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Aloysius Gonzaga was the eldest son of Marquis Ferdinand of Gonzaga, Duke of Montana, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. He was born in the year 1568. He was brought up piously by his mother. At the age of 10, Aloysius began to impose on himself a pitiless discipline and severe fasts in order to conquer his quick temper and ready criticism of others. At the age of 12, he received his First Holy Communion from St. Charles Borromeo, the Acrhbishop of Milan.

Young Aloysius resigned his title in favour of his brother and decided to become a religious priest. But his father vehemently opposed his son's plans. Aloysius was even sent to the court of Philip II of Spain to have his mind diverted from becoming a religious.

At the age of 17, with the consent of his father and total support of his devout mother, Aloysius joined the Order of the Society of JESUS in Rome. Aloysius had developed his prayer life and was obedient to his superiors from the very beginning.

This conformity of the will of God produced in him marvellous peace of soul. He worked very hard at his studies. As a student he wrote "I am a twisted piece of iron and have entered religion in order to get straightened out." While workin o , hard at his studies, Aloysius found time to help those in need. A great