The Church celebrates the feast of St Aloysius Gonzaga. He lived during the 16th Century. Aloysius came from a wealthy royal family, but renounced his inheritance in order to join the Jesuits.
When the plague hit Italy, this young man dedicated himself to caring for those stricken with the disease. He contracted it himself and died at the age of 23.
He was beatified in 1621 by Pope Gregory XV and canonized by Benedict XIII in1726.
These holy men and women who go to their deaths at a young age are wonderful examples of what God can do with a life in a short period of time.
I came across this reflection on the saint. It tells of how he would spend days preparing for his next Holy Communion and days after in thanksgiving, therefore making his entire life, moment by moment, a life lived entirely in God's presence.
May we follow his example of service and holiness.
It is said of St. Aloysius Gonzaga that he used to receive Communion once a week and that he was accustomed to spend three days in preparation before it and three days in thanksgiving after it. How did he manage to do this? Was he all the time prostrated before the Altar or reading a spiritual book? Not at all; he went wherever obedience called him, quietly performing his duties and keeping his heart lifted up to God. He offered up all his actions to Jesus Christ by way of thanksgiving, and he made now and then some short acts of faith, hope and charity, some acts of self-oblation or admiration or supplication. By this means, the angelic youth was enabled to walk continually with God; one Communion was the preparation for another; thus, he constantly advanced in purity of heart and in love for Jesus Christ.
~The Blessed Eucharist: Our Greatest Treasure
Fr. Michael Muller, C.S.S.R