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Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Born: March 9, 1568

Died: June 21, 1591

Canonized: 1726, by Pope Benedict XIII

Feast Day: June 21

Patron Saint of: Catholic youth, youth

Aloysius Gonzaga was born in Castiglione Castle in March of 1568. At the age of 12 he came under the spiritual guidance of St. Charles Borromeo, from whom Aloysius received his First Communion. In 1581 he went with his father to Spain, and he and his brother were made pages of James, the son of Philip II. It was there that he decided to become a Jesuit. He returned to Italy in 1584 after the death of the Infanta, and after much difficulty in securing his father's consent, renounced his heritage in favour of his brother. He presented himself to Father Claudius Acquaviva, General of the Society, on 25 November 1585. Before the end of his novitiate, he passed a brilliant public act in philosophy, having made his philosophical and also his mathematical studies before his entrance. He had in fact distinguished himself, when in Spain, by a public examination not only in philosophy, but also in theology, at the University of Alcalá. He made his vows 25 November 1587. Immediately after, he began his theological studies. In 1591 when in his fourth year of theology a famine and pestilence broke out in Italy. Though in delicate health, he devoted himself to the care of the sick, but on March 3 he fell ill to the plague and died on 21 June, 1591. He was beatified by Gregory XV in 1621 and canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. His remains are in the church of St. Ignazio in Rome in a magnificent urn of lapis lazuli wreathed with festoons of silver.

[ Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia ]