Aloysius Gonzaga was born in 1568. He was to eldest son of the Marquis of Castiglione. The Castiglione family were patrons of Renaissance artists and ruled a large track of land. Aloysius was due to inherit all of the family riches. He contracted malaria as a young child and suffered frequent bouts of fever. He was already interested in prayer and then when he was nine, he was sent to the Medici family court where he was disgusted with the behaviour he saw there, that he stated he did not want to offend God by sinning. At the age of eleven he came across a book which presented the lives of the saints and a Jesuit prayer book. He prayed and fasted and in 1583 he decided that he wanted to become a Jesuit priest. His father was angry and tried to dissuade his son, but Aloysius’ zeal was stronger. Aloysius became a priest, studied theology and settled in Rome in 1590. Rome was experiencing a bout of plague, Aloysius begged for alms for the sick, carried them to hospital, cared for them and prepared them for the sacraments. As many priests were dying, he was moved to a different hospital to preserve him, but nevertheless he contracted the plague and died holding the cross on 21 June 2021. He was 23 years old.
Prayer St Aloysius Gonzaga
As we reflect on Aloysius Gonzaga’s life
help us to selflessly serve those who need our help.
We pray that by example we can
encourage others to do the same.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord
St Aloysuis Gonzaga. Pray for us.