Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga


Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (also known as Aluigi Gonzaga; Luigi Gonzaga) was born in 1568 A.D. at the castle of Castiglione, Italy. His family was of nobility, and Aloysius' father was a compulsive gambler. He was the cousin of Saint Rudolph Acquaviva.

Aloysius had been trained to be a soldier and courtier from the age of four. He suffered from kidney disease, which he considered a blessing as it left him bed-ridden with time for prayer. While still a boy himself, he taught catechism to poor boys. He received his first Communion from Saint Charles Borromeo.

He was educated at the courts of the Medici of Florence and of Philip II of Spain. Upon his return to Italy at the age of 18, he renounced his inheritance in favor of his brother, and entered the Society of Jesus. He made his vows in 1587.

He was the spiritual student of Saint Robert Bellarmine. When the plague and famine struck Italy in 1591, Aloysius devoted himself to the care of the sick, and became ill himself.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga died in 1591 at Rome of plague, fever, and his desire to see God. His relics are entombed under the altar of Saint Ignatius Church, Rome. Devotion to him is widespread, and the practice of receiving communion on six successive Sundays is observed in his honor.

Patronage

AIDS care-givers; AIDS patients; Catholic youth; Jesuit students; relief from pestilence; sore eyes; teenage children; teenagers; young people

Quotes from Saint Aloysius Gonzaga:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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



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