|Birth Day:||March 9, 1568|
|Death Date:||Jun 21, 1591 (age 23)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Aloysius Gonzaga died on Jun 21, 1591 (age 23).
During his childhood years, he was educated at the de Medici court and developed a deep interest in religion that eventually led him to live as an ascetic.
He grew up amid the violence and brutality of Renaissance Italy and witnessed the murder of two of his brothers. In 1576, at age 8, he was sent to Florence along with his younger brother, Rodolfo, to serve at the court of the Grand Duke Francesco I de' Medici and to receive further education. While there, he fell ill with a disease of the kidneys, which troubled him throughout his life. While he was ill, he took the opportunity to read about the saints and to spend much of his time in prayer. He is said to have taken a private vow of chastity at age 9. In November 1579, the brothers were sent to the Duke of Mantua. Aloysius was shocked by the violent and frivolous lifestyle he encountered there.
Aloysius returned to Castiglione where he met Cardinal Charles Borromeo, and from him received First Communion on 22 July 1580. After reading a book about Jesuit missionaries in India, Aloysius felt strongly that he wanted to become a missionary. He started practicing by teaching catechism classes to young boys in Castiglione in the summers. He also repeatedly visited the houses of the Capuchin friars and the Barnabites located in Casale Monferrato, the capital of the Gonzaga-ruled Duchy of Montferrat where the family spent the winter. He also adopted an ascetic lifestyle.
The family was called to Spain in 1581 to assist the Holy Roman Empress Maria of Austria. They arrived in Madrid in March 1582, where Aloysius and Rodolfo became pages for the young Infante Diego. Aloysius started thinking in earnest about joining a religious order. He had considered joining the Capuchins, but he had a Jesuit confessor in Madrid and decided instead to join that order. His mother agreed to his request, but his father was furious and prevented him from doing so.
In July 1584, a year and a half after the Infante's death, the family returned to Italy. Aloysius still wanted to become a priest, but several members of his family worked hard to persuade him to change his mind. When they realized there was no way to make him give up his plan, they tried to persuade him to become a secular priest and offered to arrange for a bishopric for him. If he were to become a Jesuit he would renounce any right to his inheritance or status in society. His family's attempts to dissuade him failed; Aloysius was not interested in higher office and still wanted to become a missionary.
In November 1585, Aloysius gave up all rights of inheritance, which was confirmed by the emperor. He went to Rome and, because of his noble birth, gained an audience with Pope Sixtus V. Following a brief stay at the Palazzo Aragona Gonzaga, the Roman home of his cousin, Cardinal Scipione Gonzaga, on 25 November 1585 he was accepted into the Society of Jesus in Rome. During this period, he was asked to moderate his asceticism somewhat and to be more social with the other novices.
Aloysius' health continued to cause problems. In addition to the kidney disease, he also suffered from a skin disease, chronic headaches and insomnia. He was sent to Milan for studies, but after some time he was sent back to Rome because of his health. On 25 November 1587, he took the three religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. In February and March 1588, he received minor orders and started studying theology to prepare for ordination. In 1589, he was called to Mantua to mediate between his brother Rodolfo and the Duke of Mantua. He returned to Rome in May 1590. It is said that, later that year, he had a vision in which the Archangel Gabriel told him that he would die within a year.
In 1591, a plague broke out in Rome. The Jesuits opened a hospital for the stricken, and Aloysius volunteered to work there. After begging alms for the victims, Aloysius began working with the sick, carrying the dying from the streets into a hospital founded by the Jesuits. There he washed and fed the plague victims, preparing them as best he could to receive the sacraments. But though he threw himself into his tasks, he privately confessed to his spiritual director, Fr. Robert Bellarmine, that his constitution was revolted by the sights and smells of the work; he had to work hard to overcome his physical repulsion.
Purity was his notable virtue. The Carmelite mystic St. Maria Magdalena de Pazzi claimed to have had a vision of him on 4 April 1600. She described him as radiant in glory because of his "interior works," a hidden martyr for his great love of God.
Aloysius was buried in the Church of the Most Holy Annunciation, which later became the church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (Sant'Ignazio) in Rome. His name was changed to "Robert" before his death, in honor of his confessor. Many people considered him to be a saint soon after his death, and his remains were moved into the Sant'Ignazio church, where they now rest in an urn of lapis lazuli in the Lancellotti Chapel. His head was later translated to the basilica bearing his name in Castiglione delle Stiviere. He was beatified only fourteen years after his death by Pope Paul V, on 19 October 1605. On 31 December 1726, he was canonized together with another Jesuit novice, Stanislaus Kostka, by Pope Benedict XIII.
Not long after Aloysius' death, on his feast day in 1608, the three daughters of his brother, Rodolfo, established a community of women dedicated to education, under the formal name of the Noble Virgins of Jesus. This community still exists, although as of 2012 it is currently reduced to two members. In the work The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fr. John Croiset mentions St. Aloysius' devotion to the Sacred Heart.
In 1729, Pope Benedict XIII declared Aloysius de Gonzaga to be the patron saint of young students. In 1926, he was named patron of all Christian youth by Pope Pius XI. Owing to the manner of his death, he has been considered a patron saint of plague victims. For his compassion and courage in the face of an incurable disease, Aloysius Gonzaga has become the patron both of AIDS sufferers and their caregivers. Aloysius is also the patron of Valmontone, a town in Lazio.
In Washington, D.C., Gonzaga College High School: Washington Seminary, as Gonzaga was originally called, began classes for lay students in 1821 and was renamed Gonzaga College. Gonzaga College High School is a Catholic college preparatory school for boys in grades 9–12.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church on the campus of Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C., is used for graduation ceremonies of the high school. It had been an operating parish church until 2016. When the church was dedicated in 1859, The New York Times wrote, "In internal architectural beauty, it is said not to be surpassed by any church in the world."
Aloysius and his six siblings were born into an aristocratic family in northern Italy. Tragically, when he was young, he witnessed the violent deaths of two of his brothers.
Currently, Aloysius Gonzaga is 455 years, 0 months and 19 days old. Aloysius Gonzaga will celebrate 456th birthday on a Saturday 9th of March 2024. Below we countdown to Aloysius Gonzaga upcoming birthday.
St. Aloysius Catholic Church
Happy Birthday St. Aloysius Gonzaga! Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, S.J. was an Italian aristocrat who became a member of the Society of Jesus. While still a student at the Roman College, he died as a...