This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Saturday, 21 June 2014

21st June, St Aloysius Gonzaga, Confessor

St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Confessor

The Holy Ghost, "distributer of heavenly gifts" (Collect), made of Aloysius, a young prince of the noble family of Gonzaga, an angel on earth, uniting in him all the marvels of innocence and mortification (Ibid.). Wherefore the Church applies to him the verse of the Psalm where the humanity of Adam before the fall and that of Christ are declared hardly inferior to angelic nature (Introit). His birth to a heavenly life preceded in a certain manner his natural birth, for he was born at the Castle of Castiglione in Italy in such perilous circumstances that they hastened his baptism (Gradual). As an infant, all those who carried him in their arms thought they held an angel. At the age of nine, at Florence, he made a vow of virginity before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, and practised during his whole life the strictest modesty in his looks. Amid the seductions of the princely courts, to which his father sent him, he kept his first innocence so faithfully that he seemed confirmed in grace (Epistle). Towards the age of eleven, he received for the first time the Bread of angels from the hands of St. Charles Borromeo (Communion). At sixteen he entered at Rome the Company of Jesus, of which he is one of the glories. He so distinguished himself by his mortification and love of God that he is compared to the elect in heaven. " They live like angels," says Jesus, because the soul will exercise ftill command over the body which will participate in its spiritual nature.

At the age of twenty-two (1591), wearing his innocence like a nuptial robe, on which shone the pearls of his continual tears, he died a victim to his devotion to the plague-stricken and ascended the holy mountain to take part in the heavenly banquet to which God invites the pure of heart (Secret, Offertory, Gradual).

Let us have recourse to the merits and intercession of St. Aloysius.

Benedict XIII gave him as a pattern to young people, in order that, not having always imitated him in his innocence, they may at least imitate him by doing penance (Collect).

Minuisti eum paulo minus ab Angelis: gloria et honore coronasti eum. * Laudate Dominum, omnes Angela ejus: laudate eum, omnes virtutes ejus.
Thou hast made him a little less than the angels: Thou hast crowned him with glory and honour. * Praise ye the Lord, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts.
(Psalm 8:6 and Psalm 148:2 from the introit of Mass)

Caelestium donorum distributor, Deus, qui in angelico juvene Aloisio miram vitae innocentiam pari cum poenitentia sociasti: ejus meritis et precibus concede; ut, innocentem non secuti, poenitentem imitemur.
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.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

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