St Aloysius Gonzaga was born Luigi Gonzaga on March 9, 1568 in northern Italy. His father, the Duke of Castiglione, planned for his son to follow a military career but also provided him with a classical education in Florence. It was here that he fell ill with kidney disease and during his convalescent period, he used his time to read about the saints and to pray.
By the time he was seventeen he renounced his inheritance and joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order), volunteering to look after the sick and dying in Rome. When a plague broke out in Rome in 1591, he worked amongst the sick in the city until he contracted the disease himself. He died on 21 June, 1591.
In his short life he showed devotion, courage and compassion and was named the patron saint of youth by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729.
Since the early days of foundation, St Aloysius College was called St Angela’s Select Intermediate School . As a tribute to St Aloysius, Patron Saint of Students, the school became St Aloysius College on the bi-centenary of his death in 1891. As an excellent model for all Catholic youth who in today’s society face their own challenges, he was chosen as the patron of St Aloysius College and is honoured on 21 June.
Mushfiq, M 2019, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Illustration, Wikimedia Commons, viewed 13 June 2020, <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Litany13.jpg>, Creative Commons license: <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en>.
2018, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Learn Religions, viewed 13 June 2020, <https://www.learnreligions.com/st-aloysius-gonzaga-542860>.
St Aloysius College diary 2020, St Aloysius College, Adelaide, p.7.