Today is the Feast Day of St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
Here’s what you need to know…
Aloysius de Gonzaga was born on March 9th, 1568 as the eldest of seven children into a powerful Italian family.
Aloysius felt a strong pull to the religious life from a VERY early age, and by age 11 he was teaching catechism to poor children, fasting three days a week, and practicing mortifications.
He received First Communion from St. Charles Borromeo and had St. Robert Bellarmine for a spiritual advisor.
To safeguard himself from the temptation of the opposite sex he usually walked past women with his head down as to not look at them.
Against his father’s wishes, at 18, Aloysius gave up all rights of a sizeable inheritance to become a Jesuit priest.
He died on June 21st, 1591 at the age of 23 as a result of caring for Plague victims.
He was beatified only fourteen years after his death by Pope Paul V in 1605. He was canonized together with another Jesuit novice Stanislaus Kotzka, by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga is the Patron Saint of young students and Christian youth.
He is often depicted in art wearing a black cassock with a lily, a cross, and/or a rosary.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga, ora pro nobis.
Happy Feast Day, everybody!