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Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Updated on July 20, 2009

About Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga lived in a town in Italy called Castiglione delle Stiviere. Saint Aloysius' family was an extremely prosperous and prominent in Italy while he was growing up.

Aloysius' father, and the rest of his family as well, brought him up on the thought that he would become a soldier for Italy one day and protect them all from the constant wars that were tearing apart the country. Being young and indecisive, St. Aloysius agreed that that was what he should do with his life, and began his training as soon as he possibly could. When Aloysius turned eight years old, he was sent to attend a military school in Florence. Aloysius first realized upon his arrival at the school that he did not really want to be a solider and that he was not enjoying himself at all.

However Aloysius had a lot of ungoing problems with his kidneys. This stopped him from participating in his training as much as he should have been. So in his spare time, locked in the infirmary at school he spent his hours praying and learning about the Catholic religion. It interested Aloysius very much and he became very into the religion in a short period of time.

Aloysius vowed to remain celibate because he wanted to devote his life to God. He decided all this at the mere age of nine. Aloysius would be given his First Holy Communion by Cardinal Charles Borromeo in the year 1580. Aloysius then researched which religious community he should join into. He came to the two choices of the Jesuits or the Capuchins, and ended up deciding to become a Jesuit.

Back at home, Aloysius' choice was not going over well with his family at all. His father and mother were infuriated that he would waste their time and money, after sending him away to such a prestigious military school. Aloysius had his mind made up though and even his parents' displeasure could not change it.

Aloysius would have inherited all his father's fortune and property upon his death, which was an abundance due to his father's prosperity. He had to sign away all his rights as the first born son of the family though, to be able to become a Jesuit. He left all the possesions and money he would have obtained to his younger brother.

Aloysius was finally ready to become a Jesuit, and on November 25, 1585 he did just that. Shortly after joining, Aloysius began to have more problems with his health, other then just his kidney troubles. Aloysius tried to tough through the illnesses he suffered from, which were a skin disease and awful headaches, but he just could not do it and had to be sent to Rome to a hospital. Aloysius had a vision while in that hospital from the Archangel Gabriel. The angel told him not to fear death, but that it would be coming soon within the next year.

Aloysius still tried to help others as much as he possibly could even while his health was declining quickly and he knew he would die soon. He became afflicted with the plague after giving his services to a hospital who took in many with the illness. Aloysius died shortly after, due to the plague and all his other sicknesses that he was infected with.

On Octorber 19, 1605 Aloysius was canonized a saint by Pope Paul V. His canonization came so suddenly after his death, a mere fourteen years, that it really just goes to show how much of a great person Aloysius was. Anybody who suffers from illnesses, especially AIDS, should pray to Saint Aloysius because he is their patron saint.

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