St John Berchmans (March 13, 1599 – August 13, 1621) the patron saint of our college, and is venerated in the Church as the patron of students. He was born in the town of Diest in Flanders as the eldest son of a poor shoemaker. At a very young age he wanted to be a priest. At the age of thirteen he became a servant in the household of one of the cathedral canons at Malines. After his mother’s death, his father and two brothers followed suit and entered religious life. In 1615 he enrolled in the Jesuit College at Malines. A year later he joined the novitiate. He was an enthusiastic student, an excellent actor and an orator. He has been described as a young man of exemplary life, of pure conscience and of great perfection. John Berchmans could not complete his studies. He died of a contagious disease on August 13, 1621.