St. Aloysius was born in Castiglione in 1568 to a noble Italian family. As a boy, he was trained to be a soldier and a courtier, but despite his family’s wishes, he retained a great devotion to God and the faith. When he was 12, Aloysius received his First Communion from St. Charles Borromeo.
He renounced his inheritance and entered the Jesuit novitiate in Rome, where he studied under St. Robert Bellarmine. He embraced the Jesuit life of simplicity, self-control and self-denial.
When the plague struck Rome, Aloysius was sent to care for the sick and dying in the city’s hospitals. He treated each person he met with compassion and care, finding the face of Christ in each of them. Aloysius contracted the plague at the age of 23 and died.
St. Aloysius was canonized in 1726. He is the patron saint of youth, AIDS patients, and those who care for them.
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