Rorate Caeli

Gonzaga: Purity and love for the Word

The Jesuits had several houses in Madrid. It was in one of these that Aloysius found the guide of his soul. He chose for his confessor Padre Fernando Paterno, a Sicilian, and, under his direction, communicated frequently, and made fresh progress in evangelical perfection. What his life was, even in the midst of the daily distractions and disadvantages which his presence at the court entailed upon him, may be gathered from the testimony of this very father, given after the saint's death, to his purity of conscience. Not only, he averred, had Aloysius never committed a mortal sin, having ever abhorred the very thought of it, but many and many a time the padre could not in his confessions discover sufficient matter for absolution.

In innocency a child, he describes him at that time as already a man in intellect and judgment; a great enemy to idleness, always occupied in some good exercise, and specially in the study of Scripture, in which he took great delight, and manifesting singular modesty in word, look, and deed. When walking through the streets, Aloysius never raised his eyes, so that, had he not been accompanied, he would have mistaken his way, whether in Madrid, where he spent more than two years, or in other places, as he himself upon occasion stated in after years. And if palaces and buildings courted his gaze in vain, so also was it with all the pageantry of that court, the most sumptuous and gorgeous in Europe. Queens, princesses, and their glittering attendants passed before him as in a dream, in which nothing of detail is marked or remembered, or as unseen objects of which the shadow alone crosses our field of vision; nay, Aloysius confessed to the same Jesuit father that even the empress, in whose galley he had sailed and in whose presence he almost daily found himself with Don Diego [de Austria, Prince of Spain, of whom he had been made a page of honor], he had never really seen; never had he looked in her face so as to be able to recognize her; and had he met her elsewhere, he would not have known her.
The Life of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
Edward Healy Thompson (Ed.)


Knight of Malta said...

the mettle of a Saint

Anonymous said...

Please add a link to your previous post about St. Aloysius, which contained the vision given to St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi. It is so powerful and beautiful!! Thank you and God bless you all.

New Catholic said...

A loyal reader! Thanks, I will add it right away.

Anonymous said...

"Not only, he averred, had Aloysius never committed a mortal sin, having ever abhorred the very thought of it, but many and many a time the padre could not in his confessions discover sufficient matter for absolution."

Can a competent individual comment and expand on the above quoted comment, which I find awe-inspiring? Later on in life, Saint Aloysius confessed to St Robert Belarmine. Imagine, a Saint confessing to anther saint.
What could have possibly transpired between them during the wonderous sacramental exchange?

Anonymous said...

Anon 14:48, Yes, It must have been quite extraordinary. Similarly, my favorite reading is autobiographies of saints, written under holy obedience, and the biographies of saints written by other saints. I especially recommend "The Autobiography of Anthony Mary Claret". A long list of lives of saints written by other saints is found in the book, "Saints to Remember", by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart on the feast of St. Paula, January 26, whose life was written by Saint Jerome. Loyal Reader.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anon.15:18

Anonymous said...

Edward Healy Thompson wrote good biographies. Quite in depth.


Anonymous said...

You don't believe everything you read

Anonymous said...

Some really crazy story for pious simpletons.

New Catholic said...

I had to allow the last two comments just so you could witness some of the things the team of moderators has to go through every single day (and other similar comments had already been deleted in this thread during the day).

Dear Anon.: if you really believe this, you are not welcome here. Please, leave us Catholics alone.


Anonymous said...

Anon. 17.24:

Pious simpletons are not much of a problem. The problem is the impious simpletons who designed the New Mass.


Oh, and, by the way, 'impious' is pronounced as IMPious, not as imPIous.

Anonymous said...

A confession between two saints:

"I confess that I was distracted during my Rosary by the sound of the building next door collapsing."

"That's NOTHING! I forgot to give a beggar all my money and, as a result, I survived starvation.'

'You think that's bad? I'll tell you bad: I forgot to take holy water once upon entering a church.'

'That's NOTHING! I turned the radio on once during Lent.'

'You're an amateur! I got my tongue wet in the shower during the Eucharistic Fast and still recevied Holy Communion.'



Anonymous said...


'Bless me, Father, for I have sinnned. It's been 74 years since my last confession. In that time, I've committed two venial sins.'

'What, you wretch! Why didn't you confess immediately after the first one?'

'I tried but the second sin occurred twelve seconds after the first.'

Oh, I'm sorry. Can't resist. There is something humorous about the prospect of one saint confessing to another. Of course, the truth is that most saints sinned quite commonly but died in a state of grace aftrer leading outstanding lives of virtue. If the humour helps us to remember that, it can serve a holy purpose for each of us.


Anonymous said...

"Some really crazy story for pious simpletons."

Thank you.

Delphina the Pious Simpleton

Adeodatus said...

Let the Lord make of me a simpleton, if it should make me pious.

Anonymous said...

I love crazy stories for pious simpletons and St. Aloysius is a star! The world (we) (the young) need these models of virtue in the squalor-riddled society we have created.

And another thing, THE POST CONCILIO CHURCH hardly ever soeaks about purity and chastity . which is a sure sign that we have gone off the tracks in instructing souls. For years prior to SP,(despite the N.O. doublespeak) this troubled me and I got into many heated discussions about it - naturally I was accused of being an integralist, rigid, out of touch with reality etc., - most here know the score...the same old song

PKTP - you are sparkling today! I esp. liked the first account! Delightful!

Now I'm off to Mass (TLM) where I will pray for all here at RORATE! - THE BESTEST CATHOLIC BLOG! (using a term I read here but in modo positivo!)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your prayers, Barbara. I am in need.

Delphina the "Pious" Simpleton

Anonymous said...

New Catholic, do you know the artist of this painting of San Luigi?

New Catholic said...

Not at the moment, I am sorry.