Now available from Ignatius Press:
by Silas Henderson
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591) was a prince of the Holy Roman Empire who renounced his titles and wealth to serve God and the Church as a member of the Society of Jesus. While he lived a short life and is honored as the patron saint of youth, Saint Aloysius invites all Christians to reflect on how they are living their unique vocations to be witnesses to Christ.
Using the saint's own letters and spiritual reflections, and other historical documents, this book offers unparalleled insights into his life and personality. Woven together with his biography are also portraits of other Jesuits and Reformation saints. The author explains the history of the Society of Jesus and shows how Aloysius Gonzaga played an important part in developing the Jesuit's educational apostolate.
For those interested in Jesuit history, the Reformation, or simply this appealing saint, this book offers a unique perspective on an important period of Church history and what it means to pursue God's will without counting the cost.
Silas S. Henderson is a catechist, retreat leader, and the author of four other books (including Lights for a Waiting World: Celebrating Advent with the Saints and From Season to Season: A Book of Saintly Wisdom), as well as dozens of articles and reflections on prayer, spirituality, Mary, and the Saints.
"Most people don't understand the life of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. But Silas Henderson reveals the complicated, brief, beautiful life that is still, perhaps especially, relevant today."
— Jon M. Sweeney, Author, When St. Francis Saved the Church
"This new biography of Aloysius Gonzaga gives us just what we need to grasp the nature of his sacrifices in leaving an aristocratic life for a fledgling religious community, and in risking his health by serving plague victims for the sake of Christ."
— Joseph Koterski, S.J., Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University
"The last thing in the world we might expect is a biography of a young man who, by current world standards, did not 'do' much. That is why this book and Gonzaga's life are so important for our times. We do not save the world by saving the world. We save the world by first attending to God in the time we are given. This is the great lesson of the life of Aloysius Gonzaga."
— James V. Schall, S. J., Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University
"Finally! An up-to-date, sensitive, and thoroughly researched biography of one of the Church's greatest saints. The life of Aloysius Gonzaga has sometimes been buried under excess layers of piety that could obscure who he was: a strong, tough and prayerful young man and a superb model for youth. An extraordinary story well told."
— James Martin, S. J., Author, The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything
"Here is that rare book, which is full of scholarship and research yet profoundly touches the heart. Silas Henderson's words humanize and bring to life this lovable and loving saint, showing his single-hearted devotion. I highly recommend it to the young, and to all, as a call to purity of heart and charity."
— Deacon Eddie Ensley, Ph.D., Author, Everyday Mysticism