Notre Dame de Rouen. The façade of the Gothic Church in France. Photographer: Hippo1947. Licence: SHUTTERSTOCK.

Friday 21 June 2024

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. Confessor.


English: Saint Louis de Gonzaga adoring the Crucifix.
Français: Saint Louis de Gonzague adorant le crucifix.
Italiano: San Luigi dei Gonzaga in adorazione del crocifisso.
Artist: Ludovico Mazzanti (1686–1775).
Date: 1740-1745.
Collection: Collection Motais de Narbonne.
Current location: Fondation Bemberg.
Source: Own work.
This file is copyrighted and has been released under a licence which is incompatible with Facebook's licensing terms. It is not permitted to upload this file at Facebook.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Text from “The Liturgical Year”.
   By: Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B.
      Volume 12.
      Time After Pentecost.
      Book III.

“Oh, how exceeding great is the glory of Aloysius, son of Ignatius ! Never could I have believed it, had not my Jesus shown it to me. Never could I have believed that such glory was to be seen in Heaven !”

Thus cries out Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, whose memory we were celebrating a month ago; she is speaking in ecstasy. From the heights of Carmel, whence her ken may reach beyond the heavens, she reveals to Earth the splendour wherewith the youthful hero of this day shines amidst the celestial phalanxes.

Yet, short was the life of Aloysius, and it had offered nothing to the superficial gaze of a vast majority, save the preliminaries, so to say, of a career broken off in its flower before bearing fruit of any kind.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.
Available on YouTube

Ah !, God does not take account of things as men do; of very slight weight are their appreciations in His judgement ! Even in the case of Saints, themselves, the mere fractional number of years, or brilliant deeds, goes far less to the filling up of a lifetime, in His view, than does love.

The usefulness of a human existence ought surely to be measured by the amount produced in it of what is lasting. Now beyond this present time charity remains along, fixed for ever at the precise degree of growth attained during this life of passage.

Little matters it, therefore, if without any long duration or any apparent works, one of God’s Elect has developed in himself a love as great as, or greater than, some others have done, in the midst of many toils, be they never so holy, and throughout a long career admired of men.

English: Saint Aloysius Gonzaga at Prayer.
Français: Tableau “Saint-Louis de Gonzague priant”. 
Alsace, Bas-Rhin, Abbatiale Saint-Étienne de Marmoutier.
Photo: 24 July 2011.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The illustrious Society that gave Aloysius Gonzaga to holy Church owes the sanctity of her members and the benedictions poured upon their works to the fidelity she has ever professed to this important truth, which throws so much light on the Christian life.

From the very first age of her history, it would seem that Our Lord Jesus, not content with allowing her to assume His own Blessed name, has been lovingly determined so to arrange circumstances in her regard that she may never forget wherein her real strength lies, in the midst of the actively militant career which He has especially opened before her.

The brilliant works of Saint Ignatius her Founder; of Saint Francis Xavier, the Apostle of The Indies; of Saint Francis Borgia, the noble conquest of Christ’s humility; manifested truly wondrous holiness in them, and to the eyes of all; but these works had no other spring or basis than the hidden virtues of that other glorious triumvirate, in which, under the eye of God alone, by the sole strength of contemplative Prayer, Saint Stanislaus Kostka, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, and Saint John Berchmans, rose to such a degree of love, and consequently to the sanctity of their heroic fathers.

The ceiling of the Cappella dell’Immacolata 
(Chapel of The Immaculate Conception) is located in 
Monte Isola, which is part of the Lombardy region in Italy.
The ceiling is richly decorated by stucco work and by the representation of Saint Charles Borromeo, Founder of the Oblates, and of Aloysius Gonzaga, protector of the youth, in the act of adoring Our Lady with The Child Jesus.
Photo: 4 December 2023.
Source: Own work.
Author: Dode2004
(Wikimedia Commons)

Again, it is by Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, the depositary of the secrets of the Spouse, that this Mystery is revealed to us. In the rapture, during which the glory of Aloysius was displayed before her eyes, she thus continues, while still under the influence of The Holy Ghost: “Who could ever explain the value and the power of interior acts ? The glory of Aloysius is so great simply because he acted thus interiorly.

“Between an interior act and that which is seen, there is no comparison possible. Aloysius, as long as he dwelt on Earth, kept his eye attentively fixed on The Word; and this is just why he is so splendid. Aloysius was a hidden Martyr; whosoever loveth Thee, my God, knoweth Thee to be so great, so infinitely lovable, that keen indeed is the Martyrdom of such a one, to see clearly that he loves Thee not so much as he desireth to love Thee, and that Thou art not loved by Thy creatures, but art offended !”

The Vocation of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.
Artist: Guercino (1591–1666).
Date: Circa 1650.
This File: 28 November 2010.
(Wikimedia Commons)

To love God, to allow His grace to turn our heart towards infinite Beauty, which alone can fill it, such is then the true secret of highest perfection.

Who can fail to see how this teaching of today’s Feast answers to the end pursued by The Holy Ghost ever since His coming down at our glorious Pentecost.

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