St. Aloysius Church is located at 900 North Capitol St., NW, in Washington, D.C. has been in use since 1859 under the sponsorship of the Jesuit order. It is named after St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a young Italian Jesuit, who gave his life at the age of 23 caring for victims of the plague in Rome in 1581.
The New York Times, in describing the dedication of the Church mentions
that President James Buchanan and several Cabinet members were present.
Brumidi was a personal friend of Father Sestini and painted him and the
pastor, Father Bernadine Wiget, as kneeling in the Communion scene. The
model for St. Aloysius’ mother was parishioner Adele Cutts Douglas,
of Stephen Douglas, the “Little Giant” who was Abraham Lincoln’s rival
in the historic debates of 1858 and the presidential campaign of
On September 9, 1862, three years after the dedication and in the dark
days of the Civil War, Father Wiget received a requisition from the
to use the Church as a military hospital. The Pastor made a
to build a hospital on “K” Street just north of the church according to
the requirements of the military governor and according to his
Parishioners constructed a 250-bed hospital within eight days. In
the hospital was named St. Aloysius to honor the Church.