St Ignatius Loyola

Exodus 35.15-24,30-34; Psalm 105; Matthew 13.31-35

Born in the castle of Loyola as Íñigo López de Oñaz y Loyola, ca1491, the youngest of 13 children, as a young boy Ignatius fashioned his life on tales of romantic chivalry and joined the army at the age of 17. The following year he took up arms for the Duke of Nájera. At the Battle of Pamplona in May of 1621 he was gravely injured when a cannonball shattered his right leg. He endured many surgeries but he was to walk with a pronounced limp ever after.

During his convalescence he underwent a religious conversion, spending hours reading the lives of the saints. He planned a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and received a number of consoling visions. He confessed his sins and hung up his sword. He began theological studies at the University of Alcalá, eventually completing his studies at the University of Paris. There, along with six companions he founded what would come to be known as the Society of Jesus (more commonly known as the Jesuits). The order was accepted by Pope Paul III in 1540. The new order would spread across Europe and beyond it, establishing schools, colleges and seminaries. Ignatius died on 31 July 1556, probably of Roman fever, a type of malaria.

Posted in Daily Reflection.