Born in the castle of Castiglione, 9 March, 1568; died 21 June, 1591. At eight he
was placed in the court of Francesco de´Medici in Florence, where he remained for two years, going
then to Mantua. At Brescia, when he was twelve, he came under the spiritual guidance of St. Charles
Borromeo, and from him received First Communion.
In 1581 he went with his father to Spain,
and he and his brother were made pages of James, the son of Philip II. While there he formed the
resolution of becoming a Jesuit, though he first thought of joining the Discalced
He returned to Italy in 1584 after the death of the Infanta, and after much
difficulty in securing his father´s consent, renounced his heritage in favour of his brother, 2
November, 1585, a proceeding which required the approval of the emperor, as Castiglione was a fief
of the empire. He presented himself to Father Claudius Acquaviva, who was then General of the
Society, 25 November, 1585.
Before the end of his novitiate, he passed a brilliant public act
in philosophy, having made his philosophical and also his mathematical studies before his entrance.
He had in fact distinguished himself, when in Spain, by a public examination not only in philosophy,
but also in theology, at the University of Alcal&aacuate;. He made his vows 25 November, 1587.
Immediately after, he began his theological studies.
Among his professors were Fathers
Vasquez and Azor. In 1591 when in his fourth year of theology a famine and pestilence broke out in
Italy. Though in delicate health, he devoted himself to the care of the sick, but on March 3 he fell
ill and died 21 June, 1591. He was beatified by Gregory XV in 1621 and canonized by Benedict XIII in
1726. His remains are in the church of St. Ignazio in Rome in a magnificent urn of lapis lazuli
wreathed with festoons of silver. The altar has for its centerpiece a large marble relief of the
Saint by Le Gros.
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