Wednesday, June 21, 2017

SAINT OF THE DAY - ST. ALOYSIUS GONZAGA

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SAINT OF THE DAY - ST. ALOYSIUS GONZAGA

St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568–1591) was born to a noble Italian family, the eldest of seven children, and was destined for the military. However, by the time he was 9 years of age he chose the religious life and made a personal vow of chastity. As a safeguard against sexual temptation he always kept his eyes downcast in the presence of women. Although many tried to dissuade him from his chosen vocation, he was eventually allowed to renounce his inheritance and enter the seminary in order to become a Jesuit priest. While he was studying in Rome, there was an outbreak of the plague. Aloysius volunteered to care for the sick, despite the delicateness of his own health. As a result, he contracted the disease and died at the age of 23, before completing his priestly studies. St. Aloysius was connected with two great figures of the Counter-Reformation: he received his First Holy Communion at the age of 12 from St. Charles Borromeo, and his Last Rites from St. Robert Bellarmine, both of whom served as his spiritual advisers. On the night of his death, St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi had a vision of him being received into great glory. St. Aloysius Gonzaga is the patron saint of youth and bodily purity. His feast day is June 21st.

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