Saint Who Founded The Jesuits

St. Ignatius: Founder of the Jesuits

In 1491, Ignatius of Loyola was born in Spain to an aristocratic Basque family. He became known as the “Father of the Church.” At various points throughout his life, he served as a courtier, caballero, and soldier in the service of the Spanish monarch, Ferdinand, among others. In 1521, while defending the castle of Pamplona, a bullet struck him in the leg, causing him to lose his leg. During a long period of recuperation, Ignatius found solace in the volumes accessible in the library of his family castle: the lives of Christ and the lives of the saints, for example.

His earlier dreams of knightly splendor were replaced by a new passion to serve Jesus, and he finally decided to pursue a vocation to the priesthood.

As shown in a statue in the heart of the University of Scranton campus, he remained there all night in vigil and presented Our Lady with his knight’s sword, which she accepted.

He examined himself in the form of mortification and prayer, and he meditated profoundly on the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • It was through the use of this book, which Ignatius amended and tweaked throughout his life, that he guided others into an encounter with God via meditation on the life of Jesus.
  • Francis Xavier and Peter Faber, both 23-year-old students and housemates, were his closest friends and coworkers.
  • After a long journey through Europe, Ignatius and his companions arrived in Rome in the spring of 1539 and began serious conversations about how they could work together to serve God in the Church by assisting sinners.
  • On September 27, 1540, Pope Paul III gave his approval to this formula, and the Society of Jesus was officially founded that day.
  • He passed away quietly in the early hours of the morning on July 31.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Frequently Asked Questions

What is St. Ignatius of Loyola famous for?

Theologian and mystic St. Ignatius of Loyola (born 1491 in Loyola, Castile—died July 31, 1556, Rome; canonized March 12, 1622; feast day July 31), was one of the most influential figures in the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 16th century and the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) inParis in 1534. St. Ignatius de Loyola, SpanishSan Ignacio de

Early life

Ignatius was born in the Loyolas’ ancestral castle in the Basque province of Guipzcoa, the youngest of 13 children born to a noble and rich family; his mother died when he was seven years old. He was educated in the Loyola tradition. During the year 1506 Ignatius was employed as a page in the service of a distant relative, Juan Velázquez de Cuéllar, who served as the treasurer of the kingdom of Castile. During the year 1517, Ignatius was made a knight in the service of his relative, Antonio Manrique de Lara, duke of Nájera and viceroy of Navarre, who utilized him in military endeavors as well as on a diplomatic expedition to Spain.

In this way, the first stage of his existence came to an end.

Despite the fact that his morals were far from impeccable, Ignatius was in his early years a proud rather than a sensual individual.

Musical pieces, particularly holy hymns, were a particular favorite of his.

Spiritual awakening

The second era of Ignatius’ life, during which he began to turn toward a holy life, is the time of his life that is most well-known. At June 1521, after receiving treatment in Pamplona, he was transferred to Loyola. His condition deteriorated to the point where it was believed he would die while in the hospital. When he was no longer in danger, he decided to endure excruciating surgery to remedy mistakes that had been made when the bone was originally set. The upshot was a lengthy recuperation that lasted several weeks, during which he studied a biography of Christ and a book on the lives of the saints, the only reading material available in the castle.

  1. His attention was initially drawn to the saints throughout the first few minutes of this forced reading.
  2. Ignatius was deeply touched and drawn to this way of looking at life.
  3. Leaving his family behind in February 1522, Ignatius traveled to Montserrat, a center of pilgrimage in northern Spain, where he spent the rest of his life.
  4. The following day, he traveled to Manresa, a town 48 kilometers (30 miles) north of Barcelona, where he would spend the crucial months of his professional life, from March 25, 1522, until mid-February 1523.
  5. He went to mass every day and spent seven hours in prayer, which he did in a cave outside of Manresa most of the time.
  6. The author recalls that while sitting on a bank of the Cardoner River one day, “the eyes of his understanding began to open” and that “he understood and knew many things, both spiritual and faith-related, without seeing any vision” (Autobiography,30).
  7. He continued to make some additions to it until the end of his studies in Paris (1535), at which point he abandoned the project.
  8. The Spiritual Exercisesis a manual of spiritual arms that contains a vital and dynamic system of spirituality that can be practiced at any time.
  9. In fact, the booklet is an adaptation of the Gospels for use in such retreats.
  10. Ignatius set out from Barcelona in March 1523 and arrived in Jerusalem on September 4, traveling through Rome, Venice, and Cyprus on the way.

On October 3, after visiting Bethany, the Mt. of Olives, Jerusalem, the Jordan River, and the Mount of Temptation, Ignatius embarked on his journey to Spain, passing through Cyprus and Venice before arriving in Barcelona in March 1524.

Period of study

“When the traveller discovered that it was God’s will that he should not remain in Jerusalem, he wondered what he should do and eventually decided to study for a period of time in order to be able to aid souls” (Autobiography,50). So Ignatius, who refers to himself in his Autobiography as the “pilgrim,” outlines his determination to obtain as fine an education as possible given the conditions of his time and place. He could have become a priest in a few of years if he had worked hard. He made the decision to postpone this aim for more than 12 years and to endure the misery of the classroom at an age when the majority of men had long ago completed their formal education.

  • Regardless, he was persuaded that a well-trained guy could do in a short period of time what a man who had not received training would never be able to accomplish.
  • In 1526, he moved to the city of Alcalá.
  • Despite being declared not guilty, he fled Alcalá for Salamanca.
  • He was found not guilty a second time, although he was barred from teaching until he completed his studies.
  • From 1528 until 1535, he was a student at the University of Parison, where he entered on February 2, 1528.
  • In 1530, he traveled to England with the same goal in mind.
  • Following this experience, he was ultimately convinced that he ought to withdraw from public religious endeavor until he was ordained to the priesthood.
  • Along the way, he gathered the companions who would later join him in founding the Society of Jesus, including St.
  • On August 15, 1534, he led the small group to the adjacent town of Montmartre, where they took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, but not with the explicit goal of establishing a religious order at that time.

Who was St. Ignatius Loyola?

By George Traub, S.J., and Debra Mooney, Ph.D., with contributions from others.

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The Early Years

St. Ignatius of Loyola, also known as Ignatius of Loyola, was born in 1491 in the Basque province of northern Spain, at the Castle of Loyola, during the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He is the patron saint of the Catholic Church. Iigo was the youngest of 13 children, nurtured in a family culture that was devoted to the Catholic faith but was loose in its moral standards. He was confronted with the inconsistencies that existed between the goals of the church and the realities of his own family life.

  • Marina Saenz de Licona y Balda Maria, Iigo’s mother, died while he was a youngster, and he had little contact with her.
  • One of his brothers accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second journey, and another perished in war in a distant land.
  • He worked as a page in the courtroom for a while.
  • It wasn’t only that he dressed up in costume and was an accomplished dancer.
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The Soldier

An extremely strong French army launched an attack on the fortified town of Pamplona in the spring of 1521. A small band of Spanish troops attempting to defend the town were ready to surrender; all of them, with the exception of Iigo de Loyola, were ready to surrender. He would be able to fend off the French on his own initiative. However, a French projectile destroyed his leg, thereby putting a stop to his protest. The French were impressed by the man’s fortitude. It was they who transported him back to his castle of Loyola on a litter.

  1. Also broken was his image of himself as a gorgeous, dashing courtier – all he had ever dreamed of being and everything he had worked for.
  2. In such a way that it would show through the tight hose that a courtier would wear, “the bone protruded to such an extent as to be something unsightly.” Iigo insisted on having the limb re-broken and re-set, despite the fact that there was no anesthesia present.
  3. In order to pass the time while he healed, he requested the types of novels that he loved reading: historical romances with chivalry.
  4. He had been daydreaming for hours.
  5. His thoughts would also turn to the heroic deeds he could perform in order to resemble St.
  6. Dominic in his allegiance to his heavenly Father.
  7. However, once the romantic chivalrous daydreaming was finished, the guy felt empty and unhappy, whereas after the spiritual daydreaming was over, he continued to feel a profound serenity and peaceful satisfaction, despite the fact that he was awake.
  8. He knew from previous experience that certain ideas made him sad while others made him glad, and he gradually learned to distinguish between the different spirits that were moving him.

“We can see the beginning of his abilities of perception and decision-making in this passage. He recognized that God was directing him by his feelings, guiding him toward a completely other way of living.

The Pilgrim

As soon as Iigo was able to walk again, he embarked on a voyage to Jerusalem in order to “kiss the soil where our Lord walked,” as he put it. He passed via the town of Montserrat, Spain, where he gave up his expensive garments to a needy man in exchange for his assistance. Later, after an all-night vigil in front of the Black Madonna in the church of the Benedictine abbey in the town, he was able to lay down his sword and dagger for the last time. His old life had effectively come to an end, and his new existence had begun.

  • He did not want to visit his former acquaintances, who he believed would be in contradiction with his new principles, so he traveled to the adjacent town of Manresa with the aim of remaining for a couple of days there.
  • “The Pilgrim,” as he was known in his memoirs, requested shelter in a hospital for the impoverished, which he learned about when he arrived outside the town’s gates.
  • As we can see in this photograph, he spent the most of his time in prayer with God, often praying as much as seven hours a day.
  • He continued to have doubts, anxiety, and scruples for lengthy periods of time; he even considered suicide as a means of putting an end to his inner anguish and suffering.
  • As a result of his continual revision and expansion of these notes as a result of his listening to other people, they became known as his Spiritual Exercises.
  • If you are looking for an example of a spiritual exercise, consider reflecting on the ways in which you have been loved, or on what your personal gifts are and how you use them and for whom you use them.
  • Modern day Jesuits and other priests and sisters and brothers, together with an ever-increasing number of professional men and women, use these Spiritual Exercises to help others toward spiritual development and a closer connection with God, approximately 500 years after they were first used.

Visiting the Holy Land

The Pilgrim was successful in obtaining passage on a ship bound towards the Holy Land. However, instead of being able to realize his big ambition of remaining in the country for the rest of his life and attempting to convert the so-called “infidel,” he was forced to return to Europe by church officials after just a few weeks. Without him and his conversion strategy, they were having enough difficulties as it was. Another of Iigo’s dreams has come crashing down. In order to determine which direction the “footprint of Jesus” was facing when it was time for him to take ship and journey back to the western Mediterranean, he returned to the Mount of Olives to check.

In this case, however, it is not so much the historical accuracy of the narrative as it is what this deed of the Pilgrim reveals us about his own inner life, his creative life, that is of importance.

He desired to have a personal connection withJesus, and he treasured every detail aboutJesus that he learned about him.

A Non-traditional Student

Despite the fact that Iigo was unable to preach and serve God in the Holy Land in the manner in which he had intended, he was nevertheless resolved to achieve this aim in some way. He came to the conclusion that he needed to further his studies in order to “assist souls.” Following his return, he attended free public grammar school to prepare for admission to a university in the city where he had grown up. This meant that he began learning Latin grammar and other fundamentals with pupils who ranged in age from 8 to 14 years old when he was 33 years old and continued for two years.

Ignatius in Prison

Following his first education in Barcelona, Iigo went on to study at Spanish university cities, first in Alcala, near Madrid, and then in Salamanca, in the north of the country. During his time in both locations, he spent almost as much time engaging people in discourse about spiritual things as he did studying and attending lectures on the subject. Such chats landed him in hot water with the Spanish Inquisition, and he was imprisoned three times for interrogation as a result of them. The accusation was always the same: that he had the temerity to speak about religious subjects while he did not hold a degree in theology.

In the end, he was always found innocent, but he chose to remain silent in order to prevent additional persecution by the Inquisition.

Higher Education in Paris

A few years later, when he was 38, the Pilgrim went to the College Ste. Barbe of the University of Paris, which is regarded to be in the core of the French Renaissance. He didn’t know much about French, and he wasn’t very fluent or exact in Latin. Nonetheless, he made progress, although incrementally. Students woke up around 4:00 a.m., and classes—lectures—began at 5:00 a.m., back in the day. In the late afternoon, there were further sessions that lasted for many hours. He found the university curriculum, which was organized in the Parisian way, to be far more ordered than what he was accustomed to in Spain.

Consequently, he began from the beginning with grammar, language, and the humanities before moving on to the sciences, philosophy, and religion.

A Jesuitlegacy to education, the current idea of levels or classes-freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior-is based on the experience with this Parisian method of learning and is founded on this experience.

His diploma did not have the name Iigo; instead, it bore the name “Ignatius,” which he had taken up in Paris and kept for the rest of his life.

The First Companions

During his time at the University of Paris, Ignatius shared a room withPeter Faber, a young man from Savoy in the south of France, and Francis Xavier, a nobleman from the eastern part of the Basque area, among other people. The community of “Friends in the Lord,” as they called themselves, grew up around Ignatius over time, and eventually surrounded him completely. The fact that they were taken through the Spiritual Exercises one by one was something that brought them closer together. The majority of them were led by Ignatius himself.

  1. As well as sharing his goal of traveling on a mission to the Holy Land with them, Ignatius also discussed some of his more practical and realistic considerations.
  2. The pope, in his capacity as global pastor, should be aware of the most pressing needs.
  3. As fate would have it, no ship set sail during that one year due to a naval conflict between Venice and the Turks.
  4. They were set to be dispersed over Europe and the rest of the world.
  5. They came to the conclusion that they should establish themselves into a religious organization.
  6. Outsiders mocked them and called them “Jesuits,” but the moniker stuck and was ultimately adopted by everyone and everyone’s friends.

The Founder

It was Pope Paul III who granted approval to the Society of Jesus in 1540, making it the first formal Catholic religious organization. Ignatius was chosen as the group’s first leader. He withdrew his consent after the first vote. He considered himself undeserving of the post because of his former pride and licentiousness, as well as because he believed that others were more theologically versed than he was. He accepted the post after much deliberation and continued to serve in it until his death sixteen years later.

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In his words, they should “hurry to any corner of the world where the needs of one’s neighbor may cry for their assistance.” And he advised them to serve “without using harsh words or showing scorn for other people’s mistakes.” With the assistance of his servant Juan Polanco, he also authored approximately 7,000 letters, in addition to the Constitutions for the young order he had founded.

  1. However, the majority of these letters were written to his Jesuit colleagues, resulting in a great network of friendship, love, and care amongst them.
  2. Following that, the number of schools increased to 144, and another 35 years after that, the number of schools reached over 400.
  3. This was in stark contrast to his youthful ambitions.
  4. Richard Blinn, SJ, compiled a slide collection titled “The World of Ignatius Loyola,” which served as the inspiration for the pictures in this article.

The following quotations are taken from A Pilgrim’s Journey: The Autobiography of Ignatius of Loyola, translated by Joseph N. Tylenda and published by the University of Notre Dame Press (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991).

Jesuit order established

Pope Paul III bestows his charter to the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic missionary society, in the Italian capital of Rome. A significant part in the Counter-Reformation was performed by the Jesuit order, which was ultimately successful in converting millions of people all over the world to Catholicism. In August 1534, Ignatius de Loyola, a Spanish soldier who later became a priest, established the Jesuit organization in Rome. It was Ignatius and six of his students who became the first Jesuits, taking vows of poverty and chastity as well as plans to work for the conversion of Muslims.

  • They were unable to travel to Jerusalem because of the Turkish wars, so they traveled to Rome instead to meet with Pope Pius IX and beg permission to establish a new religious organization.
  • The Society of Jesus flourished rapidly under the charismatic leadership of Ignatius of Loyola.
  • During Ignatius’ lifetime, Jesuits were also sent to India, Brazil, the Congo area, and Ethiopia, among other places.
  • Additionally, the Jesuits maintained various humanitarian organizations, including one for formerly prostitutes and another for converted Jews, among other things.
  • Throughout the following century, the Jesuits established missions all throughout the world.
  • The life of a Jesuit priest was fraught with danger, and hundreds of priests were persecuted or slain by foreign powers opposed to their objective of conversion throughout their time on the mission.
  • Due to rising nationalist sentiments throughout Europe throughout the eighteenth century, the Jesuits were effectively suppressed, and in 1773, Pope Clement XIV formally abolished the order under pressure from the Bourbon rulers.

In 1622, Ignatius de Loyola was elevated to the status of a Catholic saint.

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Ignatius Loyola 1491–1556 Saint and Founder of the Jesuit Order

Ignatius Loyola was the founder of the Society of Jesus, often known as the Jesuits, which is a Roman Catholic religious organization. Ignatius was born into an aristocratic family in Spain and served in the military for a short time before being wounded in war. The experience of a religious awakening occurred when he was recuperating at Loyola’s castle. He had a strong desire to assist others in understanding their own spiritual essence. His ideas were collected on paper over the course of the next year, and the result was Spiritual Exercises, his most important piece of writing.

  • Ignatius had acquired just little educational training.
  • Before traveling to Paris, he studied Latin and philosophy in Spain, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1533.
  • The Society of Jesus was established as a result of the efforts of this group.
  • Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus as a means of strengthening the papacy* and the Catholic Church, and he was successful.
  • In addition to missionary activity, the organization was a proponent of humanist* learning, eventually becoming the first teaching order inside the church.
  • In 1622, the Catholic Church honored Ignatius’ accomplishments by canonizing him as a saint.
  • It also refers to the office and authority of the Pope.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

The Life and Times of Saint Ignatius of Loyola In 1540, the founder of the Jesuits was on his way to military glory and money when he was struck in the leg by a cannon ball. Because there were no romance novels available to him during his recuperation, Ignatius passed the time by reading a biography of Christ and biographies of the saints, among other things. His conscience had been severely moved, and he began a long and hard journey toward Christ. After seeing a vision of the Mother of God, he decided to travel to her shrine in Montserrat, which is located near Barcelona.

  • His scruples were tested in a terrifying manner after a time of tremendous mental tranquility had passed.
  • At long last, he was able to regain his composure.
  • He ultimately realized his goal of traveling to the Holy Land, but he was unable to stay as long as he had hoped due to Turkish enmity.
  • His orthodoxy was called into doubt, as it was with many others, and Ignatius was twice imprisoned for brief periods of time.
  • If this proved impossible, they pledged to devote their lives to the apostolic service of the Pope and his successors.
  • Four years later, Ignatius formalized the relationship and made it permanent.
  • Ignatius stayed in Rome as his colleagues were despatched on different missions by the Pope, strengthening the new endeavor while also finding time to establish homes for orphans, catechumens, and penitents.
  • Ignatius was a real mystic in every sense of the word.
  • His spirituality is encapsulated in the Jesuit motto, Ad majorem Dei gloriam, which means “for the greater glory of God” in English.
  • Because every action was to be led by a genuine love for the Church and complete obedience to the Holy Father, all professed members made a fourth promise to go wherever the pope directed them for the redemption of souls.
  • Seventeen years later, Ignatius of Loyola established the Society of Jesus, which would go on to play a significant role in the Catholic Reformation.

Although he did not explicitly state it, his statements contain the seeds of ecumenism: “Great care must be made to demonstrate orthodox truth in such a way that, if any heretics chance to be there, they will be able to learn from our kindness and Christian moderation.” It is not appropriate to use harsh words or to express scorn for their faults.” Cardinal Augustin Bea, a German Jesuit who lived in the twentieth century, was one of the world’s finest ecumenists.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola is the patron saint of the following organizations: Retreats

St. Ignatius Loyola –

During the year 1491, St. Ignatius Loyola was born in northern Spain, the youngest of 13 children born to a family of modest nobility. Ignatius Loyola was inspired by the ideas of courtly love and knighthood when he was a young man, and he dreamed of accomplishing great acts. However, during a fight with the French in 1521, Ignatius was severely wounded. While healing, Ignatius Loyola had a spiritual encounter that led to his conversion. Reading the lives of Jesus and the saints brought joy to Ignatius and sparked his ambition to achieve great things in the world.

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Over the course of his life, Ignatius developed a strong command of the art of spiritual guidance.

Ignatius Loyola created the Society of Jesus, often known as the Jesuits, with the help of a small group of companions.

This also applies to the large number of Christians who have been influenced by Ignatian spirituality and its teachings.

Biographies of St. Ignatius Loyola

A group of three pious Jesuits (PDF) David L. Fleming, SJ, examines the characteristics that distinguish Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, and Peter Faber from one another. Who Was St. Ignatius of Loyola? (video) Production by Marquette University, this brief film provides an overview of the life of Saint Ignatius Loyola. Saint Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491 and died in 1556. Amy Welborn contributed to this article. This narrative of Ignatius is given in a simple and straightforward manner for youngsters to grasp.

  • Ignatius Loyola was a Jesuit priest who lived in the 16th century.
  • Richard Leonard, SJ, provides a commentary on the film.
  • an approximate translation from the original language St.
  • Video The Apostleship of Prayer developed a video introduction to St.
  • 1555, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Imitator of Christ, was born in 1494 in Italy.
  • A well-balanced and widely read account of Ignatius’ life and conversion to Catholicism.

The Constitutions are summarized in this section, with the most essential points highlighted. The book is accessible in a variety of versions on the internet.

Works by St. Ignatius Loyola

Ignatius’ Selected Letters are available online. Known for their insight and wisdom, Ignatius’ letters are treasured by scholars today. Here are 50 examples of them.

Reflections on St. Ignatius Loyola

What Can Students Learn from St. Ignatius Loyola Stephanie Russell, Executive Director of Marquette University’s Office of Mission and Identity, speaks about the issues that students face today and how a Jesuit education might help them overcome these obstacles. Is it possible for the real Ignatius to please stand up? Written by Ron Darwen, SJ Different pictures of Ignatius have been projected onto him throughout history: soldier, man of action, and mystic. Ignatius of Loyola’s Mysticism is a fascinating subject (PDF) SJA member Brian O’Leary contributed to this article.

  • Throughout the Exercises, Cano criticizes the link between contemplation and action, which is explored in this essay.
  • In “Helping Souls,” God’s Accompanying Ignatius provides a model for us to follow (PDF) Written by Simon Decloux Based on his personal experience of how God initially taught and directed him, Ignatius developed a method for supporting others on their spiritual journey with God.
  • As a spiritual friend, he assisted others in recognizing how God was guiding them in a similar direction to themselves.
  • Ignatius of Loyola and the Stars is a story about a man named St.
  • An icon of “Ignatius with the Stars” by Fr.
  • James Janda in this exhibition.
  • Ignatius and St.
  • Written by Brian Purfield a comparison of the spiritual journeys of Francis of Assisi, as shown in the history recorded by St.
  • Throughout the book, Ignatius demonstrates how he was able to build a leadership style that was integrated with the realities of this world, while always maintaining his emphasis on discerning God’s will in order to find, experience, and do God’s will.


A soldier saint: 1521-1539 In 1521 a 30-year-old Spanish aristocrat and soldier, Ignatius of Loyola, is defending the citadel of Pamplona against a French attack. A cannonball breaks his right leg. Recuperating in the ancestral castle at Loyola, he finds himself without his favourite type of reading – heroic romances. Instead the castle has a volume on the lives of the saints. Reading it, he warms to another sort of heroism.As described in hisAutobiography, it is almost as if the gallant soldier determines to equal the achievement of the saints: ‘St Dominic did this, therefore I have to do it.

Part of this is spiritual, in a rigorous programme of mental training (including macabre instructions onHow to imagine Hell) which he outlines in his bookSpiritual Exercises.

The group in Paris, where he stays longest (for seven years from 1528), enact a ceremony together in Montmartre in 1534, binding themselves with vows of poverty and chastity.Three years later, in 1537, they travel together to Rome to offer their services directly to the pope, Paul III. Society of Jesus: 1540-1541 The visit to the pope by Ignatius Loyola has echoes of StFrancisand StDominicwith Innocent III.

Like those 13th-century saints, with their mission to live and preach among the poor of the expanding towns, St Ignatius is very much of his own time – a man of the 16th century, where the twin challenge is the drift of much of Europe into theProtestantheresy and the opening up of a far-flung pagan world, bringing fruitful fields for mission work in this new age of ocean travel andexploration.To these challenges Ignatius can bring the energy and the organizing skills of a trained soldier. Offered a force of spiritual commandos, answerable directly to himself in fighting Rome’s battles, Paul III seizes his chance.

  • In September 1540 he authorizes a new order, to be known as the Society of Jesus.
  • There is to be no specific form of dress, no regular commitment to attend particular services.
  • Obedience to the pope is central.
  • They are despatched to administrative territories which he calls provinces.
  • But there is one in Latin America and another in India, where the purpose is to bring new souls to the Christian God.As early as 1549 Jesuits accompany the first governor general toBrazil.
  • Here he works with Dominican and Franciscan missionaries before departing on a two-year mission of his own among pearl fishers near Cape Comorin, at the southern tip of India.
  • But no one has yet had time to explain to them the religion they have adopted. Xavier spends two years doing so, through interpreters.
  • He baptizes a group of 10,000 from a neighbouring district, with the promise that someone else will arrive soon to instruct them.Xavier’s personal mission now takes him further east – to Malacca, and then to Amboina and other islands of theMoluccas.

Anjiro excites Xavier with his suggestion that the religion might appeal to the nobility of Japan because (in Xavier’s account of the conversation) they ‘are entirely guided by the light of reason’. Xavier sends Anjiro to Goa to be instructed in the faith.

  • He sails from Goa in April 1549 with two other Jesuits and with Anjiro, now a baptized Christian.
  • When Xavier arrives, in August 1549, it is only six years since the first Portuguese merchant has set foot in these islands. Christians in Japan: 1543-1550 The first European arrival in Japan is an accident.
  • The strangers are welcomed.
  • In that year a Chinese junk brings FrancisXavier together with Anjiro, his Japanese convert, to the island of Kyushu.
  • The Japanese recognize much that they can admire.The Jesuits are lucky also in that their early years in Japan coincide with the rise to power of a warlord, OdaNobunaga, who resents the local influence of Buddhism.

His success is only the beginning of a much stronger trend of Christian success in Japan. Rival missions:16th – 18th century In the great period of Roman Catholic missions, during the Catholic Reformation, the Spanish and Portuguese expansion round the globe is everywhere accompanied by members of the four great preaching orders – Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Jesuits.

  1. The Jesuits, starting later and moving faster, are the most energetic.
  2. The Franciscans, in particular, were established to live and preach among the poor of the cities.
  3. The Japanese, appalled at this dissent among Christians, persecute and ban the religion. In China a similar development occurs.
  4. The Franciscans and Dominicans disagree.
  5. In the early 18th century the Kangxi emperor, noting disagreements between the orders and even between Portuguese and French Jesuits, observes that ‘this violates the principles of religion’.
  6. But it is the Jesuits, with the highest profile, who attract the greatest hostility.
  7. In 1761-3 the Jesuit colleges in France are closed.

In the very different mood at the end of theNapoleonic wars, Pius VII reinstates the order in 1814. Monks, nuns and friars in the modern world The prestige of the religious orders suffers almost fatally from the anti-clerical spirit of the late 18th century (culminating in thesuppression of the Jesuits), and from violent hostility during the French Revolution.

Monasteries, even in Catholic countries, never again recover the economic power which they once enjoyed.

Nevertheless the 19th century sees a strong return to a more religious mood in society, and to a romantic rediscovery of the great Christian centuries of the Middle Ages when monasticism was at its peak.

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