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Who was St. Stanislaus Kostka?

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St. Stanislaus was a defiant, rebellious teen who qualified for sainthood before his 19th birthday.

Stanislaus was born to a noble Polish family in 1550, the second son of Jan Kostka, lord of Zakroczym in east central Poland.

Stanislaus was an exceptionally studious, pious lad. Sent to the Jesuit college in Vienna at 14, he was led by visions to attempt to enter the Jesuit order — a decision strongly opposed by his father. Determined and unbowed, Stanislaus persisted, eventually finding his way to Rome, where he was accepted as a novice by the Jesuit superior general. However, barely 10 months into his novitiate, Stanislaus sickened and died Aug. 15, 1568 — the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.

He was beatified in 1605 and declared a saint Dec. 31, 1726.

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