Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.
Feast Day 21 June.
The Vocation of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.
Artist: Guercino (1591–1666).
Date: Circa 1650.
The Holy Ghost, "distributor of Heavenly Gifts" (Collect), made of Aloysius, a young Prince of the noble family of Gonzaga, an Angel on Earth, uniting in him all the marvels of innocence and mortification (Ibid.). Wherefore, The Church applies to him the Verse of the Psalm, where the humanity of Adam, before The Fall, and that of Christ, are declared hardly inferior to Angelic nature (Introit).
His birth to a Heavenly Life preceded in a certain manner his natural birth, for he was born at the Castle of Castiglione, in Italy, in such perilous circumstances, that they hastened his Baptism (Gradual). As an infant, all those who carried him in their arms thought they held an Angel.
At the age of nine, at Florence, Italy, he made a Vow of Virginity before the Altar of The Blessed Virgin, and practised during his whole life the strictest modesty in his looks. Amid the seductions of the Princely Courts, to which his father sent him, he kept his first innocence so faithfully that he seemed confirmed in Grace (Epistle).
Towards the age of eleven, he received for the first time The Bread of Angels from the hands of Saint Charles Borromeo (Communion). At sixteen, he entered at Rome The Company of Jesus, of which he is one of the glories. He so distinguished himself, by his mortification and love of God, that he is compared to The Elect in Heaven. "They live like Angels," says Jesus, because the Soul will exercise full command over the body, which will participate in its Spiritual nature.
At the age of twenty-two (1591), wearing his innocence like a nuptial robe, on which shone the pearls of his continual tears, he died a victim to his devotion to the plague-stricken and ascended The Holy Mountain to take part in The Heavenly Banquet to which God invites The Pure of Heart (Secret, Offertory, Gradual).
Let us have recourse to the merits and intercession of Saint Aloysius.
Pope Benedict XIII (reigned 1724-1730) gave him as a pattern to young people, in order that, not always having imitated him in his innocence, they may at least imitate him by doing Penance (Collect).
Mass: Minuisti eum.