Saint Aloysius was the eldest of seven children born into an aristocratic family in Castiglione, Northern Italy. As a young boy, Saint Aloysius always had a great desire to know and serve God, but his family life was not always supportive of this desire. He grew up in a castle and was trained from a young age to be a soldier and courtier, and despite the opposition of his family, he taught catechism to poor boys.
He encountered many holy people in his lifetime; he received his first Communion from St. Charles Borromeo and studied under St. Robert Bellarmine. As a teen, he suffered from a kidney disease which he considered a blessing, as it left him with plenty of time for prayer.
At 18 he signed away his legal claim to his title and his family’s lands and entered the Jesuits order. Saint Aloysius served the hospital during the plague of 1587 and contracted the plague from a patient he personally cared for and he died from it at the age of 23 on the 21 June 1591 after receiving his last rites from St Robert Bellarmine.
Saint Aloysius was beatified just fourteen years later, in 1605, and canonized in 1726. He is buried in the Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola in Rome.