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St. Ignatius Loyola

St. Ignatius Loyola  by Br. Arturo Olivas, OFS

Artist Narrative:

“O my God, teach me to be generous
to serve you as you deserve to be served
to give without counting the cost
to fight without fear of being wounded
to work without seeking rest
and to spend myself without expecting any reward
but the knowledge that I am doing your holy will.
Amen”
—Saint Ignatius Loyola

His feast day is July 31.

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Ignatius was born of Spanish nobility. He was the youngest of 12 children. Ignatius was a court page, had a military education, and was a soldier. He was wounded in the leg by a cannonball at the siege of Pampeluna on 20 May 1521, an injury that left him partially crippled for life. During his recuperation the only books he had access to were The Golden Legend, a collection of lives of the saints, and the Life of Christ by Ludolph the Carthusian. These books, and the time spent in contemplation, changed him.

On his recovery he took a vow of chastity, hung his sword before the altar of the Virgin of Montserrat, and donned a pilgrim's robes. He lived in a cave from 1522 to 1523. He journeyed to Rome and the Holy Land where he worked to convert Muslims. He studied theology at Alcala and Paris, receiving his degree on 14 March 1534. His meditations, prayers, visions and insights led to forming the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) on 15 August 1534. He travelled Europe and the Holy Lands, then settled in Rome to direct the Jesuits. His health suffered in later years, and he was nearly blind at death.

The Jesuits today have over 500 universities and colleges, 30,000 members, and teach over 200,000 students each year.

Born: 1491 at Loyola, Guipuzcoa, Spain as Inigo Lopez de Loyola

Died: July 31, 1556 at Rome

Beatified: 1609 by Pope Paul V

Canonized: March 22, 1622 by Pope Gregory XV