St. Aloysius Gonzaga was born in 1568 in Lombardy, Italy. His father was a compulsive gambler who wanted Aloysius to grow up to be a war hero. Aloysius grew up in a castle, and by age four he was trained as a soldier and a courtier. When he was twelve, he recieved his First Communion from St. Charles Borromeo. At about age 13, he made a resolution to become a Jesuit. Aloysius prevailed and “won” a four year “contest” with his father and was allowed to enter the seminary. Four more years were passed studying philosophy with St. Robert Bellarmine as his spiritual advisor. Plague struck Rome in 1591. During the plague, St. Aloysius worked in the Jesuit hospital nursing the infected. It wasn’t long before he himself became sick. Although he remained in a weakened state, his prayer life remained strong. St. Aloysius died in the Octave of Corpus Christi on June 21, 1591. He was 23.