Join our Lenten Campaign 2024.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga worked tirelessly for the sick in Rome, caring for those who were dying from the plague.
Not surprisingly, Aloysius contracted the plague and was dying at the age of 23.
While on his deathbed, Aloysius wrote this heartfelt letter to his mom, assuring her of his final destination.
It is a beautiful letter and reminds us that while death can be sad, it is also a source of great joy that lasts for eternity.
May the comfort and grace of the Holy Spirit be yours for ever, most honored lady. Your letter found me lingering still in this region of the dead, but now I must rouse myself to make my way on to heaven at last and to praise God for ever in the land of the living; indeed I had hoped that before this time my journey there would have been over. If charity, as Saint Paul says, means to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who are glad, then, dearest mother, you shall rejoice exceedingly that God in his grace and his love for you is showing me the path to true happiness, and assuring me that I shall never lose him.
God is calling me to eternal rest; his voice from heaven invites me to the infinite bliss I have sought so languidly, and promises me this reward for the tears I have so seldom shed.
And our parting will not be for long; we shall see each other again in heaven; we shall be united with our Savior; there we shall praise him with heart and soul, sing of his mercies for ever, and enjoy eternal happiness. When he takes away what he once lent us, his purpose is to store our treasure elsewhere more safely and bestow on us those very blessings that we ourselves would most choose to have.
I write all this with the one desire that you and all my family may consider my departure a joy and favor and that you especially may speed with a mother’s blessing my passage across the waters till I reach the shore to which all hopes belong. I write the more willingly because I have no clearer way of expressing the love and respect I owe you as your son.