was adamant, and at the age of 18 he signed away his legal claim to his family lands and title.

In 1585 Aloysius was accepted as a Jesuit novice. In Rome his spiritual director was St. Robert Bellarmine, who counseled Gonzaga to spend less time in private devotions and more time befriending and counseling his companions. Never in good health, Aloysius successfully continued his studies. When the plague hit Rome in 1591 he actively cared for the sick. Aloysius developed the symptoms of the plague and died soon after on June 21, 1591.

Aloysius Gonzaga was canonized in 1726 and named Patron of All Students in 1729

Quotes of St.Aloysius Gonzaga

There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials.

– Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

He who wishes to love God does not truly love Him if he has not an ardent and constant desire to suffer for His sake.

– Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

O Holy Mary! My Mother; into thy blessed trust and special custody, and into the bosom of thy mercy, I this day, and every day, and in the hour of my death, commend my soul and body. To thee I commit all my anxieties and sorrows, my life and the end of my life, that by they most holy intercession, and by thy merits, all my actions may be directed and governed by thy will and that of thy Son.

– Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

May the comfort and grace of the Holy Spirit be yours for ever, most honored lady. Your letter found me lingering still in this region of the dead, but now I must rouse myself to make my way on to heaven at last, and to praise God for ever in the land of the living; indeed I had hoped that before this time my journey there would have been over. If charity, as Saint Paul says, means “to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who are glad,” then, dearest mother, you shall rejoice exceedingly that God in his grace and his love for you is showing me the path to true happiness, and assuring me that I shall never lose him. Take care above all things, most honored lady, not to insult God’s boundless loving kindness; you would certainly do this if you mourned as dead one living face to face with God, one whose prayers can bring you in your troubles more powerful aid than they ever could on earth. And our parting will not be for long; we shall see each other again in heaven; we shall be united with our Savior; there we shall praise him with heart and soul, sing of his mercies for ever, and enjoy eternal happiness.

– from a letter to his mother by Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

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