Thursday, June 21, 2012

He Burned Brightly For Christ

From Scott P. Richert's blog on the Jesuit, St. Aloysius Gonzaga.

A Model for Young Men
June 21 is the Feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga. We tend to think of most male saints as priests or bishops, but Saint Aloysius never made it beyond the diaconate.
The son of a mercenary soldier who intended to follow in his father's footsteps, Saint Aloysius found his life turned upside down by a kidney disease while engaged in military training. Having recovered, he returned to his father's castle, where he met the great saint and cardinal Charles Borromeo. Even though Saint Aloysius was 12 years old, he had not received his First Communion, so the cardinal administered it to him.
Despite his father's initial objections, Saint Aloysius entered the Jesuit novitiate at Rome, where, at the age of 23, he succumbed to the plague, after working tirelessly with plague victims. In his short life, he burned brightly for Christ, which is why Pope Benedict XIII named the patron saint of youth at his canonization on December 31, 1726.
Related Resources:
Profile of St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Prayer Commending Oneself to Mary by St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Prayer to Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Patron of Youth
A Prayer To Be Said by Young Men to Saint Aloysius Gonzaga


Maria said...

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

O God, among the gifts of heaven bestowed upon the angelic youth, Aloysius, You united a wondrous innocence to his exceptional spirit of penance. Although we have not followed his path of innocence, may we at least imitate his penance through his own merits and prayers. Amen

From Fr.Hardon's Prayerbook, "For Jesuits", Chapter 10, Blessed in the Lord

Maria said...

Now some insights into Aloysius' spirituality.

To the one virtue which the Church has chosen, and on account of which has chosen him 'the universal patron of youth', was his chastity. All the evidence we have indicates that he had very strong sexual passions. We know that from his own writing; we know that from people who knew him and we know that from what is called penance from one view-point, what is really, you might say 'preventive austerity' from another. He simply believed that unless he mortified his body, and I didn't tell you one tenth of what he did, he just would not get that passion under control. The lesson for us, in a sex-mad world, is obvious. You do not control that passion without mortification, you just don't. As a result, the Church has held him up as a model of what even the most passionate personality can achieve, always with God's grace, but not as we've said, more than once. We may not be able to, given our temperament of the circumstances in which we are living, we may not be able to cope with temptation--we need grace, very well, how do you get the grace? --through prayer and mortification. And Christ's words, remember? about a certain demon, not being able to be driven out except, remember? through penance. Well, it's a non-title to give the devil, but, he is the demon of lust; though being without a body himself, he knows, he knows, how by stirring this passion, he can lead people into any kind of sin. That's the first and towering lesson of the life of St. Aloysius.

That chastity is not easily preserved in any age and in our day, is humanly impossible without grace merited through prayer and penance. A good reason, a very good reason, for becoming a religious these days, I mean, of course, a good religious, a real religious, is to preserve oneself from the lust that we breath in a country like ours like the atmosphere.

Sevant of God John Hardon SJ

Maria said...

“There is no surer way”, says St. Aloysius Gonzaga, “to know that one is a saint than to see him
lead a holy life and yet suffer desolation, trials, and