About Our Stained Glass Windows
Saint Aloysius was the eldest son of Ferdinand Gonzaga, a prince of Italy. As a boy Aloysius lived in riches; everything was his: toys and games, fine clothes, a palace to live in, and plenty of servants to take good care of him. From his mother he learned to love God. On the day of his First Communion, he promised Jesus that he would love God first, last and always. That is how he became a saint.
At thirteen his father took him to the court of the King of Spain, where he and his brother became royal pages to the King. When he was fifteen, he decided to give over his rights as crown-prince to his brother. For he wanted to be a priest. When he told his mother of his intentions, she liked it; but when he told his father, there was trouble. For his father wanted him to be a great ruler and soldier. At length his father gave reluctant permission, and in 1585 he entered the Jesuit novitiate to study for the priesthood.
For six years he prayed and studied and did penance. He once remarked about himself: “I am a crooked piece of iron, and must be made straight by the hammer of mortification and penance”.
During his last year of theology with the priesthood just months away, a terrible plague broke out in Rome. Hundreds of people were dying from the contagious fever. Aloysius offered himself for the service of the dying, and in caring for the sick, he himself caught the dread desease. For three months he endured agonizing pain. But the more he suffered, the more cheerful he became. Then on the 21st of June, 1591, he gave his pure and innocent soul back to God, saying as his last word the Holy Name of Jesus.
Saint Aloysius is the patron of Catholic Students. Because of his love for suffering, he is shown in our stained glass window holding the crucifix, meditating on the sufferings of Christ.
Cardinal Bellarmine, the saint’s confessor, testified that Aloysius had never mortally offended God, Yet during his short life of twenty-three years, he chastised his body rigorously, rose at night to pray, and shed many tears for his sins… Pray that not having followed his innocence, we may yet imitate his penance.