The patron saint of altar servers, John Berchmans was born in Diest, Belgium. He joined the Jesuit novitiate when he was seventeen. Sent to Rome to study philosophy at the Roman College in 1619, he surprised both masters and classmates: he joined an exquisite charity and friendliness to a brilliant intelligence and great emotional maturity. His spiritual diary also reveals the depth of his interior life, which bespeaks a true mystical union with God. His health suffered from the effort he put into studying for his final examination, and he became steadily weaker as he prepared for the disputation. On July 8 1621, he passed his final examination brilliantly, but soon after he fell seriously ill with dysentery and died on 13 August 1621. For more about this saint, please click on the image. Peace be with you!