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ALOYSIUS, the eldest son of Ferdinand Gonzaga, Marquis of Castiglione, was born on the 9th of March, 1568. The first words he pronounced were the holy names of Jesus and Mary. When he was nine years of age he made a vow of perpetual virginity, and by a special grace was ever exempted from temptations against purity. He received his first Communion at the hands of St. Charles Borromeo. At an early age he resolved to leave the world, and in a vision was directed by our blessed Lady to join the Society of Jesus. The Saint's mother rejoiced on learning his determination to become a religious, but his father for three years refused his consent. At length St. Aloysius obtained permission to enter the novitiate on the 25th of November, 1585. He took his vows after two years, and went through the ordinary course of philosophy and theology. He was wont to say he doubted whether without penance grace would continue to make head against I nature, which, when not afflicted and chastised, tends gradually to relapse into its old state, losing the habit of suffering acquired by the labor of years. "I am a crooked piece of iron," he said, "and am come into religion to be made straight by the hammer of mortification and penance." During his last year of theology a malignant fever broke out in Rome; the Saint offered himself for the service of the sick, and he was accepted for the dangerous duty. Several of the brothers caught the fever, and Aloysius was of the number. He was brought to the point of death, but recovered, only to fall, however, into slow fever, which carried him off after three months. He died, repeating the Holy Name, a little after midnight between the 20th and 21st of June, on the octave-day of Corpus Christi, being Prather more than twenty-three years of age.
Reflection. —Cardinal Bellarmine, the Saint's confessor, testified that he had never mortally offended God. Yet he chastised his body rigorously, rose at night to pray, and shed many tears for his sins. Pray that, not having followed his innocence, you may yet imitate his penance.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Thou hast made him a little less than the angels: Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor. Ps. 148, 2. Praise ye the Lord, all His angels: praise ye Him all His hosts. . Glory be …
O God, the dispenser of heavenly gifts, Who in the angelic youth Aloysius didst combine wonderful innocence of life with penance, grant to his merits and prayers that we, who have not followed him in his innocence, may imitate his penance. Though our Lord.
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[Of the desire of riches, and of moderation in eating and drinking.]
Blessed is the rich man that is found without blemish: and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures. Who is he, and we will praise him? for he hath done wonderful things in his life. Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting. He that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed: and could do evil things, and hath not done them: Therefore are his goods established in the Lord.
My hope, O Lord, from my youth: by Thee have I been confirmed from the womb; from my mother’s womb, Thou art my protector. Ps. 40, 13. But Thou hast upheld me by reason of my innocence, and hast established me in Thy sight forever.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 64, 5. Blessed is he whom Thou hast chosen, and taken to Thee: he shall dwell in Thy courts. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[The parable of the marriage feast. Christ orders tribute to be paid to Caesar. He confutes the Sadducees, shews which is the first commandment in the law and puzzles the Pharisees.]
At that time, Jesus And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the angels of God in heaven.
And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken by God, saying to you: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And the multitudes hearing it, were in admiration at his doctrine. But the Pharisees hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees, came together: And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking him, tempting him:
Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.
Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord: or who shall stand in His holy place? The innocent in hands, and clean of heart.
Make us, O Lord, to sit down to Thy heavenly banquet clothed in the wedding-garment which the pious preparation and constant tears of blessed Aloysius adorned with priceless pears. Through our Lord.
He gave them the bread of heaven: man ate the bread of angels.
Grant, O Lord, that we, who have been fed with the bread of angels, may also live angelic lives, and after the example of him whom we this day venerate, pass our days in incessant giving of thanks. Through our Lord.