The Italian saint who inspired two Spokane educational institutions

Jun 23, 2024 142

BY: Andru Zodrow

Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Preparatory School are both named after Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, S.J., whose feast day is celebrated by Catholics on June 21. Aloysius Gonzaga was an Italian noble who is recognized as the patron saint of youth. He served people dying of the plague during the height of the Black Death and eventually succumbed to the illness himself in 1591. 

Several Jesuit educational institutions across the globe are named after the Italian saint. Gonzaga College, later renamed Gonzaga University, was named by Fr. Joseph Cataldo, S.J. in 1887. Cataldo was also an Italian Jesuit, and gained renown for his service to disenfranchised populations across the Inland Northwest at the turn of the 20th century. 

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