St Ignatius of Loyola
Saints - Saints

Feastday: July 31

San Ignacio de Loyola1491-1556  Founder of the Society of Jesus

St. Ignatius was born in 1491 in the Basque regin of Spain.  As a boy he was trained to become a member of the royal court and a military office.  In 1521, when he was 30 years old he experienced a turning point in his life.  While defending the Spanish Castle of Pampolna against a French siege he was struck by a cannonball.  Both his legs were injuured.

During his recovery at his family castle in Loyola Igantius wanted to read novels about knights and soldeirs.  But all that could be found for him were books about Christ and the lives of the saints.  While he began reading these books he began to realize that saints showed greater courage than soldiers.

When he reoved he decided to go on pilgrimage.  He went to a nearby shrine at Monserrat and there at our Lady's Shrine of Monserrat he decidated his life to God's service.  Ignatius spent a year at Manressa working with the poor and writing the Spiritual Exercises.  The Spiritual Exercises is a retreat to help people grow closer in union with the Trinity. 

After much discernment Ignatius decided to attend school and study for the priesthood.  It was at the University of Paris that Ignatius met six men who would eventually become the early campanions of the Society of Jesus.  There Ignatius and the early campanions studied theology, served the poor and gathered with the campanions for prayer.  Eventually, Ignatius and the early campanions put themselves at the service of the church and the Pope.  In 1550, the Society of Jesus was founded for the "greater glory of God".

Last Updated ( Friday, 07 December 2012 )