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St. Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ

“I am but a crooked piece of iron, and have come into religion to be made straight by the hammer of mortification and penance.”
St. Aloysius Gonzaga


St. Aloysius chaplet

Aloysius makes a timeless example for our youth;  he faced the same kinds of challenges they do today such as: peer pressure, struggles with remaining pure, and difficulties in choosing and pursuing a vocation.  Despite being among very rough and impure people, and despite many arguments from his parents, Saint Aloysius maintained a pure heart, and became a Jesuit priest.

In June 2003, I received an e-mail from a Benedictine novice, who had written a chaplet for St. Aloysius Gonzaga, asking if I make one for him.  First, I needed to find a suitable medal.  It took one year to find the medal you see above, and although quite lovely, it had been sadly neglected by its previous owner, and was a bit battered and pitted.  So I continued my medal search, and found another, but could not discard this exquisitely detailed medal, with the traditional pose of St. Aloysius: his head bowed before the Virgin Mary, gazing at the crucifix, surrounded by tiny cherubs.  So I buffed and smoothed the ragged edges, as well as I could, and I offer it to those who can recognize beauty through the ravages of time and circumstance.

My thanks to the author of this chaplet, who has since professed his final vows, and is now a Benedictine Monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey.

St. Aloysius chaplet

Blue lace agate captures both the traditional blue and white of this chaplet with 8mm faceted rondelles.  The sterling-capped handmade lampwork Pater features white blossoms layered on sky blue.  The 1" round medal is sterling, cast from an antique, with St. Aloysius on one side, and the Immaculate Conception on the obverse.

A similar chaplet is available by special request; please inquire

Your rosary will be packaged in an elegant hinged jewelry box,
with pamphlet describing the provenance and prayers

St. Aloysius chaplet

Blue lace agate captures both the traditional blue and white of this chaplet with 8mm faceted rounds.  The sterling-capped handmade lampwork Pater features cameo-like white roses.  The 1.25" oval medal is sterling, cast from a "well-traveled" antique, is exquisitely detailed, with St. Aloysius on one side, and the Immaculate Conception on the obverse.

A similar chaplet is available by special request; please inquire

Your rosary will be packaged in an elegant hinged jewelry box,
with pamphlet describing the provenance and prayers


Aloysius, You have drawn me to you, gentle teacher, loving guide. I am filled with gratitude to you...I love you. Just to see you, to sit with your image, is to see all the innocence, the trust, and the fire of prayer of the children of the kingdom.

Aloysius, Let me serve, let me love as you loved people on earth. Teach me to leave the dark destructive forces within and without for the Light in the presence of Our Savior, Jesus.

Aloysius, Teach me to pray unceasingly, pray with me, stay near me, kneel with me...take my hand. And finally when my life here is over, come to lead me Home. Amen

On the Medal:
Sign of the Cross and “Act of Contrition”

On the Single Bead (white/clear - for his innocence):
The Our Father

On the 23 Beads (blue - for his devotion to Mary):
The Hail Mary followed by “Saint Aloysius, pray for us.”

Closing Prayer:
Father of Love, giver of all good things, in St. Aloysius you combined remarkable innocence with a spirit of penance.
By the help of his prayers may we who have not followed his innocence follow his example of penance.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.


Marian Prayer of St. Aloysius Gonzaga

O Holy Mary, my mother,
into your blessed trust and custody,
and into the care of your mercy
I this day, every day,
and in the hour of my death,
commend my soul and my body.
To you I commit all my anxieties and miseries,
my life and the end of my life,
that by your most holy intercession
and by your merits
all my actions may be directed
and disposed
according to your will
and that of your Son.


Four Devotions

Aloysius had four special devotions:

The first of these was his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.  He divided the week into two parts, the first of which he devoted in thanksgiving for his last Holy Communion, and the second in preparation for the next Holy Communion.

The second devotion was to the Passion of Our Lord. The life of suffering and mortification Aloysius led naturally urged him to seek in the mysteries of the Passion a model of strength and comfort.

The third devotion was his ardent love of Our Lady --- he never tired of thinking of her. She had been the queen of his heart and the guiding star of his life.

Lastly his devotion to the Angels was very special, in fact the only major writings he ever wrote were on the Holy Guardian Angels and the nine choirs of Angels.

Litany of Saint Aloysius

This litany comes from an old prayer book long out of print; the concluding prayer as give here is from the recent and admirable Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Pray for us.
Beloved child of Christ, Pray for us.
Delight of the Blessed Virgin, Pray for us.
Most chaste youth, Pray for us.
Angelic youth, Pray for us.
Most humble youth, Pray for us.
Model of young students, Pray for us.
Despiser of riches, Pray for us.
Enemy of vanities, Pray for us.
Scorner of honors, Pray for us.
Honor of princes, Pray for us.
Jewel of the nobility, Pray for us.
Flower of innocence, Pray for us.
Ornament of a religious state, Pray for us.
Mirror of mortification, Pray for us.
Mirror of perfect obedience, Pray for us.
Lover of evangelical poverty, Pray for us.
Most affectionately devout, Pray for us.
Most zealous observer of rules, Pray for us.
Desirous of the salvation of souls, Pray for us.
Perpetual adorer of the Holy Eucharist, Pray for us.
Particular client of Saint Ignatius, Pray for us.

Be merciful:
Spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful:
Hear us, O Lord.

From the concupiscence of the eyes:
O Lord, deliver us.
From the concupiscence of the flesh:
O Lord, deliver us.
From the pride of life:
O Lord, deliver us.
Through the merits and intercessions of St. Aloysius:
O Lord, deliver us.
Through his angelic purity:
O Lord, deliver us.
Through his sanctity and glory:
O Lord, deliver us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
V. Pray for us, Saint Aloysius:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. O God, Who, in distributing Thy heavenly gifts, didst in the angelic youth Aloysius, unite wonderful innocence of life with an equal spirit of penance: grant through his merits and prayers that we, who have not followed him in his innocence, may imitate him in his penance. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. R. Amen.

Prayer Source: Kyrie Eleison — Two Hundred Litanies by Benjamin Francis Musser O.F.M., The Magnificat Press, 1944



St. Aloysius Gonzaga's outstanding quality was his radiant purity and the Church praises this perfect innocence with the words, "Thou has made him little less than the angels." He was baptized in the womb, because his life was in danger, and he made a vow of chastity at the age of nine. When he was sixteen he joined the Society of Jesus and died at the age of twenty-three in 1591 as a result of his devoted nursing of the plague-stricken.

St. Aloysius The people who mass-produce statues and holy cards have done St. Aloysius Gonzaga no favors. The standard image of the saint as a frail, doe-eyed novice has given us the wrong impression. Yet Aloysius deserves a revival, especially as the patron saint of teenagers.

The time and place where he grew up — 16th-century Italy — is not very different from 21st century America. It was a lax, morally careless, self-indulgent age. Aloysius saw the decadence around him and vowed not to be part of it. He did not, however, become a kill-joy. Like any teenage boy, he wanted to have a good time, and as a member of an aristocratic family he had plenty of opportunities for amusement. He enjoyed horse races, banquets and the elaborate parties held in palace gardens. But if Aloysius found himself at a social function that took a turn to the lascivious, he left.

Aloysius did not just want to be good, he wanted to be holy; and on this point he could be tough and uncompromising. He came by these qualities naturally: among the great families of Renaissance Italy, the Medici were famous as patrons of the arts, and the Borgias as schemers, but the Gonzagas were a warrior clan. While most Gonzaga men aspired to conquer others, Aloysius was determined to conquer himself.

St. Aloysius Aloysius wanted to be a priest. When he was 12 or 13, he invented for himself a program he thought would prepare him for the religious life. He climbed out of bed in the middle of the night to put in extra hours kneeling on the cold stone floor of his room. Occasionally, he even beat himself with a leather dog leash. Aloysius was trying to become a saint by sheer willpower. It was not until he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Rome that he had a spiritual director — St. Robert Bellarmine — to guide him.

Bellarmine put a stop to Aloysius’ boot camp approach to sanctity, commanding him to follow the Jesuit rule of regular hours of prayer and simple acts of self-control and self-denial. Aloysius thought the Jesuits were too lenient, but he obeyed. Such over-the-top zeal may have exasperated Bellarmine, but he believed that Aloysius’ fervor was genuine and that with proper guidance the boy might be a saint.

To his credit, Aloysius recognized that his bullheadedness was a problem. From the novitiate he wrote to his brother, "I am a piece of twisted iron. I entered the religious life to get twisted straight."

St. Aloysius Then, in January 1591, the plague struck Rome. With the city’s hospitals overflowing with the sick and the dying, the Jesuits sent every priest and novice to work in the wards. This was a difficult assignment for the squeamish Aloysius. Once he started working with the sick, however, fear and disgust gave way to compassion. He went into the streets of Rome and carried the ill and the dying to the hospital on his back. There he washed them, found them a bed, or at least a pallet, and fed them. Such close contact with the sick was risky. Within a few weeks, Aloysius contracted the plague himself and died. He was 23 years old.

In the sick, the helpless, the dying, St. Aloysius saw the crucified Christ. The man of the iron will who thought he could take Heaven by sheer determination surrendered at last to divine grace.

 Saints for Every Occasion, Thomas J. Craughwell

Patron: AIDS care-givers; AIDS patients; Catholic youth; Jesuit students; relief from pestilence; sore eyes; teenage children; teenagers; young people; youth.

Symbols: cross or crucifix; lilies; crown at his feet; rosary;
Often portrayed as: As a Jesuit with a cross, lily, and skull.

from Catholic Culture

St. Aloysius Saint Aloysius of Gonzaga, born on the 9th of March, 1568 as Luigi Gonzaga, was the eldest son of Ferrante, the Marquis of Castiglione, an Italian nobleman. Even as a child Saint Aloysius was given to prayer and as legend has it that his first spoken words were the Holy Names of Mary and Jesus.

Aloysius was the oldest son, raised in the castle Castiglione delle Stivieri in Lombardy, with many servants and plenty of wealth and comfort. Aloysius was a bright and cheerful boy who worked well with others. His father had great hopes that he would embark on a military career and replace him in the nobility with title and property. Aloysius was trained for soldiery and court life from a very young age but was also deeply faithful and pious. The hand of God would not allow him to become a soldier.

By age 9 he had privately decided on a religious life, and made a vow of perpetual virginity. He practiced many devotions and mortifications, and safeguarded himself at all times from possible temptation. He had many friends among the soldiers and in the court who pressured him into joining them for their parties and celebrations. Despite all their pressure, Aloysius preferred to spend his free time in prayer, kneeling on a cold stone floor or in church in front of the Blessed Sacrament. His friends and other students, even his parents teased him for this piety and devotion.

In 1577, his father took Aloysius (Luigi) and his brother to Florence to study and improve their Latin and Italian. As it would happen, the young man would develop an affinity for study of the saints even more than his regular studies.  At this time Aloysius read of the Jesuit missionaries in India, and resolved to join the Society of Jesus. He began by instructing the poor boys of Castiglione in the catechism. At Casal-Monferrato, where he spent winters, he assumed the discipline of a monk, fasting three days a week, scourging himself, and praying at midnight on the stone floor of his unheated room.

St. Aloysius Over the next two years, Aloysius would fight with his father, mother, royalty, and delegates over his impending Jesuit vocation. At age 12 he encountered the great ecclesiastic, Saint Charles Borromeo, and received his first Holy Communion from him. When Aloysius was in his teens, nearly old enough to begin working as a soldier, he became sick with kidney disease, so sick that he had to stay in bed. He wasn't sorry though, even though anyone would prefer running and playing to being sick in bed for months and months. Aloysius said he was glad that he was ill, because it gave him more time to pray and meditate. He also used this time to instruct others in their catechism.

His father and mother were disappointed that Aloysius was sick, but they were even more disappointed when he said that he wanted to become a Jesuit instead of inheriting his father's title and estate. He signed over all his inheritance to his younger brother. His parents, teachers and friends argued with him about this decision for three years.

His parents continued to disagree with his choice to follow a religious life, as it had been his whole life, on the grounds he should follow in his father's stead. They relented after most of the family title and responsibilities fell to his younger brother Rudolpho, thus allowing Aloysius to enter his novitiate in November 1585.

St. Aloysius Aloysius' health was so poor that he received Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction on several occasions. Even though Aloysius was still ill from his kidney disease, he insisted on being allowed to assist with the sick and served in a hospital during the plague of 1587 in Milan, during which he fell victim to the dreaded disease himself and died at the age of 23, after having received the last rites from Saint Robert Bellarmine, who later wrote his biography, "Life of Saint Aloysius". 

It was revealed to him that he would pass on the Octave of Corpus Christi, and though he appeared much better in the days preceding the Feast, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga did in fact die on the Octave of Corpus Christi, June 21st, 1591. This young man, patron to all young people, was beatified in 1621, and declared a saint in 1725. Aloysius' relics are buried under the altar of Saint Ignatius Church, Rome.

Feast Day: June 21
Patron Saint of: Catholic youth, teenagers, especially of young priests, novices and seminarians.  For his compassion and courage in the face of an incurable disease, St. Aloysius Gonzaga has become the patron of both AIDS sufferers and their caregivers.
Symbol: Crucifix, Lily

A lecture on St. Aloysius Gonzaga - Jesuit Saint by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.


Coronilla de San Luis Gonzaga

Se da de principio la oración siguiente:

¡Oh Luis Santo adornado de angélicas costumbres! Yo, indigno devoto vuestro os encomiendo la castidad de mi alma y de mi cuerpo, para que os dignéis encomendarme al Cordero Inmaculado, Cristo Jesús, y a su purísima Madre, Virgen de vírgenes, guardándome de todo pecado. No permitáis, Angel mío, que manche mi alma con la menor impureza; antes bien, cuando me viereis en la tentación o peligro de pecar, alejad de mi corazón todos los pensamientos y afectos impuros; despertad en mí la memoria de la eternidad y de Jesús Crucificado; imprimid hondamente en mi corazón un profundo sentimiento de temor santo de Dios, y abrasadme en su divino amor, para que así, siendo imitador vuestro en la tierra, merezca gozar de Dios en vuestra compañía en la gloria. Amén.

Empezando con la medalla, se da principio con el acto de contrición y después la señal de la Cruz.

En la primera cuenta (grande), se reza un PadreNuestro.

En las cuentas pequeñas, se reza 23 AveMarias.

Se concluye en la medalla con la oración que la Iglesia le dirige a Dios en la fiesta de este santo: "Señor: ya que no pudimos imitar a San Luis en la inocencia, que por lo menos lo logremos imitar en la penitencia. Amén".

St. Aloysius chaplet

Blue lace agate captures both the traditional blue and white of this chaplet with 8mm faceted rondelles.  The sterling-capped handmade lampwork Pater features white blossoms layered on sky blue.  The 1" round medal is sterling, cast from an antique, with St. Aloysius on one side, and the Immaculate Conception on the obverse.


Your rosary will be packaged in an elegant hinged jewelry box,
with pamphlet describing the provenance and prayers

Exquisito Patrono y modelo de la juventud. Nació en 1568, hijo de los marqueses de Castiglione, en su espléndido palacio, uno de los más hermosos del norte de Italia. Era el heredero, y por esto su nacimiento fue celebrado con grandes regocijos, fiestas magníficas dignas de un palacio real. Eran los Castiglione una de aquellas pequeñas dinastías feudales típicas de la Edad Media y de los primeros siglos de la Moderna. - Fiesta: 21 de junio.

St. Aloysius
Desde su más tierna infancia manifestó Luis un carácter muy varonil y belicoso. Eran vivas sus aficiones militares. Sus gestos eran enérgicos, sus ojos revelaban audacia. El marqués miraba complacido el alborozo del niño ante los desfiles, las armas y los cañones. Un día, mientras su padre y los soldados dormían la siesta, cogió a un sargento un bote de pólvora, cargó con ella una pequeña pieza de artillería y prendióle fuego. Al dispararse el cañón, el niño cayó mal herido debajo de las ruedas. El padre no perdonó aquella indisciplina, y con ella se hizo Luis muy popular entre la tropa. Esto le llevó a una gran familiaridad con todos los soldados, de los cuales aprendió ciertas palabrotas que, a veces, pronunciaba con la más absoluta ingenuidad y candidez. Naturalmente, él no sabía la significación de aquellos términos; sólo sabía que cuando los soltaba, una risa general estallaba en torno suyo. Hasta que un día, estando en el castillo con su madre (pues el marqués se hallaba ausente, por una temporada, en la Corte del rey de España) dijo con toda su frescura y ante el mismo ayo alguna de aquellas expresiones; por lo cual el ayo le reprendió. El niño comenzó a llorar, y lloró durante toda su vida este gran pecado, según él lo llamaba.

Había comenzado la época que el Santo llama de su conversión. Por obediencia a su padre, va de corte en corte, de fiesta en fiesta, pero su mente y su corazón están ya para siempre muy fijos en el cielo. Línea de pureza, de oración y de austera penitencia. Al cumplir los doce años, vive ya en las más altas cumbres de la contemplación. "Todos sus pensamientos -decía más tarde uno de sus criados- estaban fijos en Dios... Cuando le llamábamos príncipe y señor, solía él decir: Servir a Dios es harto más peligroso que tener todos los principados del mundo".

Al mismo tiempo que la oración, fue cultivando los estudios. Y con el estudio y la oración unía la caridad, recorriendo frecuentemente las calles de Castiglione para socorrer a los desgraciados, corregir a los maleantes o enseñar la doctrina a los otros niños. Muy jovencito sufrió una enfermedad, que los médicos curaron con un régimen riguroso de abstinencia. Esto le dio pie para seguir observando su ayuno de enfermo. "Lo que antes hice por el cuerpo -decía- bien lo puedo hacer ahora por el alma".

Salido de aquella dolencia, recibió la Primera Comunión, St. Aloysius de manos de San Carlos Borromeo, Arzobispo de Milán, que había venido a Castiglione en viaje de visita. Aquel momento fue para Luis el principio de una vida nueva. Un ideal más alto -el de la vida religiosa- empezó a brillar delante de su mente. Fue en España donde formó la decisión inquebrantable de renunciar a todo su porvenir mundano. Había venido a la corte de Felipe 11 como paje de los infantes, y más que nunca se encontró metido en las etiquetas palatinas, en las fiestas cortesanas, y en la recepciones. Ante el monarca más poderoso de la tierra, en Madrid, capital de un Imperio que se estremecía con el ruido de las victorias y de las conquistas, determinó irrevocablemente su vida futura y sin demora ni titubeo se presentó a su padre para decirle: "Quiero hacerme jesuita".

La lucha entre padre e hijo fue tenaz y prolongada. El joven razonaba, suplicaba, discutía respetuosamente. El marqués no quería escucharle y seguía mirándole colérico. Sospechando que la austeridad y el carácter grave de la corte española estaban ensombreciendo el alma de Luis, procuró trasladarle nuevamente a Italia. Las cortes italianas ofrecían, ciertamente, superiores seducciones: todo eran allá magníficos palacios, cortejos de amor, risas de damas, danzas, juegos y conciertos. Fue un tiempo de formidable tentación. Viose Luis obligado a caminar a través de todos aquellos regocijos, pero no perdió ni una brizna de su riquísima vida interior. Mientras la corte se divertía, él rezaba y meditaba. Transcurrió una larga temporada y el marqués encontró a su hijo tan firme en su propósito como antes. Luis resistió, sin desobedecer jamás a su padre. Después de cuatro años, el marqués se declaró vencido.

En los últimos días del año 1585 Luis entra en el Noviciado de Roma, después de abdicar el marquesado en su hermano Rodulfo. Se entrega a los ejercicios religiosos. Dios quiere que al principio sienta un poco de desconcierto: sufre aridez y oscuridad de espíritu, no experimenta los inefables consuelos que se había imaginado. Su constancia, ayudada por la sabia dirección de San Belarmino, le atrae a raudales la bendición divina, y su alma llega a las alturas de la vida extática.

St. Aloysius
Una maligna enfermedad va minando su existencia; la fiebre consume su cuerpo desmedrado. No importa. Continúa con sus penitencias, con sus estudios, se entrega a las obras de la más inflamada caridad para con los enfermos y los apestados, en días trágicos para la ciudad de los Papas. Calentura y amor son los verdugos que acaban con su vida temporal para colocarle en los umbrales de la eterna, a sus veinticuatro años.




  • Festividad: 21 de junio
  • Fecha de beatificación: 1621
  • Fecha canonización: 1726 por Benedicto XIII
  • Nacionalidad: italiana
  • Patrón: enfermos de sida, jóvenes católicos, estudiantes jesuitas, dolencias de la vista, contra la peste, juventud.

Oración Mariana de San Luis Gonzaga

Oh Señora mía, Santa María: hoy y todos los días y en la hora de mi muerte, me encomiendo a tu bendita fidelidad y singular custodia, y pongo en el seno de tu misericordia mi alma y mi cuerpo; te recomiendo toda mi esperanza y mi consuelo, todas mis angustias y miserias, mi vida y el fin de ella: para que por tu santísima intercesión, y por tus méritos, todas mis obras vayan dirigidas y dispuestas conforme a tu voluntad y a la de tu Hijo. Amén.

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