Amen I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it.” Mark 10:15
THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPELS has had strong appeal to the hearts and minds of children in all ages of the Church. Through the process of canonization the Church has crowned the heroic virtue of several young people; among one of them is Saint Aloysius.
SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA (1568-1591) was the eldest son of an Italian nobleman who wished his son to follow him in the soldierly and diplomatic life; so, it was to these things that the very young boy’s interests were directed.
When Aloysius was seven, he began to give quite serious attention to his own religious development. He faithfully recited daily the Little Office of Our Lady as well as the Penitential Psalms (Psalms 6, 23, 32, 38, 51, 102 & 130). His confessors testified of him later that never in his life did he commit a mortal sin. Such was the completeness of h is early surrender to God!
When, at the age of seventeen, he announced his intention of entering the Society of Jesus, his father offered strong opposition; but the boy won out and was admitted to the novitiate on November 25, 1585. Submitting himself completely to the discipline, he advanced to the study of theology and to the reception of minor orders.
When a plague broke out in Rome in 1591, Aloysius was one of those who gave personal service to the sick and who themselves contracted the plague. He passed from the plague to a serious fever that slowly brought him to a holy death about midnight of June 20, 1591. Canonized in 1726, he is now the protector of students and the patron of Christian youth .
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, MA following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago.