Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568–1591)

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568–1591)

Patron saint of teenagers and Catholic youth

Feast day: June 21

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was born to a wealthy Italian family in the late 1500s.  His family called him Luigi. They hoped he would choose a military career, and, as a child of seven, he was dressed in a small suit of armor to accompany his father to review his father’s military brigade. But, inspired by the lives of the saints and his love of prayer, Aloysius gave up a life of luxury and comfort to join the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits.

While Aloysius was studying in Rome, a great plague broke out. He regularly went out into the streets to care for plague victims, soon catching the disease himself. He died at the age of 23. Saint Aloysius is buried at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola in Rome. Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington is one of the more famous Jesuit schools named in his honor.

(Image ©Zvonimir Atletic/