SAINT OF THE DAY: 21 JUNE, 2014

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Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
Jesuit Seminarian
(1568-1591)

Saint Aloysius, the eldest son of Ferdinand Gonzaga, Marquis of Castiglione, was born on the 9th of March, 1568. The first words he pronounced were the holy names of Jesus and Mary.

When he was nine years of age he made a vow of perpetual virginity, and by a special grace was always exempted from temptations against purity.

He received his first Communion at the hands of Saint Charles Borromeo. At an early age he resolved to leave the world, and in a vision was directed by our Blessed Lady to join the Society of Jesus.

The Saint’s mother rejoiced on learning his determination to become a religious, but his father for three years refused his consent.

At length Saint Aloysius obtained permission to enter the novitiate on November 25, 1585.

He pronounced his vows after two years, and studied, as was customary, philosophy and theology.

A fervent penitent at all times, he was accustomed to say that he doubted whether without penance grace could continue to make headway against nature, which, when not afflicted and chastised, tends gradually to relapse into its unredeemed state, and thereby loses the habit of suffering. I am a crooked piece of iron, he said, and have come into religion to be made straight by the hammer of mortification and penance.

During his last year of theology a malignant fever broke out in Rome.

The Saint offered himself for the service of the sick, and was accepted for the dangerous duty.

Several of the religious contracted the fever, and Aloysius was among them.

He was at the point of death but recovered, only to relapse a little later into a slow fever, which after three months his fragile health could no longer resist.

He died at the age of twenty-three, repeating the Holy Name, a little after midnight between the 20th and 21st of June, on the octave day of Corpus Christi.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)

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READING OF THE DAY: 21 JUNE, 2014

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“Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can serve two masters.

He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear.

Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are not you more important than they?

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?

Why are you anxious about clothes?

Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.

But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.

If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’

All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.

Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” – Matthew 6:24-34.