Daily Bread

Saint of the Day

June 21

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-91) is the patron saint of young men. Born in Lombardy, he was an imperial prince, connected with all the royal houses. The history of his powerful ancestors shows that while they were capable of good works and practised their faith, their moral conduct was often outrageous. While he was still young, Aloysius began to practise prayer and penance, and to reject the values of his position and family. Against great resistance, in 1585 he gave up his rights as eldest son and joined the Jesuits, hoping to go to the missions. Instead, in 1591 the plague broke out in Rome, and Aloysius offered himself to serve the sick and dying in the hospital. He caught the plague, recovered but weakened, and died three months later. He was just 23 years old but his zeal for God, both as a young man and as a prince, remained an inspiration and example for all. He was canonized in 1726. He is a patron of youth.

©2011 Living with Christ, Novalis - Bayard Press Canada Inc., http://www.livingwithchrist.ca/. Reprinted with permission.

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