Collection: St. Aloysius Gonzaga

ARTIST: Dan Paulos


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

His feast day is June 21.

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Aloysius was an Italian noble who grew up in a castle, the son of a compulsive gambler. He was the cousin of St. Rudolph Acquaviva. Aloysius was trained from age four as a soldier and courtier. He suffered from kidney disease which he considered a blessing as it left him bed-ridden with time for prayer. While still a boy, he taught catechism to poor boys. He received First Communion from St. Charles Borromeo. At age 18 he signed away his legal claim to his family's lands and title to his brother, and became a Jesuit novice. Aloysius was a spiritual student of St. Robert Bellarmine. He tended plague victims in Rome in the outbreak of 1591.

Born: March 9. 1568 at the castle of Castiglione delle Stivieri in Montau, Lombardy, Italy

Died:June 20-21, 1591 at Rome of plague, fever, and desire to see God; relics entombed under the altar of St. Ignatius Church, Rome

Beatified:1621 (cult approved)

Canonized:1726 by Pope Benedict XIII


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

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 thy 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 St. 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.

"Excerpts from a letter to his mother by Saint Aloysius Gonzaga