Saint John Berchmans

Saint John Berchmans

Birth
Diest, Arrondissement Leuven, Flemish Brabant (Vlaams-Brabant), Belgium
Death 13 Aug 1621 (aged 22)
Rome, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy
Burial Rome, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy
Plot Cappella della SS. Annunziata.
Memorial ID 95325347 · View Source
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Roman Catholic Saint. The patron saint of altar servers, John Berchmans was born in the Belgian city of Diest, the son of a shoemaker, first of five children, three of whom entered religious life. Lovingly assisting his mother when she began suffering from a lengthy illness that confined her to bed while still a nine year old child, holding a great devotion to his position as an altar boy, he entered the Society of Jesus after reading the life of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga at the Jesuit College of Malines. After taking his first vows two years later, he was sent to Antwerp to begin studying philosophy. Remaining there only a few weeks, he set out for Rome, where he was to continue his studies in the same matter. After journeying nine hundred miles on foot, carrying his belongings on his back, he arrived at the Roman College where he underwent studies for the next two years. Selected by the prefect of studies to take part in a philosophical discussion at the Greek College, which at that time was under the charge of the Dominicans, on his return to the college John was seized by a violent fever, due to which he died soon after at the early age of 22, while clutching his rosary, Crucifix and rules of his Society. At his death, a large crowd gathered for several days to see his body and invoke his intercession before burial eventually took place at Sant'Ignazio. His heart was sent to his native Belgium where it is kept to this day in a silver reliquary on a side altar of the Jesuit church in Leuven. The same year of his death, Phillip, Duke of Aarschot, presented a petition to Pope Gregory XV to gather information with a view to the beatification of the young Berchmans. Beatified in 1865, he was declared saint by Pope Leo XIII on January 15, 1888. Originally set on August 13, his liturgical memory is celebrated on November 26.

Bio by: Eman Bonnici


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Eman Bonnici
  • Added: 13 Aug 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 95325347
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Saint John Berchmans (12 Mar 1599–13 Aug 1621), Find a Grave Memorial no. 95325347, citing Chiesa di Sant' Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio, Rome, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .