What Is Saint Ignatius The Patron Saint Of

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 knowledge began to open” and that “he comprehended and knew many things, both spiritual and faith-related, without having any vision” (Autobiography,30).
  7. He continued to make minor changes to it until the end of his studies in Paris (1535), at which point he abandoned the project.
  8. The Spiritual Exercisesis a handbook of spiritual limbs that contains a vigorous and active method of spirituality that may be practiced at any time.
  9. In fact, the booklet is a modification of the Gospels for use in such retreats.
  10. Ignatius set off from Barcelona in March 1523 and arrived in Jerusalem on September 4, journeying through Rome, Venice, and Cyprus on the route.

On October 3, after touring Bethany, the Mt. of Olives, Jerusalem, the Jordan River, and the Mount of Temptation, Ignatius embarked on his journey to Spain, going 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.
  • He landed inParison February 2, 1528, and stayed there as a student until 1535.
  • 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.

St. Ignatius Loyola – Saints & Angels

Inigo Lopez de Loyola, better known as Ignatius of Loyola, was born in Loiola, Spain, in 1491, and became the first Jesuit to enter the world. The village’s name was spelled “Loyola” during the period, which explains the variation in spelling. Inigo grew up in the Spanish town of Azpeitia, which is located in northern Spain. Loyola is a tiny town located near the southernmost tip of the island of Azpeitia. Inigio was the eldest of thirteen children and the youngest of thirteen children. The death of his mother when he was seven years old resulted in him being raised by Maria de Garin, who was the wife of a blacksmith.

  1. Although he had the misfortune of losing his mother, he was still considered a member of the local nobility and was brought up as such.
  2. The Song of Roland and El Cid, among other stories, had a significant effect on his work.
  3. By the age of eighteen, he had become a soldier and would go on to fight for Antonio Manrique de Lara, Duke of Nájera and Viceroy of Navarre, during the Spanish Civil War.
  4. Ignatius was a name that was derived from the Latin word Inigio.
  5. His death was attributed to an altercation with a Moor about the divinity of Jesus, according to legend.
  6. He possessed a remarkable ability to emerge uninjured from fight after battle, despite having taken part in several engagements.
  7. Ignatius was wounded in the legs by a bullet in 1521 while defending the town of Pamplona against a French onslaught.

Doctors conducted many surgery on him in order to preserve his life and maybe his legs.

Ignatius’ condition continued to deteriorate despite their best efforts.

Ignatius began to improve on June 29, 1521, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, and his condition continued to improve.

When Ignatius’s physical condition began to improve, he began to read any literature he could get his hands on.

These stories had a great impression on him, and he became a more dedicated person as a result of their influence.

According to the account, there is commentary on Christ’s life, as well as a spiritual exercise that requires the participant to imagine themselves in the presence of Christ throughout the incidents of His life.

In his bedridden state, Ignatius was inspired to pursue a career as a working servant of Jesus Christ.

One of his most profound realizations was that certain ideas brought him delight, while others caused him misery.

He had terrible ideas because of evil, but God had happy thoughts for him because of God.

Ignatius had healed sufficiently by the spring of 1522 to be able to leave his bed.

He sat down in front of a statue of the Black Madonna and took off his military uniform.

Afterwards, he made his way to a hospital in the town of Manresa.

A place to reside was provided in exchange for his performing chores in and around the hospital. He pleaded with the waitress for his supper. When he wasn’t working or begging, he’d go to a cave and engage in spiritual exercises for many hours.

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  • Demonstrate to the rest of the world that you value access to Catholic education.
  • Help Now His time spent in prayer and reflection helped him get a greater understanding of himself.
  • Ignatius had a rough time during the 10 months he spent between the hospital and the cavern, as you may imagine.
  • However, he was also aware that these were not from the hand of God.
  • He would subsequently utilize this notebook to help him come up with new spiritual exercises to teach to the tens of thousands of people who would come to follow him.
  • The next year, in 1523, Ignatius traveled to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage.
  • The Holy Land, on the other hand, was a volatile location, and Church leaders did not want Ignatius to add to the confusion.

Ignatius knew that if he wanted to convert others, he would need to receive a thorough education first.

During this period, he was fortunate enough to have a wonderful tutor in Master Jeronimo Ardevol.

In addition to studying, Ignatius was known to engage people in extensive discussions about spiritual subjects when he was not studying.

The Inquisition was a religious police force in Spain that was tasked with tracking out and punishing religious opposition.

The Inquisition accused Ignatius of preaching without having had any proper theological training.

Ignatius was interrogated by the Inquisition three times, but he was always found not guilty of all charges.

At the time of his admission to the College of Saint Barbe at the University of Paris, he was 38 years old.

Later, while founding schools, Ignatius would be motivated to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors.

At the age of 44, Ignatius received a master’s degree from a prestigious institution.

He also had health issues, which the school was afraid might interfere with his ability to concentrate on his schoolwork.

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Faber was of French descent, whereas Xavier was of Basque descent.

Other men quickly joined them in their exercises and began to follow Ignatius’ teachings.

It was Ignatius’ goal to travel to the Holy Land, and his circle of friends supported him in his endeavor, but the strife between Venice and the Turks made such a voyage impossible.

They made the decision there to offer themselves before the Pope and to serve him at his discretion.

A vote was held to nominate Ignatius as the band’s founding member; however, Ignatius declined, claiming that he had not led a decent life in his childhood.

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The gang, on the other hand, insisted, and Ignatius agreed to take up the position of their first leader.

They were called “Jesuits” by certain persons who did not appreciate their efforts and did so in an attempt to denigrate them.

On his instruction, Ignatius enforced a stringent, almost military-style code of conduct.

Although it could be thought that such formality would discourage individuals from participating, the contrary was true.

The Society of Jesus quickly established a foothold in the field of education.

An enormous amount of labor was accomplished by the order in order to thwart the spread of the Protestant Reformation.

The Society of Jesus is today well-known for its efforts in teaching young people all across the world, particularly in developing countries.

The Jesuits are also involved in a variety of other significant projects all throughout the world.

On July 27, 1609, Pope Paul V declared him to be a saint, and he was canonized on March 12, 1622. His feast day is celebrated on July 31. He is the patron saint of the Society of Jesus, soldiers, educators, and those who are pursuing a degree in education.

Ignatius of Loyola

The feast day is on July 31st. The date of canonization is March 12, 1622. The date of the beatification was July 27, 1609. Ignatius was born in 1491 to a noble family in the Basque Country of Spain, where he spent the most of his life. He was the youngest of 13 children, and he was just seven years old when his mother tragically passed away. A projectile destroyed his leg when he was 29 years old and fighting against the French, who were storming Pamplona at the time. Ignatius was confined to his bed for a year as he recovered from his injuries.

  1. Ignatius spent that year studying the Bible and learning about the lives of saints.
  2. He would “find God in everything,” as he put it.
  3. On his way back from his trip to the monastery, where he disposed of his military gear and weapons next to a picture of the Blessed Mother.
  4. Soon after, he was joined by a group of six other males.
  5. Ignatius was the group’s charismatic leader.
  6. He personally enjoyed passing on his religious beliefs to children and teenagers.
  7. They followed the Spiritual Exercises, written by Ignatius of Loyola in 1548.
  8. Ignatius died in Rome in 1556, at the age of 65, after a long illness.
  9. He is the patron saint of Catholic soldiers, and numerous Jesuit institutions and colleges across the world are named in honor of his life and achievements, as well as his religious beliefs.

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

Ignatius of Loyola: A Saint for Difficult Times

One of the most well-known sickbed conversions in history was only the beginning of his narrative of patience, endurance, and faith. When Ignatius of Loyola was forced to remain bedridden due to a damaged leg, he realized that all of his grand ambitions and intentions had been dashed. Ignatius was a soldier to his very core, and he thrived on the battlefield despite his arrogance, stubbornness, and short fuse. For the past several years, his life as a soldier for the Spanish army had been easy, direct, and beautiful.

  • His illustrious military career had come to an end.
  • This was simply the first of a series of dead ends that would finally contribute to the saint’s emergence from the darkness.
  • However, for over two decades following his conversion, Ignatius had no idea what he was getting himself into.
  • As a result of his adventure, we now have a game plan for navigating our own dead ends.
  • The core tale of Ignatius’ renowned sickbed conversion is well-known to many: He requested novels of romance and chivalry because he was bored and restless, but instead received the Lives of Christ and the Saints.
  • Ignatius surrendered his life to Christ in an unreserved manner.
  • “Even if I have to go through the valley of death, I will not be afraid.” Ignatius was moved by the zeal of the saints and immediately began a rigorous routine of prayer, sacrifice, and poverty to emulate them.

In fact, according to the New Advent/Catholic Encyclopedia, Ignatius was tortured to the point of being on the verge of suicide.

Without a doubt, Ignatius found the information to be of little consolation at first, but he gradually found comfort.

Great holiness is formed in the fires of everyday sacrifice.

It was a group of university buddies who came together to pray these “Spiritual Exercises” that led to the formation of the Jesuit order.

He was canonized in the year 500.

Ignatius had always dreamed of being a missionary since he was a child.

He fantasized of persuading the Turks to accept Christianity in the Holy Land.

Ignatius returned to Spain, where he intended to preach and teach in his own nation, but he was detained by the Inquisition, which believed that an ignorant instructor may unwittingly propagate heresy.

Missionaries were in great demand, but not in the manner in which Ignatius had envisioned them.

To draw the people back to the Church, they need clear teaching and zealous models of purity on their part.

He was hardly the type of person who would establish a religious organization, and he definitely had no lofty ambitions to address the issues facing Christendom.

As a result, he spent the following 11 years in school, beginning in a grammar school with other schoolboys and progressing to the study of philosophy and theology at some of the top institutions in Spain and France.

These men were attracted to Ignatius’ enthusiasm and purity, and they sought his guidance and encouragement as a result of their encounter.

The companions were ordained priests and offered their services to the Pope in a spirit of humility and service.

Ignatius, on the other hand, was left to run the affairs of the order on his own in Rome.

Within a few years, the Jesuits were in high demand throughout the world.

Ignatius was one of the leading figures of the Catholic Reformation throughout Europe.


Ignatius of Loyola found himself in a same predicament over and over again, whether it was making difficult decisions, recuperating from unforeseen circumstances, dealing with physical illness or spiritual darkness.

Not only did he do a complete 180-degree turn when he turned from a soldier of Spain to a soldier of Christ, but he also had to undergo a number of trials, including disease, persecution, uncertainty, and rejection.

It was ultimately through prayer, sacrifice, and study that Ignatius rose to the status of holy founder of the Jesuit order.

He began by forming his own soul in virtue, and then, inspired by his inborn desire and natural ability to lead, he began collecting and guiding his companions into the same life of holiness that he was.

We can only imagine what Ignatius was thinking on that fateful day when his leg was shot out from beneath him.

Because the Church was unable to persuade Luther to repent of his heresy, he was legally excommunicated.

God required a missionary and reformer with the bravery, zeal, and practical experience to confront the instability and upheaval of Europe and carry the religion to newly discovered nations at this point in history.

This missionary and reformer was John Calvin. Ignatius of Loyola was the man he picked. Jessica Pipes, a recent graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in Wildwood, Missouri, contributes to this article. The original version of this item published on July 31, 2018 at the Register.

Our Patron Saint

The feast day is on July 31st. Originally from aristocratic stock, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, also known as igo Oaz López de Loyola, was raised in the family of a prominent courtier in the Dominican Republic. In 1517, he resigned from his position at court to join the army. Reading the story of Jesus while recuperating from a grievous wound in 1521 resulted in his conversion to Christianity. Following his confession and absolution on the island of Montserrat, he traveled to Manresa for his penance and absolution.

  • After being denied entry to Palestine, he returned to his own country with the intention of obtaining an education.
  • The strength of St.
  • The Inquisition became suspicious of him once more, but he was found not guilty of any wrongdoing.
  • Francis Xavier and Diego Lainez, joined forces and took vows of poverty and chastity together.
  • They had intended to travel to the Holy Land and live in imitation of Christ while seeking to convert the Muslims, but the Turkish wars prevented them from doing so, and they instead traveled to Rome.
  • In 1539, Ignatius put out a Formula for a new order, which was approved by the Pope the following year (1540).
  • Ignatius was chosen general of the order in 1541 and served as its leader until his death in 1565.
  • Despite the fact that the Jesuits were a prominent influence in the Counter-Reformation, the organization was not created with that objective in mind.
  • During his lifetime, a large number of schools were established in Europe, and missions were established in Japan, India, and Brazil.
  • Written over a number of years, his Spiritual Exercises are a collection of meditations, investigations of conscience and prayers that are structured according to a conventional set of four stages that lead to mystical union with God.
  • Ignatius is its focus on individual initiative.

His notion of the “soldier of Christ” has been misunderstood as being overly militaristic: Ignatius employed the metaphor in evident imitation of St. Paul, who was also a Christian soldier (Eph. 6.10-17). He is buried at the Basilica of the Gesù in Rome. In 1622, he was declared a saint.

St Ignatius of Loyola sj – Patron Saint of Spiritual Retreats: Feast Day 31 July

The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) was formed by Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), a Spanish Basque Catholic priest and theologian who co-founded the Society of Jesus and served as its first Superior General in Paris. July 2020:St Ignatius of Loyola, picture by Peter Paul Rubens, around 1491. Welcoming Committee Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons A Spanish Basque Catholic priest and theologian, Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556) was a co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and served as its first Superior General at the city of Paris from 1541 to 1546.

Ignatius is regarded as a gifted spiritual counsellor by his contemporaries.

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Ignatius was beatified in 1609 and later canonized as a Saint on March 12, 1622, the feast day of St.

His feast day is observed on the 31st of July.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Saint Ignatius of LoyolaFeast Day -July 31Patron Saint of Catholic SoldiersSaint Ignatius of Loyola (1491 – July 31, 1556) was described by Pope Benedict XVI as being above all a man of God, who gave the first place of his life to God, and a man of profound prayer.He was very active in fighting the Protestant Reformation and promoting the subsequent counter-reformation.He was beatified and then on March 12, 1622, was canonized.Ignacio López de Loyola was born in the municipality ofAzpeitiaat the castle of Loyola in today’s Basque Country of Gipuzkoa, Spain.The youngest of 13 children, Íñigo was only seven years old when his mother died.In 1506, Íñigo adopted the last name “de Loyola” in reference of the city where he was born.In 1509, Íñigo took up arms forAntonio Manrique de Lara, Duke ofNájeraandViceroy of Navarre.Reportedly, Íñigo’s diplomacy and leadership qualities made him very useful to the Duke.Under the Duke’s leadership, he participated in many battles without injury to himself.When the French army stormed Pamplona’s fortress on May 20, 1521, a cannonball wounded one of Íñigo’s legs and broke the other.Heavily injured, Íñigo was returned to the castle.He was very concerned about the injuries on his leg and had several surgical operations, which were very painful in the days before anesthetics.During this time he read theDe Vita Christiby Ludolph of Saxony in a Catalan edition.This work arguably influenced his whole life.TheDe Vita Christiis the result of 40 years of work by Ludolph.It is a commentary on the life of Jesus-Christ, a commentary on the Gospels borrowing extracts from the works of over sixty of the Fathers of the Church.Ludolph particularly quotes St Gregory the Great, St Basil, St Augustine and the Venerable Bede.Ludolph proposes to the reader that he place himself at the scene of the Gospel story; that he visualize the crib at the Nativity etc.This is known as a method of prayer called Simple Contemplation and arguably is the basis of the method that St Ignatius sets out in his Spiritual Exercises.During the time he was recovering, Ignatius read a number of religious texts on the life of Jesus called theVita Christiby Ludolph of Saxony and the saints and became fired with an ambition to lead a life of self-denying labor and emulate the heroic deeds of Francis of Assisi and other great monastic leaders.He resolved to devote himself to the conversion of non-Christians in the Holy Land.Ignatius of Loyola was the main creator and initial Superior General of the Society of Jesus, a religious organization of the Catholic Church whose members, known as Jesuits, served the Pope as missionaries.He is remembered as a talented spiritual director.He was very vigorous in opposing the Protestant Reformation and promoting the following Counter-Reformation.Ignatius Loyola wroteSpiritual Exercises, a simple 200-page set of meditations, prayers, and various other mental exercises, from 1522 to 1524.The exercises of the book were designed to be carried out over a period of 28-30 days.Ignatius was chosen as the first Superior General of his religious order, invested with the title of Father General by the Jesuits.He sent his companions as missionaries around Europe to create schools, colleges, and seminaries.As probably one of the most important parts of the material part of his legacy, we can find many Jesuit schools and general educational institutions worldwide.In the United States alone there are 28 Jesuit colleges and universities, and more than 50 secondary schools. Click herefor more information on St Ignatius of Loyola

Prayers to Saint Ignatius

Saint Ignatius was a soldier who was wounded in battle and was confined to his bed as a result of his injuries. He was reading in bed when a family member gave him a book on Saints to read. Following his recuperation, he decided to devote his life to the Faith. He is the founder of the Society of Jesus and the Patron Saint of Educators and Soldiers, among other things.

Prayer to Saint Ignatius Loyola

In humble supplication to you, Glorious Patriarch, St. Ignatius, we implore you to gain for us from God, the source of all good, liberation from sin, the greatest of all ills. Hopefully, your example will inspire us to give God the efficacious honor he deserves and to do good for our neighbor; and may we receive from the loving Heart of Jesus, our Lord, the crown of all other graces, the gift of ultimate perseverance, and everlasting beatitude as a result of your example. Amen. Keep your religion near to your heart with these lovely prayer cards!

Saint Ignatius Loyola

God, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve You in the manner in which You deserve: to give without counting the cost; to battle without heeding the wounds; to toil without asking for recompense, save the satisfaction of knowing that I am carrying out Your Will. Amen. If you enjoy this prayer, you’ll enjoy this prayer card even more!

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St. Ignatius of Loyola, Patron Saint of Soldiers

St. Ignatius of Loyola was born in Loyola, Spain, in 1491. His father was Lord of Loyola. Ignatius’ family was a very old and distinguished one. As a boy, Ignatius served as a page at the court of the King of Spain.Ignatius joined the army. He served in a war between Spain and France. At the siege of Pamplona, he was badly wounded by a cannon ball. Ignatius was forced to recover at his family home. Extremely bored, he began to read extensively. Ignatius read many works on the lives of the Saints. Ignatius was inspired by what he read, and decided to live a life devoted to God. After recovering from his wounds, he left his home and his life of privilege.Ignatius divided his time for two years between working in a paupers’ hospice and as a hermit in a cave. While in the cave, Ignatius began writing his great workSpiritual Exercises.Ignatius went to Paris to study theology. While there, he met six other like-minded students. Under Ignatius’ leadership, the six took vows of charity and dedicated themselves to God. This is often regarded as the foundation of the Jesuit Order.Ignatius and his companions tried to sail to the Holy Land to preach the Gospel, but this was impossible because of the Ottoman Turks. Instead, St. Ignatius and his companions offered their services directly to the Pope. The Pope recognized the ardor and spirituality of Ignatius, and recognized the new order.Ignatius became the first Superior General of the Jesuits. He was to prove a brilliant administrator and organizer.St. Ignatius sent missionaries all over Europe. He also established schools and universities in order to provide young boys and youths with a Catholic education. The Jesuits helped to improve the education system in many countries.The Jesuits, under St. Ignatius, soon attracted many members. The Order helped to rejuvenate the Church during a period when it was challenged by the Reformation in Europe.St. Ignatius died in Rome, in 1555. He was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.St. Ignatius was associated with several miraculous events. On several occasions, the Saint’s head glowed with light, or a light encompassed his entire body, or rays of light radiated from his body.St. Ignatius of Loyola urged Christians to live selfless lives. This would bring them closer to God:“Teach us to give and not to count the cost.”The saint urged people to change themselves in order to change the world:“He who goes about to reform the world must begin with himself, or he loses his labor.”

St. Ignatius – Founder of the Jesuits – Jesuit High School

Loyola was born in Guipzcoa, Spain, in his family’s ancestral castle, and as a young man, he worked as a page at the court of Ferdinand V, King of Castile and Leon. Later, he entered military duty under the command of Antonio Manrique de Lara, duke of Najera, and was gravely wounded at the siege of Pampeluna in 1521. He died as a result of his wounds (now Pamplona). While recuperating, he read a book of saints’ biographies, which led him to make the decision to devote his life to the spiritual life.

Following his return to Spain in 1524, Loyola continued his formal education by enrolling in a grammar school in the Spanish capital of Barcelona.

The Society of Jesus was founded there in 1534 by a group of religious brothers who were inspired by Jesus’ teachings.

Pope Paul III formally confirmed the order in 1540, and the organization was established.

Apart from managing the affairs of the rapidly expanding order, he dedicated his time to writing the Constitutions of the Order, which were completed after his death on July 31, 1556, and were never substantially modified, and to the completion of his Spiritual Exercises, which were both completed after his death.

The Spiritual Exercises were developed by Loyola during his seclusion at Manresa.

The meditations have been divided into four periods or weeks, with the first dealing with the reformation of a person affected by sin; the second dealing with the conformation of the reformed person to the model of Christ; the third dealing with the strengthening of the person so conformed through appreciation of Christ’s passion and death; and the fourth dealing with the transformation of the whole person in identification with the risen and triumphant Savior, who honors God the Father in heaven.

The Spiritual Exercises serve as a model for the vast majority of Roman Catholic missions and retreats across the world.

Pope Gregory XV canonized Loyola in 1622, making him the first American to be thus honored. His feast day is observed on July 31st, and he is revered as the patron saint of retreats. More information on St. Ignatius of Loyola can be found at the Jesuit Institute by clicking here.

Ignatius, the soldier saint

The feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola is celebrated on July 31. He was a priest, missionary, and mystic who lived five centuries ago and created the Jesuits — the Society of Jesus — as well as a kind of Christian spirituality that has produced great saints from all walks of life ever since. To commemorate the feast of St. Ignatius, The Pillarb has compiled a selection of St. Ignatius books to read and films to watch. As Ignatius himself used to say: “Ad majorem dei gloriam,” or “to the glory of God first.” St.

  • It is in the public domain.
  • Ignatius’ leg was smashed by a bullet at the Battle of Pamplona in May 1521, which occurred 500 years ago this year.
  • Ignatius studied a book on the life of Jesus Christ, as well as stories about the saints, because he had very little else to do during his recovery.
  • After an all-night prayer session the next year, he began living in a cave and reading the Bible.
  • He eventually felt compelled to pursue a career as a priest.
  • In 1534, he and his friends created the Society of Jesus, and he was consecrated a priest the following year.

How a cannonball changed “the course of the world”

The worldly hopes of Ignatius of Loyola were dashed in an instant in Pamplona, five hundred years ago today. When a cannonball struck him in the leg, it altered the trajectory of his life as well as the course of the world. Even seemingly insignificant details can have a significant impact. That cannonball also signified that Ignatius had failed in his attempts to live the life he had imagined for himself. God, on the other hand, had a greater vision for him. God’s dream for Ignatius was not about Ignatius in the traditional sense.

  1. It was a dream of redemption, a dream of going out into the world with Jesus, who was humble and destitute, as a guiding light.
  2. It is rare that anything is completed once and for all.
  3. He continued to convert day after day for the rest of his life.
  4. And he was able to do so because of his discernment.

Regarding St. Ignatius’ conversion, Pope Francis said the following: Share The Supporting Structure

Who’s buried in St. Ignatius’ tomb?

The remains of St. Ignatius are interred under an outstanding Baroque altar in the Church of the Gesù in Rome, which serves as the headquarters of the international Society of Jesus. Every day at 5:30 p.m., a painting in the tomb is lowered by a system of ropes and pulleys to show a statue of Ignatius himself, which is hidden behind the picture. It’s actually very cool. Take a look at this: Distribute The Pillar

Suscipe, Domine

TheSuscipe, which is perhaps the most well-known prayer of St. Ignatius, is a prayer that many Catholics pray after receiving Holy Communion and is attributed to him. I give you and accept all of my liberty, all of my memory, all of my understanding, and all of my full will, everything that I have and own. Thou hast entrusted me with all. I return it to Thee, O Lord, as a gift. Thy will be done with everything; do with it as you see fit. Give me Thy love and Thy grace, for this is all that I need at this point.

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John Hardon provided some insight.

God may send us the most inhumane thing in the planet, yet if we had a choice, we would pick the opposite.

Where he lived and died

Where did St. Ignatius truly live? Well, check it out: Distribute The Pillar

The soldier saint

Prior to his conversion, St. Ignatius was a highly accomplished military commander. His conversion to Catholicism did not prevent him from continuing to express his mission and identity as a Catholic using military analogies and vocabulary. He was also a skilled fencer, according to legend. So, to commemorate the occasion, here is the gold medal match from the Tokyo Olympics in women’s épée: And here’s what happened in the gold medal sabre bout for men: Distribute The Pillar

Anima Christi

Even though St. Ignatius of Loyola did not write the Anima Christiprayer, it was a favorite of his, and it is probably especially fitting for his feast day: Please, Holy Spirit, purify and sanctify me. Please, rescue me via the body of Christ. Intoxicate me with the blood of Christ. Please, wash me with water from the side of Christ. Help me to be strengthened by the passion of Christ. Please, Good Jesus, pay attention to me. I am concealed among your wounds. Please don’t let me get apart from you.

Please summon me and direct me to come to you at the hour of my death so that I may sing your praises alongside your saints for all eternity.


St.Ignatius of LoyolaEARLY LIFEInigo de Loyola was born in 1491 in Azpeitia in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa in northern Spain, the youngest of thirteen children. He was sentat the age of sixteen to serve as a page to Juan Velazquez, the treasurer of the kingdom of Castile. As a member of the Velazquez household, he was frequently at court and developed a taste for all it presented, including the gambling. He took up the habit of going around in the dress of a fighting man, wearing a coat of mail and breastplate, and carrying a sword and other sorts of arms.

The Spaniards were terribly outnumbered and the commander of the Spanish forces wanted to surrender, but Ignatius convinced him to fight on for the honor of Spain, if not for victory.

Because they admired his courage, the French soldiers carried him back to recuperate at his home, the castle of Loyola, rather than to prison.

Although he was told to prepare for death, on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul-June 29-he unexpectedly recovered so that his leg healed, although he was left with one leg shorter than the other. For the rest of his life he walked with a limp.


In the midst of his recuperation, he felt bored and requested some romance books to keep himself entertained. Although there were no saints to be found in the castle, there was a copy of Christ’s biography and a book on the Saints, which was lucky for the future Saint. He began to read them because he was thirsty for information. The more he read, the more he came to believe that the Saints’ achievements were worthy of imitation. His daydreams of fame and grandeur, as well as thoughts of gaining the heart of a specific noble woman from the court, persisted, but to a lesser extent.

  • Ignatius felt himself at ease and content after spending some time reading and reflecting on these Saints and their devotion to Christ.
  • The beginning of his conversion, as well as the beginning of spiritual discernment, which is linked with Ignatius and recounted in his Spiritual Exercises, occurred as a result of this encounter with the Holy Spirit.
  • He eventually left Loyola in March of 1522, having entirely repented of his previous aspirations and intentions for romance and worldly conquests, and having recovered sufficiently from his wounds to be able to go.
  • His voyage took him first to the city of Barcelona.
  • After that, he returned to his home.
  • After there, they proceeded on to Barcelona, stopping along the river Cardoner at a town named Manresa along the way.
  • Aside from his daily prayer time, he also served as a volunteer at a hospice.
  • Also on the banks of this river, he experienced what is widely considered to be the most momentous vision of his life.

However, although Ignatius never revealed what the vision was, it appears to have been an encounter with God as He truly is, as a result of which all of creation was seen in a different light and gained a new meaning and relevance, and it appears to have been an experience that enabled Ignatius to see God in everything, which is one of the characteristics of Jesuit spirituality.

He was granted permission and traveled to the Holy Land.

Even though Ignatius initially objected, he eventually relented after being threatened with excommunication and obeyed the command to leave the monastery.


Ignatius was now 33 years old and resolved to pursue a vocation as a Catholic priest. He did not know Latin, which was a prerequisite for university studies, so he returned to school to study Latin grammar with a group of young boys at a school in Barcelona. After two years, he went on to study at the University of Alcala, then at the University of Salamanca, and finally at the University of Paris. When he attended the University of Paris, he majored in Latin grammar and literature while minoring in philosophy and religion.

A few other students were strongly impacted by him, and they all participated in what is now known as the Spiritual Exercises at some point in their studies with him.

Should it become difficult for them to travel to the Holy Land, they would travel to Rome and throw themselves at the disposal of the Pope for anything he may want them to undertake.

Because of the ongoing strife between Christians and Muslims, they were forced to wait for a year before a ship would arrive to transport them to the Holy Land.


Ignatius, Peter Faber, and James Lainez made the decision to travel to Rome in order to determine the best way to serve the Pope. A few miles outside the city, Ignatius experienced the second most significant of his mystical experiences, which he considered to be his most significant to date. God the Father appeared to Ignatius at a chapel at La Storta, where they had stopped to pray, and informed him, “I will be favorable to you in Rome,” as well as promising to place him (Ignatius) beside His Son.

  1. When they met with the Pope, he welcomed them with open arms and immediately set them to work teaching scripture, theology, and preaching.
  2. Mary Major in the Chapel of the Manger, which took place on Christmas morning in 1538.
  3. During the Lenten season of 1539, Ignatius summoned all of his friends to Rome to debate their future together.
  4. After weeks of prayer and deliberation, they came to the conclusion that they should organize a society with the consent of the Pope, in which they would swear allegiance to a superior general who would retain office for the rest of their lives.
  5. The traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience were supplemented by a vow to this effect.
  6. As a result of referring to themselves as the Company of Jesus, they have been more commonly known as the Society of Jesus.
  7. The results of the second ballot were the same as the first, with Ignatius receiving universal support, with the exception of his own vote.

But his Franciscan confessor persuaded him that it was God’s will, and he reluctantly accepted the situation. Friends made their vows in the newly created Order on the Friday of Easter week, April 22, 1541, at the Church of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.


The majority of the next fifteen years would be spent devoting his time and energy to teaching catechism to children, leading people through the Spiritual Exercises, and working with the destitute and in hospitals, all of which were dear to Ignatius’ heart. From the time of his election as superior general until his death, he would operate out of two small rooms, his bedroom and the room next to it that served as his office, directing this new civilization across the world. The Constitutions of the Society would take him years to complete, and he would send hundreds of letters to people all over the world, both to his fellow Jesuits dealing with the Society’s operations and to lay people leading them in the spiritual life.

The Jesuits would establish universities and homes throughout Europe, as well as in countries as far flung as Brazil and Japan.


The work of the Society of Jesus, which was started by Ignatius, is most recognized for its efforts in education. His first goal was not to include teaching among the Jesuits’ works, and he did not include it among their works until later. As previously stated, the goal of the initial members was to be available at the Pope’s command and to be dispatched to wherever they were most needed. Even before the year 1548, Ignatius had established educational institutions in countries as diverse as Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, and India.

The Jesuits’ quick expansion was demonstrated by the construction of ten similar institutions in six years.

By the time rulers, bishops, and cities began requesting schools, it had become clear that this work was truly one of the most effective ways to correct ignorance among the clergy and faithful, to prevent the Church from slipping into irrelevance as a result of the Reformation, and to carry out the motto of the Society of Jesus, “Ad Majorem Dei Gloria,” which means “to the greater glory of God.” This was obviously in accordance with one of Ignatius’ initial criteria for selecting apostolates: given all other considerations equal, choose those apostolates that would have the most impact on people who have the greatest impact on others.

Perhaps the most succinct representation of this viewpoint came from a letter he wrote in December 1551, in which he discussed the establishment of colleges: After graduating, some students will go on to fulfill a variety of tasks, including preaching and soul-care, government service, and the administration of justice, among other things.

Finally, when young boys develop into young men, their fine education in life and theology will be useful to many others, with the fruit of their labors spreading more and further with each passing day.

From that point on, Ignatius was instrumental in the establishment of Jesuit schools and institutions across Europe and the rest of the globe.


It is likely true that the image of Ignatius that most people have is that of a soldier: tough, iron-willed, practical, and expressing little emotion—not a particularly warm personality. However, this is not the case. However, even if this depiction is accurate, it is difficult to understand how he could have had such a profound impact on people who knew him. In the words of Luis Gonçalves de Camara, one of Ignatius’ closest colleagues, “. Ignatius was always more oriented toward love; moreover, he appeared to be all love, and as a result of this, he was widely beloved by everybody.” In the Society, there was no one who did not have a large deal of great affection for him and who did not think himself to be well loved by him.

We have just touched on a handful of the numerous visions and spiritual experiences that he has had throughout his life.


Ever since his student days in Paris, Ignatius had suffered from stomach ailments and they became increasingly worse in Rome. In the summer of 1556 his health grew worse, but his physician thought he would survive this summer as he had done others. Ignatius, however, thought that the end was near. On the afternoon of July 30th he asked Polanco, his secretary, to go and get the Pope’s blessing for him, suggesting by this to Polanco that he was dying. Polanco, however, trusted the physician more than Ignatius and told him he had a lot of letters to write and mail that day.

Shortly after midnight Ignatius took a turn for the worse.

The former worldly courtier and soldier who had turned his gaze to another court and a different type of battle had rendered his soul into the hands of God.

Francis Xavier.


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