St Aloysius Gonzaga
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.
St Aloysius is an excellent model for all Catholic youth who in today’s society face their own challenges. For these reasons he was chosen as the patron of St Aloysius College and is honoured on 21 June.