St Aloysius – Following his desire to share in Christ’s Mission
‘Let no one disregard you because you are young but be an example to all the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in your love, your faith and your purity’ 1 Timothy 4:12
St Aloysius died aged 23 caring for people who had fallen ill in a dreadful epidemic in Rome in 1591. His hands–on care of those who were sick led him to develop symptoms himself and fall victim to the disease. At 17 years of age he had followed his vocation to join the Jesuit order. He simply followed his desire to share in Christ’s mission. I wonder how he might have responded to the current pandemic?
After many weeks of lockdown, I am able to visit my father. He is in his 80’s and suffered a stroke in 2018. He is particularly vulnerable to the spread of Covid 19. When I arrive, he is sitting outside in the sunshine with his young carer having a cup of tea. She is 19 years of age and everyday for the last ten weeks she has got him up, cheered him up and returned in the evening to put him to bed at night. I feel a surge of gratitude for her hands-on care of my dad. I think, too, of all the young newly qualified nurses and doctors who have bravely risen to the challenge that their vocation presents in these days of the pandemic.
Reflect: Is there a young person who has inspired you? If you are that inspiring young person? Why do you do what you do?
you called Aloysius from
a life of riches,
comfort and power
to be poor as Jesus was poor.
As Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead,
Aloysius cared for the sick and dying.
Give me courage to seek you in the poor
and the abandoned,
in those who have no place and
no status in this world.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sarah Young, Jesuit Spirituality Teams and People Coordinator
Prayer and picture: The Jesuit Institute
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