Thought for the Day – 21 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
St Aloysius Gonzaga
“St Aloysius Gonzaga is one of the outstanding models of holy purity, for young and old alike.
We are told, that when he was nine years of age and went to the City of Florence, he went to the Church of the Annunziata, to pray before the picture of our Blessed Lady.
It was then, that he experienced the ardent desire to consecrate himself to God.
He was the eldest son of Prince Ferdinand de Gonzaga and, therefore, heir to his father’s title.
But, from this moment, he was determined to spend his life in the service of God.
He made a vow of perpetual chastity and placed himself under the protection of the Blessed Virgin.
Now, his life became a continual ascent towards perfection.
Hs chastity, which he had offered to Our Lady, remained spotless until his death.
The spirit of evil could make no headway against his angelic virtue.
This was a grace which he merited as a result of his prayers and penances.
He often spent three or four hours, kneeling in prayer and contemplation.
Even at night, he rose from his bed, in order to pray.
His mind and heart where in Heaven, rather than upon earth.
His prayer was an intimate conversation with Jesus, Mary and the Saints.
Innocent though he was, he practised servere mortifications.
Believing himself to be a great sinner, he scourged his body until his blood flowed freely and deprived himself of food and sleep.
Do we wish to preserve our purity and to become saints?
If so, let us remember that without prayer and mortification, this is impossible.
Jesus said to His disciples “that they must always pray and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1) “Pray” He said again, “that you may not enter into temptation” (Lk 22:40) and further, “Unless you repent, you will all perish” (Lk 13:5).”