Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 June – ‘Proclaim on the housetops.’

One Minute Reflection – 21 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Jeremiah 20:10-13, Psalm 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35, Romans 5:12-15, Matthew 10:26-33 and the Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

“What you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” … Matthew 10:27matthew 10 27 - what you hear whispered proclaim on the housetops 21 june 2020

REFLECTION – “It is not I who undertook this work but, it is Christ the Lord who commanded me to come to be with these Irish pagans for the rest of my life, if the Lord shall will it and shield me from every evil … But I do not trust myself “as long as I am in this mortal body” (2 Pt 1:13; Rm 7:24) … I did not lead a perfect life like other believers but I confess to my Lord and do not blush in His sight because I am not lying, from the time when I came to know Him in my youth, the love of God and fear of Him increased in me and right up until now, by God’s favour, “I have kept the faith” (2 Tm 4:7).

What is more, let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes.   I am not keeping silent, nor am I hiding “the signs and wonders” (Dn 6:27) that were shown to me by the Lord many years before they happened, He who knew everything, even before the beginning of time.   Thus, I should give thanks unceasingly to God, who has frequently forgiven my folly and my negligence, in more than one instance and has never been angry with me, who am placed as His helper, though I did not easily assent to what had been revealed to me, as the Spirit was urging. The Lord “took pity” on me “thousands upon thousands” of times, (Ex 20:6) because He saw within me, that I was prepared to serve Him. … Many were trying to prevent this mission, they were talking among themselves behind my back and saying, “Why is this fellow throwing himself into danger among enemies who do not know God?”   Not from malice did they say this, as I myself can testify, they perceived my rusticity.   And I was not quick to recognise the grace that was then in me, I now know, that I should have done so earlier.

Now I have put it frankly to my brothers and co-workers, who have believed me because of what “I have proclaimed and still proclaim” (2 Co 13:2) to strengthen and reinforce your faith.   I wish only, that you too, would make greater and better efforts.   This will be my pride, for “a wise son makes a proud father.” (Pr 10:1)” … St Patrick (c 385-461) – The Confessions, # 43-47it is not I who undertook this work - st patrick 21 june 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, teach us to fear and love Your Holy Name, for You never withdraw Your guiding hand, from those You establish in Your love.   Guide our ways and direct our hearts, live in us and walk before us.   May the intercession of St Aloysius Gonzaga help us to fully utilise the many gifts our Almighty God has bestowed on us as we journey home.   We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-aloysius-gonzaga-pray-for-us-21-june-2018-pg and 21 june 2020

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Feast of Our Lady of Miracles and Memorials of the Saints – 21 June

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A +2020

Feast of Our Lady of Miracles – 21 June – the patron of the town of Alcamo, Sicily.
About this Title of Our Lady:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/21/feast-of-our-lady-of-miracles-21-june/header-maria_ss_dei_miracoli_-_alcamo_processione_2010_198

St Aloysius Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591) (Memorial)
About St Aloysius:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/21/saint-of-the-day-21-june-st-aloysius-de-gonzaga-s-j-1568-1591/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/21/saint-of-the-day-21-june-st-aloysius-de-gonzaga-sj-1568-1591/

St Agofredus of La-Croix
St Alban of Mainz
St Apollinaris of Africa
Bl Colagia
St Corbmac
St Cyriacus of Africa
St Demetria of Rome
St Dominic of Comacchio
St Engelmund
Bl Jacques-Morelle Dupas
St John Rigby
St José Isabel Flores Varela
Bl Juan of Jesus
St Lazarus
St Leutfridus
St Martia of Syracuse
St Martin of Tongres
Bl Melchiorre della Pace
St Mewan of Bretagne
Bl Nicholas Plutzer
St Ralph of Bourges (Died 866)
St Raymond of Barbastro
St Rufinus of Syracuse
St Suibhne the Sage
St Terence
St Ursicenus of Pavia

Martyrs of Taw – 3+ saints: Three Christians of different backgrounds who were martyred together – Moses, Paphnutius, Thomas. They were beheaded in Taw, Egypt, date unknown.

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, ASPIRATIONS and EJACULATIONS, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, NOVENAS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, The HOLY FACE

Lenten Preparation Novena to the Holy Face Sixth Day – 22 February

Lenten Preparation Novena to the Holy Face
Sixth Day – 22 February

the holy face raul berzosa

DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER

O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity,
through the intercession of Holy Mary,
whose soul was pierced through
by a sword of sorrow
at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son,
we ask Your help,
in making a perfect Novena of Reparation with Jesus,
united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.
We now implore all the Angels and Saints
to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena
to the Most Holy Face of Jesus
and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Amen

(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer)

lenten novena to the holy face day six 22 feb 2020

SIXTH DAY

Psalm 51,12-13
A pure heart create for us O God,
put a steadfast spirit within us.
Do not cast us away from your presence
nor deprive us of your Holy Spirit.

May our hearts be cleansed, O Lord,
by the in-pouring of the Holy Spirit
and may He render them fruitful
by watering them with His heavenly dew.
Mary, the most chaste spouse of the Holy Spirit,
intercede for us,
Saint Joseph pray for us.
Through the merits of Your precious blood
and your Holy Face, O Jesus,
grant us our petition………………
Pardon and mercy.

O Victorious Prince, Guardian of the Church of God
By St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

o victorius prince, guardian of the church of god st michael by st aloysius de gonzaga sj 22 feb 2020 lenten novena to the holy face

O Victorious Prince,
most humble guardian of the Church of God
and of faithful souls,
who with such charity and zeal
took part in so many conflicts
and gained such great victories over the enemy,
for the conservation and protection
of the honour and glory, we all owe to God,
as well as for, the promotion of our salvation,
come, we pray thee, to our assistance,
for we are continually besieged
with such great perils by our enemies,
the flesh, the world and the devil
and as thou wast a leader
for the people of God through the desert,
so also be our faithful leader
and companion, through the
desert of this world,
until thou conduct us safely,
into the happy land of the living,
in that blessed fatherland
from which we are all exiles.
Amen

Pray (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Marys, (1) Glory Be.

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine (Three times)

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY, Ven Servant of God John A Hardon

Thought for the Day – 21 June – ‘God comes through.’

Thought for the Day – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

Excerpt from Ven Servant of God John A Hardon’s SJ (1914-2000)

‘Life of St Aloysius’

“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.   We may not be able to, given our temperament of the circumstances in which we are living, 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 about a certain demon not being able to be driven out except 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 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.

As we look at the short life of Aloysius, depending on the person’s view point, it may seem oppressive.   It shouldn’t be but, in modern jargon, it has so much (pardon the expression) of the negative, you know, penance, mortification, sin–and a world that has gone mad, drunk with sin, doesn’t realise, that already this side of eternity, we are to be what Aloysius was literally, we are to be, if it is God’s will, ecstatically happy of that.  We are not to be sad.   We are not, God forbid, to be unhappy.
The secret and what an open secret it is in the life of Aloysius, is to find the happiness in the right place.   That’s all, yes but that’s everything.
In other words, as a closing observation, Aloysius showed that’s why the Church Canonised him, that when Christ gave us the eight Beatitudes, which are eight promises of happiness, He meant it.
The condition for being happy, well, that’s part of the Covenant, that’s what we do but if we do our part, God comes through.

St Robert Bellarmine who knew him well, observed he was sure that Aloysius had never committed a mortal sin.

Saint Aloysius, pray for us.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”st aloysius gonzaga pray for us 21 june 2019.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius Gonzaga

Quote/s of the Day – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

“I am a piece of twisted iron,
I entered the religious life
to get twisted straight.”i am a piece of twisted iron - st aloysius gonzaga 21 june 2019.jpg

“He who wishes to love God
does not truly love Him,
if he has not an ardent
and constant desire
to suffer for His sake.”acts-5-41-he-who-wishes-st-aloysius-gonzaga-21-june-2018.jpg

“Take care above all things,
most honoured lady,
not to insult God’s boundless loving kindness,
you would certainly do this,
if you mourned as dead,
one living face-to-face with God,
one whose prayers,
can bring you in your troubles,
more powerful aid,
than they ever could on earth.”take-care-above-all-things-st-aloysius-gonzaga-21-june-2018

“When He takes away
what He once lent us,
His purpose is to
store our treasure elsewhere,
more safely and bestow on us,
those very blessings,
that we ourselves
would most choose to have.”

(From A Letter to His Mother)

More of this letter here:   https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/21/quote-of-the-day-21-june-the-memorial-of-st-aloysius-de-gonzaga-s-j-1568-1591/

St Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591)when he takes away what he once lent us - st aloysius gonzaga 21 june 2019

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES on FREEDOM, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 June – “…A free heart…”

One Minute Reflection – 21 June – Friday Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel:  Matthew 6:19–23 and the Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”….Matthew 6:19-21matthew-6-19-21-17-june-2017.jpg

 

REFLECTION – “This is really Jesus’ message – have a free heart.   Otherwise, if your treasure is in wealth, in vanity, in power or in pride, your heart will be chained there, your heart will be a slave to wealth, to vanity, to pride.   On this line of reasoning, have a free heart, precisely because Jesus speaks to us about freedom of the heart.   And one can only have a free heart with the treasures of heaven – love, patience, service to others, worshipping God.   These are the true riches that cannot be stolen.   The other types of treasures — money, vanity, power — weigh down the heart, chain it, don’t allow it freedom.”…Pope Francis (Santa Marta, 20 June 2014)one can only have a free heart- pope francis - 21 june 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Father almighty, as we wait and work and pray and fast in joyful hope of our eternal life with You, grant we pray that we may always remain steadfast in Your love. Let your light so penetrate our minds, that walking by Your commandments, we may always follow You, our leader and our guide.   St Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us that we will fully utilise the many gifts our Almighty God has bestowed on us as we journey home.   We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-aloysius-gonzaga-pray-for-us-21-june-2018-pg.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

Saint of the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591) Jesuit Seminarian, Mystic, Marian devotee, Apostle of Charity. Patronages – Catholic youth, Jesuit scholastics, the blind, eye ailments, AIDS patients, care-givers, Jesuit students, for relief from pestilence, young people, Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy, Valmonte, Italy.st aloysius blk wht

The Lord can make saints anywhere, even amid the brutality and license of Renaissance life.   Florence was the “mother of piety” for Aloysius Gonzaga despite his exposure to a “society of fraud, dagger, poison and lust.”   As a son of a princely family, he grew up in royal courts and army camps.   His father wanted Aloysius to be a military hero.

At age 7 Aloysius experienced a profound spiritual quickening.   His prayers included the Office of Mary, the psalms and other devotions.   At age 9 he came from his hometown of Castiglione to Florence to be educated, by age 11 he was teaching catechism to poor children, fasting three days a week and practising great austerities.   When he was 13 years old, he travelled with his parents and the Empress of Austria to Spain and acted as a page in the court of Philip II.   The more Aloysius saw of court life, the more disillusioned he became, seeking relief in learning about the lives of saints.

A book about the experience of Jesuit missionaries in India suggested to him the idea of entering the Society of Jesus and in Spain his decision became final.   Now began a four-year contest with his father.   Eminent churchmen and laypeople were pressed into service to persuade Aloysius to remain in his “normal” vocation.   Finally he prevailed, was allowed to renounce his right to succession and was received into the Jesuit novitiate.

st aloysius gonzaba
This is a detail of a painting by Guercino, titled the Vocation of St Aloysius.   St Aloysius is shown renouncing the crown for the Cross.

Like other seminarians, Aloysius was faced with a new kind of penance—that of accepting different ideas about the exact nature of penance.   He was obliged to eat more and to take recreation with the other students.   He was forbidden to pray except at stated times.   He spent four years in the study of philosophy and had Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Doctor of the Church, as his spiritual adviser.st aloysius gonzaga adoration

In 1591, a plague struck Rome.   The Jesuits opened a hospital of their own  . The superior general himself and many other Jesuits rendered personal service.   Because he nursed patients, washing them and making their beds, Aloysius caught the disease.   A fever persisted after his recovery and he was so weak he could scarcely rise from bed.   Yet, he maintained his great discipline of prayer, knowing that he would die within the octave of Corpus Christi, three months later, at the age of 23.st aloysius gonzaga unsual

As a saint who fasted, scourged himself, sought solitude and prayer and did not look on the faces of women, Aloysius seems an unlikely patron of youth in a society where asceticism is confined to training camps of football teams and boxers and sexual permissiveness has little left to permit.   Can an overweight and air-conditioned society deprive itself of anything?   It will, when it discovers a reason, as Aloysius did.   The motivation for letting God purify us is the experience of God loving us in prayer.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Feast of Our Lady of Miracles and Memorials of the Saints – 21 June

Feast of Our Lady of Miracles – 21 June – the patron of the town of Alcamo, Sicily.
About this Title of Our Lady:   https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/21/feast-of-our-lady-of-miracles-21-june/

St Aloysius Gonzaga S.J. (1568-1591) (Memorial)
About St Aloysius:  https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/21/saint-of-the-day-21-june-st-aloysius-de-gonzaga-s-j-1568-1591/

St Agofredus of La-Croix
St Alban of Mainz
St Apollinaris of Africa
Bl Colagia
St Corbmac
St Cyriacus of Africa
St Demetria of Rome
St Dominic of Comacchio
St Engelmund
Bl Jacques-Morelle Dupas
St John Rigby
St José Isabel Flores Varela
Bl Juan of Jesus
St Lazarus
St Leutfridus
St Martia of Syracuse
St Martin of Tongres
Bl Melchiorre della Pace
St Mewan of Bretagne
Bl Nicholas Plutzer
St Ralph of Bourges
St Raymond of Barbastro
St Rufinus of Syracuse
St Suibhne the Sage
St Terence
St Ursicenus of Pavia

Martyrs of Taw – 3+ saints: Three Christians of different backgrounds who were martyred together – Moses, Paphnutius, Thomas. They were beheaded in Taw, Egypt, date unknown.

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 14 May – O Holy Mary

Our Morning Offering – 14 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C

O Holy Mary
By St Aloysius de Gonzaga (1568-1591)

O Holy Mary, my mistress,
into your blessed trust
and special custody,
and into the grasp of your mercy
I this day, every day,
and in the hour of my death,
commend my soul and my body.
To you, I commit,
all my anxieties and miseries,
my life and the end of my life,
that by your most holy intercession
and by your merits
all my actions may be directed
and disposed
according to your will
and that of your Son.
Ameno holy mary by st aloysius gonsaga 14 may 2019.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga S.J. (1568-1591)

Thought for the Day – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga S.J. (1568-1591)

Aloysius also volunteered to work at the local hospital.   On closer inspection, this was heroic of him since he was very sensitive to disgusting sores and odors.   He strove to conquer his inborn squeamishness and attend to the most repulsive cases.   A fellow novice, Decio Striverio, remembers approaching a particularly loathsome patient, full of bleeding sores.   Aloysius turned completely pale as they approached but as if summoning some hidden strength, his colour returned and he approached the victim as if he were Christ Himself.   “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did it for Me.” (Mt. 25:40)

Aloysius worked first at the overcrowded hospital of St Sixtus.   He traversed the streets of Rome and carried the ill on his back to the hospital;  when there, he undressed and washed the victims, gave them fresh clothing, placed them in a bed and fed them. However, the Jesuit superiors took alarm, as some of the novices started dying.   They assigned Aloysius to the hospital of Santa Maria di Consolazione, reserved for non-contagious patients.

While assisting at this hospital, he lifted an unknowingly infected man out of his bed, tended his needs and returned him to his bed.  Unfortunately, this act of charity cost Aloysius his life.   He received the diagnosis of infection on 3 March 1591, and died on 21 June 1591.   He was 23 years old.   In a letter addressed to his mother shortly before his death, he wrote, “Our parting will not be for long; we shall see each other again in heaven;  we shall be united with our Saviour;  there we shall praise Him with heart and soul, sing of His mercies forever, and enjoy eternal happiness.”aloysius gonzaga tending patients

Aloysius’ patronage extends foremost over the youth.   Thus, artists have made the effort to emphasise his angelic purity, as a role model for chastity.   While undoubtedly commendable, the realisation of this virtue in pictorial form often results in a caricature. There is a fine line between heroic purity and honey-dripping effeminacy, at least in artistic terms.   Interestingly, St Aloysius is also the patron of AIDS patients and caregivers, due to his compassionate care and ultimate infection of an incurable disease. In the final analysis, the sugarcoated holy card depiction of St Aloysius is misleading, as he possessed ferocious will power.   Moreover, one can easily absolve his youthful quirkiness before entering the Jesuits, in light of his large-hearted compassion revealed in the end….(Reference – The Life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Patron of Christian Youth by Maurice Meschler, S.J.)

Aloysius seems an unlikely patron of youth, in a society where asceticism is confined, to training camps of football teams and boxers and sexual permissiveness has little left to permit.   Can an overweight, sin-soaked and air-conditioned society deprive itself of anything?   It will, when it discovers a reason, as Aloysius did.   The motivation for letting God purify us is the experience of God loving us in prayer.  Prayer is our most urgent work!

St Aloysius Gonzaga, help us to pray and please Pray for us all!st-aloysius-gonzaga. - pray for us - 21 june 2018.pg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga S.J. (1568-1591)

Quote of the Day – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga S.J. (1568-1591)

“May the comfort and grace of the Holy Spirit be yours for ever, most honoured lady.

Your letter found me lingering still in this region of the dead but now I must rouse myself to make my way on to heaven at last and to praise God for ever in the land of the living; indeed I had hoped that before this time my journey there would have been over.

If charity, as Saint Paul says, means “to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who are glad,” then, dearest mother, you shall rejoice exceedingly that God in His grace and His love for you, is showing me the path to true happiness and assuring me, that I shall never lose Him.
Take care above all things, most honoured lady, not to insult God’s boundless loving kindness;  you would certainly do this, if you mourned as dead, one living face to face with God, one whose prayers, can bring you in your troubles, more powerful aid, than they ever could on earth.

And our parting will not be for long;  we shall see each other again in heaven;  we shall be united with our Saviour; there we shall praise Him with heart and soul, sing of His mercies forever and enjoy eternal happiness.”

– from a letter to his mother by Saint Aloysius Gonzagatake care above all things - st aloysius gonzaga - 21 june 2018

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN PRAYERS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga S.J. (1568-1591)

One Minute Reflection – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga S.J. (1568-1591)

So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy, to suffer dishonour, for the sake of the name...Acts 5:41

REFLECTION – “He who wishes to love God, does not truly love Him, if he has not an ardent and constant desire, to suffer for His sake.”…St Aloysius de Gonzaga (1568-1591)acts 5-41 - he who wishes - st aloysius gonzaga - 21 june 2018

PRAYER – “O Holy Mary! My Mother;  into your blessed trust and special custody and into the bosom of your mercy, I this day and every day and in the hour of my death, commend my soul and body.   To you, I commit all my anxieties and sorrows, my life and the end of my life, that by your most holy intercession and by your merits, all my actions may be directed and governed by your will and that of your Son.”… by St Aloysius de Gonzaga (1568-1591)o holy mary my mother - daily prayer of st aloysius gonzaga - 21 june 2018

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius de Gonzaga S.J. (1568-1591)

Saint of the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius de Gonzaga S.J. (1568-1591) Jesuit Seminarian, Mystic, Marian devotee, Apostle of Charity – born as Luigi de Gonzaga on 9 March 1568 in the family castle of Castiglione delle Stivieri in Montua, Lombardy, Italy and died on 21 June 1591 at Rome, Italy of plague, fever and desire to see God.   His relics are entombed under the altar of Saint Ignatius Church, Rome.  Patronages – Catholic youth, Jesuit scholastics, the blind, eye ailments, AIDS patients, care-givers, Jesuit students, for relief from pestilence, young people, Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy, Valmonte, Italy.   His attributes are a lily, referring to innocence;  a cross, referring to piety and sacrifice;  a skull, referring to his early death;  and a rosary, referring to his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.st aloysius infoaloysius info 2

Aloysius de Gonzaga was born the eldest of seven children, at his family’s castle in Castiglione delle Stiviere, between Brescia and Mantua in northern Italy in what was then part of the Duchy of Mantua, into the illustrious House of Gonzaga.   “Aloysius” is the Latin form of Aloysius de Gonzaga’s given name in Italian, Luigi.   He was the son of Ferrante de Gonzaga (1544–1586), Marquis of Castiglione, and Marta Tana di Santena, daughter of a baron of the Piedmontese Della Rovere family.   His mother was a lady-in-waiting to Isabel, the wife of Philip II of Spain.beautiful lg - st aloysius

As the first-born son, he was in line to inherit his father’s title and status of Marquis.   His father assumed that Aloysius would become a soldier, as that was the norm for sons of the aristocracy and the family was often involved in the minor wars of the period.   His military training started at an early age but he also received an education in languages and the arts.   As early as age four, Luigi was given a set of miniature guns and accompanied his father on training expeditions so that the boy might learn “the art of arms.”   At age five, Aloysius was sent to a military camp to get started on his training. His father was pleased to see his son marching around camp at the head of a platoon of soldiers.   His mother and his tutor were less pleased with the vocabulary he picked up there.

He grew up amid the violence and brutality of Renaissance Italy and witnessed the murder of two of his brothers.   In 1576, at age 8, he was sent to Florence along with his younger brother, Rodolfo, to serve at the court of the Grand Duke Francesco I de’ Medici and to receive further education.   While there, he fell ill with a disease of the kidneys, which troubled him throughout his life.   While he was ill, he took the opportunity to read about the saints and to spend much of his time in prayer.   He is said to have taken a private vow of chastity at age 9.    In November 1579, the brothers were sent to the Duke of Mantua.   Aloysius was shocked by the violent and frivolous lifestyle he encountered there.

Aloysius returned to Castiglione where he met St Cardinal Charles Borromeo (1538-1584 – feast day 4 November) and from him received First Communion on 22 July 1580.   After reading a book about Jesuit missionaries in India, Aloysius felt strongly that he wanted to become a missionary.   He started practising by teaching catechism classes to young boys in Castiglione in the summers.   He also repeatedly visited the houses of the Capuchin friars and the Barnabites located in Casale Monferrato, the capital of the Gonzaga-ruled Duchy of Montferrat where the family spent the winter.   He also adopted an ascetic lifestyle.

aloysius and charles borromeo
St Aloysius receives his First Holy Communion from St Charles Borromeo

The family was called to Spain in 1581 to assist the Holy Roman Empress Maria of Austria.   They arrived in Madrid in March 1582, where Aloysius and Rodolfo became pages for the young Infante Diego.   Aloysius started thinking in earnest about joining a religious order.   He had considered joining the Capuchins but he had a Jesuit confessor in Madrid and decided instead to join that order.   His mother agreed to his request but his father was furious and prevented him from doing so.

In July 1584, a year and a half after the Infante’s death, the family returned to Italy. Aloysius still wanted to become a priest but several members of his family worked hard to persuade him to change his mind.   When they realised there was no way to make him give up his plan, they tried to persuade him to become a secular priest and offered to arrange for a bishopric for him.   If he were to become a Jesuit he would renounce any right to his inheritance or status in society.   His family’s attempts to dissuade him failed, Aloysius was not interested in higher office and still wanted to become a missionary.

In November 1585, Aloysius gave up all rights of inheritance, which was confirmed by the emperor.   He went to Rome and, because of his noble birth, gained an audience with Pope Sixtus V.   Following a brief stay at the Palazzo Aragona Gonzaga, the Roman home of his cousin, Cardinal Scipione Gonzaga, on 25 November 1585, he was accepted into the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Rome.   During this period, he was asked to moderate his asceticism somewhat and to be more social with the other novices.

Aloysius’ health continued to cause problems.   In addition to the kidney disease, he also suffered from a skin disease, chronic headaches and insomnia.   He was sent to Milan for studies but after some time he was sent back to Rome because of his health.   On 25 November 1587, he took the three religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.   In February and March 1588, he received minor orders and started studying theology to prepare for ordination.   In 1589, he was called to Mantua to mediate between his brother Rodolfo and the Duke of Mantua.   He returned to Rome in May 1590.   It is said that later that year, he had a vision in which the Archangel Gabriel told him that he would die within a year.

In 1591, a plague broke out in Rome.   The Jesuits opened a hospital for the stricken and Aloysius volunteered to work there.   After begging alms for the victims, Aloysius began working with the sick, carrying the dying from the streets into a hospital founded by the Jesuits.   There he washed and fed the plague victims, preparing them as best he could to receive the sacraments.   But though he threw himself into his tasks, he privately confessed to his spiritual director, Fr Robert Bellarmine (St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church), that his constitution was revolted by the sights and smells of the work;  he had to work hard to overcome his physical repulsion.

At the time, many of the younger Jesuits had become infected with the disease, and so Aloysius’s superiors forbade him from returning to the hospital.   But Aloysius—long accustomed to refusals from his father—persisted and requested permission to return, which was granted.   Eventually he was allowed to care for the sick but only at another hospital, called Our Lady of Consolation, where those with contagious diseases were not admitted.   While there, Aloysius lifted a man out of his sickbed, tended to him, and brought him back to his bed.   But the man was infected with the plague.   Aloysius grew ill and was bedridden by 3 March 1591, a few days before his 23rd birthday.Gonzaga3

Aloysius rallied for a time but as fever and a cough set in, he declined for many weeks.   It seemed certain that he would die in a short tie, and he was given Extreme Unction. While he was ill, he spoke several times with his confessor, the cardinal and later saint, Robert Bellarmine.   Aloysius had another vision and told several people that he would die on the Octave of the feast of Corpus Christi.   On that day, 21 June 1591, he seemed very well in the morning but insisted that he would die before the day was over.   As he began to grow weak, Bellarmine gave him the last rites and recited the prayers for the dying.   He died just before midnight.   As Fr Tylenda tells the story, “When the two Jesuits came to his side, they noticed a change in his face and realised that their young Aloysius was dying.   His eyes were fixed on the crucifix he held in his hands and as he tried to pronounce the name of Jesus he died.”San_Luigi_Gonzaga_AU

Aloysius was buried in the Church of the Most Holy Annunciation, which later became the church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (Sant’Ignazio) in Rome.   His name was changed to “Robert” before his death, in honour of his confessor.   Many people considered him to be a saint soon after his death and his remains were moved into the Sant’Ignazio church, where they now rest in an urn of lapis lazuli in the Lancellotti Chapel.   His head was later translated to the basilica bearing his name in Castiglione delle Stiviere.   He was beatified only fourteen years after his death by Pope Paul V, on 19 October 1605.   On 31 December 1726, he was canonised together with another young Jesuit novice, Stanislaus Kostka, by Pope Benedict XIII.

Purity was his notable virtue.   The Carmelite mystic St Maria Magdalena de Pazzi had a vision of him on 4 April 1600.   She described him as radiant in glory because of his “interior works,” a hidden martyr for his great love of God.The Life and Miracles of St. Aloysius Gonzagast aloysius by Fr Lawrence OPv lg - st aloysius gonzaga

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 28 May

Our Morning Offering – 28 May

O Holy Mary, My Mother
St Aloysius Gonzaga
(1568-1591)

O Holy Mary, my mother,
into your blessed trust and custody,
and into the care of your mercy
I this day, every day,
and in the hour of my death,
commend my soul and my body.
To you I commit
all my anxieties and miseries,
my life and the end of my life,
that by your most holy intercession
and by your merits
all my actions may be directed
and disposed
according to your will
and that of your Son.
Amen

o holy mary my mother -st aloysius gonzaga