- 1 Saint Ignatius of Loyola
- 2 Early life
- 3 Spiritual awakening
- 4 Period of study
- 5 Biography of St. Ignatius Loyola: Mission Integration: Loyola University Chicago
- 6 St. Ignatius Loyola – IgnatianSpirituality.com
- 7 Who was St. Ignatius Loyola?
- 8 Saint Ignatius of Loyola
- 9 Who is St. Ignatius? // Mission and Ministry // Marquette University
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
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.
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.
- His attention was initially drawn to the saints throughout the first few minutes of this forced reading.
- Ignatius was deeply touched and drawn to this way of looking at life.
- 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.
- 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, to mid-February 1523.
- 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.
- 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).
- He continued to make minor changes to it until the end of his studies in Paris (1535), at which point he abandoned the project.
- The Spiritual Exercisesis a handbook of spiritual limbs that contains a vigorous and active method of spirituality that may be practiced at any time.
- In fact, the booklet is a modification of the Gospels for use in such retreats.
- 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.
- 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.
Biography of St. Ignatius Loyola: Mission Integration: Loyola University Chicago
The Feast of St. Ignatius (also known as Ignatius Day) is celebrated on July 31.
Early Life of St. Ignatius
Inigo de Loyola was born in Azpeitia, in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa, in northern Spain, in 1491. He was the founder of the Society of Jesus. In his family of thirteen children, he was the youngest. The age of sixteen was the time he was sent to serve as a page to Juan Velazquez, the treasurer for the kingdom of Castile and Leon. Due to his position as a member of the Velazquez household, he was usually present at court and acquired an appreciation for everything it had to offer, particularly the ladies.
A period of years passed while he dressed as a fighting man, complete with coat of mail and armor, a sword, and various types of armaments in his possession.
Despite the fact that the Spaniards were vastly outnumbered, the leader of the Spanish soldiers wanted to surrender, but Ignatius persuaded him to fight on for the dignity of Spain, even if it meant losing the battle.
As a result of their admiration for his bravery, the French troops transported him back to his home, the castle of Loyola, rather than to prison.
Despite the fact that he had been warned to prepare for death, he had an unexpected turn for the better on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29). He was able to walk again, but he was left with one leg that was shorter than the other. He had a limp for the rest of his life and walked with it.
Conversion of St. Ignatius
During the lengthy weeks of his rehabilitation, he became exceedingly bored and begged for some romance books to keep him entertained while he was waiting. Although there were no cannons in the fortress of Loyola, there was a copy of the biography of Christ and a book on the saints, which were both helpful. Ignatius began to read them out of desperation. The more he studied, the more he came to believe that the accomplishments of the saints were worthy of being emulated. However, he continued to have daydreams of fame and grandeur, as well as fantasies of capturing the heart of a specific noble lady of the court, during the whole period of his imprisonment.
- His observation was that after reading about and contemplating the saints and Christ, he felt at ease and content.
- The beginning of his conversion was marked by an event that also marked the beginning of spiritual discernment, also known as the discerning of spirits, which is connected with Ignatius and documented in his Spiritual Exercises, among other things.
- He eventually left the castle in March of 1522, having been entirely converted from his previous aspirations and intentions of romance and worldly conquests, and having recovered from his wounds to the point that he was able to depart.
- The first step in his trek to Barcelona was to set off on foot.
- After that, he returned to his home.
The Experience of Manresa
He resumed his journey towards Barcelona, but made a pit stop near the river Cardoner in a town known as Manresa. He entered a cave outside of town with the intention of staying for a few days, but he ended up staying for 10 months in all. Aside from his daily prayer time, he also served as a volunteer at a hospice. It was at this time that the concepts that would eventually become known as the Spiritual Exercises began to take form. 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 stated exactly what the vision was, it appears to have been an encounter with God in His true form, such that all creation was reinterpreted and given fresh significance, as well as an experience that enabled Ignatius to recognize God in all things.
- Even Ignatius himself did not stipulate in the Jesuits’ guidelines that there should be a certain period set out for prayer.
- He did not rule out formal prayer, of course, but he differed from other founders in that he did not believe that prayer should be limited to specific times or durations.
- Others disagreed with Ignatius’ proposal.
- In the eyes of Ignatius, such recitation represented a hindrance to the sort of activity that he had envisioned for the Society.
- He was granted permission.
(At the time, the Turks ruled the Holy Land, thus this was relevant.) Ignatius was ordered to depart by his boss. After being threatened with excommunication, he complied and left the building.
The Return to School
He was 33 years old at this point, and he was resolved to pursue a career in the clergy. He was, on the other hand, illiterate in Latin, which was a must for university study in those days. As a result, he returned to school, this time learning Latin grammar with a group of young boys at a school in Barcelona. He continued his education at the University of Alcala after two years. His enthusiasm got the better of him there, and it was an issue that he would have to deal with for the rest of his life.
- His activities drew the notice of the Inquisition, and he was sentenced to 42 days in prison as a result.
- Anyone who was teaching but who was not ordained was considered suspicious in the eyes of the Inquisition.
- Within two weeks, the Dominicans had returned him to jail, where he remained for the rest of his life.
- He hit the road once more, this time in the direction of Paris.
- It was here in Paris that he began sharing a room with Francis Xavier and Peter Faber, who would later become his closest friends.
- The group eventually settled on taking vows of chastity and poverty, as well as traveling to the Holy Land, with Ignatius accompanying them.
- They did not think of themselves as a religious order or congregation, but rather as individual priests who were tasked with this mission.
- Ignatius was ordained as a priest during this period of waiting, but he did not celebrate his first Mass until a year after his ordination.
The Company of Jesus
Ignatius, together with two of his comrades, Peter Faber and James Lainez, made the decision to travel to Rome and offer themselves at the disposal of Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican. 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.
- When they met with the Pope, he was delighted to put them to work teaching scripture, theology, and preaching to the people of Rome.
- Mary Major in the Chapel of the Manger, which took place on Christmas morning in 1538.
- During the Lenten season of 1539, Ignatius summoned all of his companions to Rome for a meeting to plan their future together.
- It took several weeks of prayer and discussion before they came to the conclusion that they should organize a community, which they did with the consent of the Pope, in which they would swear loyalty to a superior general who would retain office for the rest of their lives.
- The traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience were supplemented by a vow to this effect.
- Because they had referred to themselves as the Company of Jesus (in Latin, Societas Jesu), their order came to be known as the Society of Jesus when it was translated into English.
- 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. The friends took their oaths as members of the newly created Order on the Friday of Easter week, April 22, 1541, in the Church of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls.
The Years As Superior General
It was Ignatius’ love for being actively involved in teaching catechism to children, instructing adults in the Spiritual Exercises, and working among the destitute and in hospitals that would lead him to give up the majority of his time and energy for the following fifteen years. 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.
He would live to witness the Society of Jesus expand from eight to a thousand members throughout his lifetime, all from the comfort of his squalid Rome quarters.
Some of the original companions would go on to serve as the Pope’s theologians at the Council of Trent, which was a watershed moment in the Catholic Counter-Reformation movement.
The Jesuits and Schools
Education is perhaps the most well-known aspect of the activity of the Society of Jesus, which was founded by Ignatius. His initial objective was not to include education among the Jesuits’ works, which is an intriguing fact to note. 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 and corruption among clergy and the faithful, to stem the decline of the Church in the face of the Reformation, and to carry out the Society of Jesus’ motto, “Ad Majorem Dei Gloria,” or “To the greater glory of God,” as it had become clear.
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.
Others will continue their education or pursue other interests.
From that point on, Ignatius was instrumental in the establishment of Jesuit schools and institutions across Europe and the rest of the globe.
Ignatius the Person
It is likely true that the image of Ignatius that most people have is that of a soldier: harsh, iron-willed, practical, and lacking in emotional expression – not a particularly appealing or warm personality, to put it mildly. 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 Goncalves de Camara, one of Ignatius’ closest colleagues, “He (Ignatius) was always somewhat inclined toward love; moreover, he appeared to be entirely devoted to love, and as a result, 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.
Ignatius had been suffering from stomach illnesses since his college days in Paris, and they had become increasingly bothersome throughout his time in Rome. In the summer of 1556, his health began to deteriorate, but his doctors predicted that he would survive the season as he had done in the previous summers. Ignatius, on the other hand, believed that the end was close. On the afternoon of July 30th, he instructed Polanco, his secretary, to go to the Vatican and obtain the Pope’s blessing on his behalf, implying to Polanco that he was about to die.
- The next day, he would travel to Rome to get the Pope’s blessing.
- In an attempt to obtain the papal blessing, Polanco raced to the Vatican.
- Having abandoned his former life as a worldly courtier and soldier in order to devote his attention to another court and a different sort of fight, he had surrendered his soul into the care of God.
- Francis Xavier were canonized by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622, both at the same time.
- This information is taken from the book The Life of St.
- Norman O’Neal, S.J., which is available online.
We are really thankful to him for granting us permission to utilize it.
St. Ignatius Loyola – IgnatianSpirituality.com
Ignatius had been suffering from stomach problems since his school days in Paris, and they grew progressively problematic when he moved to Rome. Although his health deteriorated over the summer of 1556, he was given hope by his doctors that he would survive the season as he had done in the past. In contrast, Ignatius believed that the end was approaching. At some point during the afternoon of July 30th, he asked Polanco (his secretary) to go to Rome and obtain the Pope’s blessing on his behalf, implying to Polanco that he was nearing the end of his life.
- Next day, he would travel to Rome to seek the Pope’s blessing.
- In order to obtain the papal blessing, Polanco went to the Vatican but arrived too late.
- In 1609, Ignatius was beatified and canonized by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622, along with St.
- This day, which commemorates Ignatius’ death on July 31, is observed by the entire Church and by the Jesuits.
- Norman O’Neal, S.J., this material is taken from his book, The Life of St.
- For the purpose of better acquainting the lay instructors, staff, and students of Jesuit High Institution in New Orleans with the founder of the order that has administered that school for more than 140 years, this story was prepared on the occasion of the Ignatian Year in 2008.
Biographies of St. Ignatius Loyola
Three Holy Jesuits(PDF) (PDF) David L. Fleming, SJ, explores the unique qualities of Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, and Peter Faber. Who Was St. Ignatius of Loyola? (video) Production by Marquette University, this short video 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 story of Ignatius is written in a simple and straightforward manner for children to understand. On with the Jesuits.
- An excerpt from the “Jesuits On.” series, which includes a video about Ignatius Loyola, produced by Loyola Productions.
- Life of Ignatius Loyola An outline of the life of Ignatius, organized around important dates in his life.
- Ignatius Loyola, produced by the Apostleship of Prayer for his feast day.
Discusses the early years of the Society of Jesus and its contribution to world missions and the Council of Trent. Gives important highlights of the Constitutions. Book available online in several formats.
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.
Who was St. Ignatius Loyola?
By George Traub, S.J., and Debra Mooney, Ph.D., with contributions from others. For a PRINTABLE PDF version of this document, please click here. To obtain a copy of the brochure, please click here.
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. He was also a womanizer who was sensitive to criticism and a tough punkish swordsman who used his privileged position to avoid prosecution for violent crimes committed with his priest brother during carnival season.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In order to pass the time while he healed, he requested the types of novels that he loved reading: historical romances with chivalry.
- He had been daydreaming for hours.
- His thoughts would also turn to the heroic deeds he could perform in order to resemble St.
- Dominic in his allegiance to his heavenly Father.
- 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.
- 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.
- He recognized that God was directing him by his feelings, guiding him toward a completely other way of living.
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.
Additionally, he was not ordained. In the end, he was always found innocent, but he chose to remain silent in order to prevent additional persecution by the Inquisition. He left his family and traveled north to the most prestigious university in sixteenth-century Europe, the University of Paris.
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.
- 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.
- The pope, in his capacity as global pastor, should be aware of the most pressing needs.
- As fate would have it, no ship set sail during that one year due to a naval conflict between Venice and the Turks.
- They were set to be dispersed over Europe and the rest of the world.
- They came to the conclusion that they should establish themselves into a religious organization.
They referred to it as the Company (which literally means “companionship”) or the Society of Jesus. Outsiders mocked them and called them “Jesuits,” but the moniker stuck and was ultimately adopted by everyone and everyone’s friends.
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.
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.
- However, the majority of these letters were written to his Jesuit colleagues, resulting in a great network of friendship, love, and care amongst them.
- Following that, the number of schools increased to 144, and another 35 years after that, the number of schools reached over 400.
- This was in stark contrast to his youthful ambitions.
- Richard Blinn, SJ, compiled a slide collection titled “The World of Ignatius Loyola,” which served as the inspiration for the pictures in this article.
- Tylenda and published by the University of Notre Dame Press (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991).
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
Who is St. Ignatius? // Mission and Ministry // Marquette University
In 1491, Inigo Lopez de Loyola was born into a family of lesser nobility in the city of Loyola, Spain, and became a priest. He acquired a rudimentary education, as did many others from a semi-aristocratic background. When he was a youth, he was assigned to the household of the chief treasurer of King Ferdinand of Aragon, where he received training as a courtier and courtier’s assistant. He had a carefree and rowdy lifestyle at that location. Then, in 1517, Inigo was drafted into the Spanish troops.
When he was no longer in danger from his wounds, he was taken back to the castle of the Loyola family to recoup and recover.
In the home were just two books: a biography of one of the saints and another on the life of Jesus Christ.
The serenity and joy he felt in his heart when he envisioned himself accomplishing the same heroic exploits as the saints was a result of his imagination.
He began to understand that the things that brought him serenity were gifts from God.
His first stop on the road to Jerusalem was a Benedictine monastery in Catalonia, where he stayed for a few days.
He dressed as a beggar and traveled to Manresa, a little town on the border of Spain.
Occasionally, he would pray for seven hours a day and would work at a tiny hospital in exchange for his board and room.
God imbued his thinking in such a way that he was able to see God at work in all things in a dynamic manner.
He believed that the revelations he had received were meant to be shared with others in order to assist them in becoming closer to God.
Upon arriving in Jerusalem, Ignatius found that his ambition to spend the rest of his life exploring the holy sites had been validated by his experience.
When he returned to his home in Barcelona, Spain, he made a pledge to further his studies in order to be of greater service to others.
He went on to study at the University of Alcala.
After that, he proceeded to Salamanca to study at the University.
As a result, he traveled to Paris to further his education.
They aided Ignatius in his studies, and he in turn assisted them in their quest for unity with God.
Diego Lainez, Alfonso Salmaron, Nicolas Bobadilla, and Simon Rodriguez became friends in the Lord as they grew in their relationship with the Lord.
Because of battles in the Mediterranean, the band of pilgrims was unable to make it all the way to Jerusalem.
They stopped at a modest chapel in LaStorta, a small village outside of Rome, to pray when they arrived.
He saw a vision of Jesus carrying the cross, with the Father by his side, which he shared with others.
“I wish you to serve us.” Furthermore, the Father stated, “I will be favorable to you while in Rome.” In the spring of 1539, after a long day’s labor, they convened every evening to determine where God was leading them.
There was complete agreement on the need to ask the Pope for permission to organize a new religious order inside the Church.
They would not pray the holy office together, and they would swear to follow the Pope wherever he may direct them.
They would be referred to as the Companions of Jesus.
Ignatius was elected as the religious superior of the congregation not long after.
When Ignatius was elected the first Superior General of the Society of Jesus in 1532 and died on July 31, 1556, he had developed into a skilled strategist in the intervening years.
In order to do this, Ignatius instructed his troops to compose letters detailing their activities.
Thousands of letters were written by Ignatius throughout his lifetime, not just to other Jesuits but also to laymen and women who were seeking spiritual guidance.
By the time of his death in 1556, the Society of Jesus had grown to include more than a thousand members. They were dispersed throughout Europe, India, Brazil, and Japan, in universities and dwellings of all sizes. In 1622, together with St. Francis Xavier, Ignatius was canonized as St. Ignatius.