Monday, June 21, 2010

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Today is the feast day of St. Aloysius, the Jesuit saint who died at the age of only 23 after coming to the aid of those suffering from the plague in Rome 1591. The Jesuits placed him in a hospital ward were they thought there weren't plague victims yet it turned out the entire ward was infected. Aloysius contracted it and eventually succumbed to it. His confessor was none other than a great saint St. Robert Bellarmine, who gave him last rites. St Aloysius is buried in the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Rome. I had the privilege and honor of visiting his tomb in the spring of 2008. He was beatified October 19, 1605, Rome, Papal States by Poe Paul V and December 31, 1726, Rome, Papal States by Pope Benedict XIII

St. Aloysius is considered the patron saint of youth. His pure heart and dedication to serving those in need is an example for all, especially the young, for he had possessed this love for Christ at an early age and lived a short pious-filled life.

Prayer to Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Patron of Youth

Dear Christian youth, you were a faithful follower of Christ in the Society of Jesus. You steadily strove for perfection while generously serving the plague-stricken. Help our youth today who are faced with a plague of false cults and false gods. Show them how to harness their energies and to use them for their own and others' fulfillment—which will redound to the greater glory of God. Amen.

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