Posted by: fvbcdm | June 21, 2017

Feast of  Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (21 June 2017)

[Today] is what we call the summer solstice.  It is the longest day of the year in our Northern Hemisphere and the first day of summer.  Thus, [tomorrow], the days begin to grow shorter, until we come to the winter solstice on December 21.  Therefore, this is a good time of the year to recommit ourselves to the glory and service of God, as we begin a new season in our lives, a new period of time.  As we all know, we live in time in this world, but we are moving through time to the moment when our on personal time will end with our death, and we will enter an eternity, a totally different way of existing.  So let us begin this three-month period of summer by thanking our God for the gift of human life and all the greatness He gives us to live in this world in time so as to achieve an eternity of happiness with Him in Heaven.

And, on this June 21st, we celebrate in our Church calendar the feast of a young man in sixteenth-century Italy who wanted to be a priest.  He entered the newly founded Jesuit order but died of the plague contracted by taking care of the sick in the City of Rome before his ordination.

During my sabbatical in Rome, some years ago, I often visited the Jesuit Church of Saint Ignatius where the tombs of three Jesuit Saints are to be found—Saints Robert Bellarmine, John Berchmans, and Aloysius Gonzaga, whom we celebrate on June 21st.  The building that was a hospital back in the days of Saint Aloysius is now a police station.  It was there that he cared for the sick. It was there that he contracted the plague, which ultimately took his life, in a sort of martyrdom of charity.  One day, I went there and just asked if I could go in and just look around to be in the building with such venerable associations; however, the police who were on guard duty at the door would not let me go inside.

Not far away, there is another, more elegant building, which bears a historical marker, indicating that it was the home of the Gonzaga family, of which Saint Aloysius was a member.  Saint Aloysius is one of the patron saints of young people.  Yesterday, we spoke of the spiritual dangers for young people in today’s world.  Now, we might as well pray for them, through the intercession of all their patron saints—Aloysius Gonzaga, John Berchmans, Maria Goretti, Dominic Savio, John Bosco, and all of the other saints who distinguished themselves by their concern for the spiritual well-being of the young. Thank you for allowing God to love you, God bless you.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.  Please pray for the souls of the faithful departed, including Father Brown.

 

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