Apostolic Letter on St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Source: District of Asia

Apostolic Letter of Pope Pius XI on St. Aloysius Gonzaga on 12th day of June 1926 declaring him to be the patron of Christian Youth.

Now, if our young men and young women keep Aloysius constantly before their minds as a perfect model of purity and holiness, they will assuredly learn not only to keep their baser passions in check, but also to avoid that most deadly stumbling block in the path of Christian education into which all must necessarily run who, imbued with the false principles of a certain kind of science at variance with the doctrine of the Church, allow themselves to be led astray by an exaggerated love of freedom, arrogance of mind, and looseness of morals. Aloysius, on the contrary, though heir to a princely lineage and estate not only willingly allowed himself to be guided by his spiritual directors and masters of letters, but later, as a member of the Society of Jesus, obeyed every order and counsel of his Superiors with such humility that he never deviated in the least from the exact observance of the Institute. How different this conduct of Aloysius is from that of those young people who, deceived by a certain appearance of good and impatient of all restraint, make light, of the counsels of their elders, no one can fail to see. All those, therefore, who may wish to enlist under the standard of Christ must be convinced they will justly deserve shameful defeat in place of the palm of victory if they cast aside the yoke of discipline, since at their age they are so constituted by God that they can make no real progress either in their intellectual training or in the shaping of their lives to Christian habits except under the instruction of others. And If they need a great submissiveness of mind for other intellectual pursuits, they will need it still more for the endeavors of an apostolic career because, in undertaking to carry out the mission entrusted to the Church by Christ, they will never be able to fulfill its sacred duties profitably unless they are humbly obedient to those whom "the Holy Ghost has appointed Bishops to rule the Church of God."  Just as Satan in the earthly paradise drove our first parents to rebel against God by luring them from their due obedience by grand and incredible promises, so in our own time does he seduce the young by the proffer of unbridled liberty and, by puffing them up with vain pride, draw them to destruction with the loss of their natural dignity which consists in obedience to lawful authority.

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