Thursday, June 21, 2007

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Memorial - St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Patron of Youth

If you've ever wondered where Gonzaga University gets its name from - here he is. St. Aloysius was a Jesuit living in the late 16th century. He was well connected, as far as saints go. His cousin was Saint Rudolph Acquaviva. He received first Communion from Saint Charles Borromeo. He was a student of Saint Robert Bellarmine, one of the great saints of the reformation.

This brings up something I have long wanted to point out: scratch a saint, and you will find other saints. If you look through the list of saints, the vast majority of them knew at least one other saint, often times very well. In fact, I don't personally know of a saint who did not know any other saints, though I am sure there were at least a few. There is a tremendous lesson in this. If you want to be a saint - if you want to get to Heaven - hang around saintly people. God makes saints, after all, and the way God works in our lives is through other people. If you find yourself around someone who is very open to God, someone who God seems to work a lot through, well you're in a whole lot better of a position to have God make a saint out of you.

For some of us, this might not be easy. For one thing, we may not know anyone we would think of as saintly. Even if we do, chances are we may have a hard time hanging around them; saintly people do have a tendancy to make others uncomfortable at times. Holiness is, after all, a little tough to stomach for those of us who are attached to sin (i.e., most of us). That being said, try to spend even a little time with them if you know any such people. The more you do, the more you'll find yourself less attached to sin and more attracted to holiness. And if you do desire holiness but just can't seem to get there, well that's the best time to hang around with some saints. Their presence - thanks to the way God works through them - will do wonders for the soul who wants to grow but just doesn't know how or has a hard time. And if you don't know any saints, ask God to send you one. He'll see what He can do!

St. Aloysius - pray for us!

No comments: