St. Stanislaus Kostka
Confessor (1550 - 1568)
The second of 7 children, Stanislaus hailed from high Polish nobility; his father was a prominent senator of the realm. At 14 he and his elder brother Paul were enrolled in the newly opened Jesuit College at Vienna. During their three years. In Vienna the brothers lived for a time in the house of a Lutheran, where Stanislaus grew rapidly in piety and religious fervor. Paul, however, became so violently antagonistic toward his "hermit" brother that the latter, under continued nervous strain, finally fell ill. Worse, living in a Protestant household he was even denied the Sacraments, but he saw angels, attended by St. Barbara, bring him Holy Communion one day. Our Lady too appeared to him and, advising him to become a Jesuit, completely cured him.
Given his father's stout objections, the Jesuits in Vienna dared not accept Stanislaus! So he quietly slipped out of the house early one morning, changed into peasant's clothing in the nearby woods, and set out on foot for Augsburg, some 450 miles away in Germany, where he met St Peter Canisius, the German Provincial. From there he was sent on to Rome with recommendation - another 800 miles on foot! Here he was admitted as a novice by the Father General, St. Francis Borgia, and soon won all hearts by his cheerful sanctity, angelic innocence and purity of thought and speech. His delicate constitution notwithstanding, he practiced all manner of penance, and God bestowed numerous supernatural favours on him;
In the 10th month of his novitiate, on 10 August 1568, Stanislaus took critically ill. Five days later, i.e., on the feast of Our Lady's Assumption, he succumbed to fever.
Stanislaus Kostka, who was canonized on 31 December 1726, is the Patron of novices in certain houses of formation and is also invoked against palpitation and in dangerous illnesses, especially against dying without the Viaticum.
Reflection :"I am not born for time, but for eternity" (St. Stanislaus Kosta).