June 21st 1591 - Aloisius of Gonzaga
† in Rome
Aloisius was born on March 9th 1568 as the oldest son of the Margrave of Gonzaga in Castglione near Mantua (Upper Italy). At an age of twelve he received the First Holy Communion from St Charles Borromaeus' hand. Together with his brother he got his education as page at the Florence Court and later at the Court of Philipp II in Madrid.
He relinquished a splendid worldly career and chose the Imitation of Christ in the Society of Jesus. At an age of seventeen he got, after hard struggle, his father's permission for it. On November 25th 1585 he began his noviciate in St Andrew in Rome. During his studies, in the fourth year of theology, Rome was afflicted by a terrible plague. Aloisius dedicated himself to the plague patients in a Roman hospital. He got infected and died in the ward of the Roman College during the Corpus Christi Octave at the age of twenty three. In Rome his death was a sensation.
Already fourteen years later he was beatified, and in the year 1726 he was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII, and a short time later appointed patron of the studying youth. His bones rest in the church St Ignatius, his head is venerated as relic in Castiglione.
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