Our Patron Saint
St. John Berchmans, S.J.
His life was brief and yet, like so many exemplary saints, his simplicity of spirit and desire to please the Lord touched the hearts of all who knew him.
St. John Berchmans, our patron, was born in Flanders and entered the Society of Jesus in 1616 at the tender age of 17.
The young man developed a deep spirituality based on the loving practice of fidelity, and he is known for having done ordinary deeds extraordinarily well. St. Aloysius of Gonzaga, S.J. was his spiritual model, and he was influenced by the example of the Jesuit English martyrs.
Kind and outgoing, he was much loved. In 1618, he was sent to Rome to study philosophy and was an outstanding scholar. He hoped that after his ordination he could be a chaplain in the army, hoping to be martyred on the battlefield.
In the summer of 1619, the intense heat of Rome started to affect his health and he began progressively to get weaker. The doctors could not determine what was wrong, and for two years he was continually sick, requiring medical care, and as the summer of 1621 came, it was clear that he would not last long. He died peacefully on August 13, 1621, and numerous miracles were attributed to him at the time of his funeral.
His feast day is November 26.