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The young Jesuit whose feast is celebrated today was not a theologian, missionary, professor or activist — but he was a saint.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga had only been a Jesuit for five years when, in 1591, he died at the age of 23 from the plague contracted by heroically serving the sick during an epidemic. He never converted pagans in the Jesuit's many foreign missions nor formed souls in the many Jesuit-run universities, but he did conform himself to Christ. Because of that conversion, he's one of the best-known Jesuits today, whose very name converts hearts and minds to Our Lord.
Modernist Jesuit theologians like Karl Rahner and Teilhard de Chardin, meanwhile, have destroyed the faith of many. Jesuit missionaries in Latin America have immersed themselves in politics by pushing the communist-formed liberation theology. Jesuit professors have derailed the faith of untold youth in their universities, and activists like homosexualist priest Fr. James Martin are working hard to normalize the homosexual lifestyle and change Catholic teaching in the process.
Today's bad Jesuit theologians, missionaries and professors should learn from St. Aloysius to first teach and convert themselves before leading others to Christ. The story of St. Aloysius is one of self-conquest brought about by humble submission to his spiritual formators like his spiritual director, the great St. Robert Bellarmine.
Born of a prestigious family in Italy, St. Aloysius, at the age of nine, vowed perpetual virginity and decided on a future vocation in religious life. He had the honor of receiving first Holy Communion from St. Charles Borromeo. Childhood illness and an irascible father, who was bent on preventing him from entering religious life, hardened his resolve to become a saint.
According to the biography written by St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Aloysius was rather bullheaded when it came to choosing his own severe austerities and impatient, especially with his own imperfections. At the behest of his spiritual director, St. Aloysius practiced gentler virtues, such as patience, humility, obedience and compassion.
He also worked in hospitals, which was naturally repulsive to him. It was this cross of caring for the sick which would ultimately claim him. Working selflessly with such patients during an epidemic when others would not, St. Aloysius contracted the plague and died a few months later.
The young man would never be a writer, preacher, teacher or missionary like many of the bad Jesuits today. But he is one thing they're not — a saint.
Watch the panel discuss the most problematic order of the age in The Download—The Jesuits.