Society of Jesus Celebrates the Feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ

June 21, 2016 — Today is the feast day of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, an Italian Jesuit known for his courage in serving the sick and his dedication to the education of young students.

Born into a noble family in Castiglione, Italy, St. Aloysius’ father, the Marquis of Castiglione, groomed him for a military career. At the age of eight, he went to serve in the court of the Grand Duke Francesco I de ’Medici and was then sent to Florence for his formal education.

Shortly thereafter, St. Aloysius began suffering from kidney disease, which he saw as a blessing as it allowed him time to reflect and pray. It was during this time that he first felt called to the priesthood. He received his First Communion from St. Charles Borromeo in July 1580.

In the wake of his illness, St. Aloysius spent his time teaching catechism to poor young men, instead of continuing his military training. Against his father’s wishes, St. Aloysius announced his intent to join the Society of Jesus. At 18 years old, he renounced his title and lands.

In 1585, St. Aloysius entered the Jesuits and studied under St. Robert Bellarmine, SJ, who acted as his spiritual adviser. He professed First Vows in 1587 and studied at the Roman College.

In 1591, a plague swept over Rome. St. Aloysius volunteered to serve at the Jesuit-established hospital, where he and his fellow Jesuits worked directly with the infected. St. Aloysius begged for alms for the victims and also worked one-on-one to feed and clean those affected by the epidemic. He contracted the plague and his health declined quickly.

St. Aloysius Gonzaga died in Rome on June 21, 1591, at the age of 23. He was canonized in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII. St. Aloysius is the patron saint of youth, students and AIDS patients and caregivers.

Many academic institutions have been named in his honor, including Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC.

[Source: Ignatian Spirituality, American Catholic, Catholic Online]





Recent News

Father Demetrius MICHAILIDÈS died at the Richelieu infirmary on the evening of June 25. He had joined the Jesuit community at the Richelieu residence in July 2016. He taught dogmatic theology at the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut, as well as in Belgium and New York.

June 26, 2020 — In Canada, COVID-19 has had an impact on all aspects of our lives since March and we have already shared the changes it has brought to our work. However, as Frantz Georges S.J. reminds us, “the spiritual experience is fundamental in the lives of all Christians.”

June 22, 2020 – The Holy Cross Church in Wiikwemkoong, Ontario, founded and still run by Jesuits, was vandalized between Saturday, June 13 and the early hours of Sunday, June 14.

June 19, 2020 — The Support Group for Rural Development (GADRU) is a nonprofit organization founded by Fr. Jean-Marie Louis, SJ, not only to oversee and promote the rights of those living in rural communities but also to participate in the construction of an inclusive, fair, and democratic society.

June 17, 2020 — Marc-André Veselovsky is not only a Jesuit, but also a vegetarian, semi-professional singer, a lover of board games (some might say the more complicated ones…) and a good listener.

June 15, 2020 — Fr. Grégoire Le Bel, SJ, set up a coworking space in collaboration with a group of young people, first taking one office, then another, and finally an entire space designed according to the needs of these entrepreneurs.

June 15, 2020 — While Jesuits and colleagues are often called to integrate into environments different from their own, Fr Bourke's openness to other cultures can be a model to follow.

view all news

Search news

Publications

CJI Mission News

CJI Mission News (Winter 2020)

Canadian Jesuits



Centre de spiritualité Manrèse

Prenant appui sur l’importance qu’Ignace accordait à son expérience personnelle de ...