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ST ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, CONFESSOR

ST ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, CONFESSOR

ST ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: JUNE 21

Aloysius, the son of Ferdinand Gonzaga, Marquis of Castiglione della Stivere, was baptised so quickly, since he was in danger of death, that he seemed to be born to heaven almost before he was born on earth.

HE MADE A VOW OF PERPETUAL VIRGINITY 

He kept this first state of grace so faithfully that it was believed that he was confirmed in it. At Florence, when he was nine years old, he made a vow of perpetual virginity before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, upon whom he always looked as a parent.

AN ANGEL IN THE FLESH

By a special grace of God, he kept this vow untried by any conflict either of mind or body, so he might be truly called a man without flesh or an angel in the flesh. Having transferred to his brother the right to his ancestral rank, he joined the Society of Jesus at Rome.

HE JOINED THE SOCIETY OF JESUS

Even in the novitiate he began to be considered a master of all virtues. His love for God was so ardent that it gradually weakened his body. Including his neighbours also in his marvellous love, while he was eagerly serving them in the public hospitals, he caught a contagious disease. So, slowly consumed by it, on the eleventh day before the Calends of July [1591], having already begun his twenty-fourth year of age, he departed to heaven. Benedict XIII entered him among the saints and commended him as a model of innocence and chastity, and at the same time as the special patron of students.

PRAYER:

O God, bestower of heavenly gifts, who in the angelic youth Aloysius joined wondrous innocence of life to an equally wondrous love of penance; grant, by his merits and prayers, that we who have not followed him in his innocence may imitate him in his penance. Through our Lord…

– From: And Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 [bold headings added]

 

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PRAYERS TO ST ALOYSIUS GONZAGA

Let us pray. O God, dispenser of heavenly gifts, you united in the angelic youth Aloysius, a wonderful innocence with a no less wonderful spirit of penance; grant us by virtue of his merits and prayers the grace to imitate his penance whose innocence we have not practised. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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.

Dear Christian youth, St Aloysius, you were a faithful follower of Christ in the Society of Jesus. You steadily strove for perfection while generously serving the plague-stricken. Help our youth today who are faced with a plague of false cults and false gods. Show them how to harness their energies and to use them for their own and others’ fulfilment – which will redound to the greater glory of God. Amen.

 

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