Saint Stanislaus Kostka was born on October 28, 1550, in Rostkowa, Poland. He was born into royalty along with his seven other siblings.
At home, Stanislaus was taught by his parents the values of being modest and pious. When he was fourteen years old, he went to Vienna to attend a college that was run by Jesuit priests. While at college, he was well known by all the other students because he was always smiling and because he loved to pray. He loved his teachers at school because they were not only learned men, but because they were also prayerful men. So, Stanislaus decided to follow the example of these men and wanted to become a Jesuit priest himself.
Because Stanislaus was only 14 years old, his parents refused to allow him to enter the priesthood. Stanislaus then ran away from school in Vienna to try to find another way to join the Jesuit community and become a priest. He walked about a thousand miles from Vienna to Rome, where he was able to enter the Novitiate of Saint Andrew’s. Stanislaus was a model to the others of prayer and of religious perfection. After ten months in the Novitiate, still exhausted from his long journey, Stanislaus got very sick, probably with malaria, and died. He died in1568 when he was only 18 years old. The people of Rome immediately thought of him as a saint and on December 31, 1726, he was canonized into sainthood.
Today we remember Saint Stanislaus Kostka as the patron saint of youth and those who are studying to become Jesuit priests, as well as the patron saint of Poland.