Tag Archives: St Aloysius Gonzaga

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

GonzagaThis poignant waiting titled, “The Vocation of St. Aloysius Gonzaga,” by Guercino, hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC). The Gonzaga family castle looms in the background and the crown of the marquisate on the ground behind him, which he has relinquished. The lily is a sign of his chastity.

Aloysius’ father was not persuaded that his son had a vocation to be part of the new group called the Society of Jesus, much less a priest. Therefore, he sent his son to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus with a letter stating, “I merely say to Your Reverence that I am sending you the most precious thing I possess.” The young Aloysius distinguished himself as a model Jesuit. As the plague came to Rome in 1591, Aloysius  threw himself into caring for plague victims. But he was told by his superiors not to touch them, lest he contract the disease. One day, he carried a man from his bed, was infected with the plague and then died, at age 23 in the octave of Corpus Christi.

The opening Collect of his Mass today speaks of asking for the same grace Aloysius had: to join innocence with penitence. As J. Michael Thompson writes in a hymn for our saint, we trust as Aloysius did, in the “Trinity of endless mercy.”

The Church named Saint Aloysius a patron of youth, and of those living with HIV/AIDS.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

AGonzaga with an angel.jpg

Let us pray with the Church.

O God, giver of heavenly gifts, who in Saint Aloysius Gonzaga joined penitence to a wonderful innocence of life, grant through his merits and intercession, that, though we have failed to follow him in innocence, we may imitate him in penitence.

From the Office of Readings:

The divine goodness, most honored lady [Gonzaga’s Mother], is a fathomless and shoreless ocean, and I confess that when I plunge my mind into thought of this it is carried away by the immensity and feels quite lost and bewildered there. In return for my short and feeble labors, God is calling me to eternal rest; his voice from heaven invites me to the infinite bliss I have sought so languidly, and promises me this reward for the tears I have so seldom shed.

His biographers note: Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (March 9, 1568 – June 21, 1591) an Italian aristocrat, who entered the Society of Jesus. As a student at the Roman College, Gonzaga died as a result of caring for the victims of an epidemic. He was beatified in 1605, and canonized in 1726. Gonzaga is the patron saint for those living with chronic illnesses, particularly those living with HIV-AIDS.

Saint Aloysius Gongaga

Luigi Gonzaga 2009.jpgO blessed Aloysius, adorned with angelic virtues, I
thy most unworthy suppliant recommend specially to thee the chastity of my soul and body, praying thee by thy angelic purity to plead for me with Jesus Christ the Immaculate Lamb, and His most Holy Mother, Virgin of virgins, that
they would vouchsafe to keep me from all grievous sin. Never suffer me to be defiled with any stain of impurity; but when thou dost see me in temptation, or in danger of falling, then remove far from my mind all evil thoughts and unclean desires, and awaken in me the memory of eternity to come, and of Jesus crucified; impress deeply in my heart a sense of the holy fear of God; and kindling in me the fire of Divine love, enable me so to follow thy footsteps here on earth, that in heaven I may be made worthy to enjoy with thee the
vision of our God for ever.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

AGonzaga.jpg

 Always keep your focus on Jesus!

O blessed Aloysius, adorned with angelic graces, I, your most unworthy suppliant, recommend specially to you the chastity of my soul and body, praying you by your angelic purity to plead for me with Jesus Christ, the Immaculate Lamb, and his most holy Mother, Virgin of virgins, that they would keep me from all grievous sin.

O never let me be defiled with any stain of impurity; but when you see me in temptation, or in danger of falling, then remove far from my heart all bad thoughts and unclean desires, and awaken in me the memory of eternity to come and of Jesus crucified; impress deeply in my heart a sense of the holy fear of God; and thus, kindling in me the fire of divine love, enable me so to follow your footsteps here on earth that, in heaven with you, I may be made worthy to enjoy the vision of our God forever. Amen.

A brief biography on Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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