2009 Year of the Priest >  Year of the Priest Books >  Biographies >  Ignatius Loyola

Saint Ignatius Loyola

Item Number: 77

Catalog Code: 9780895556240

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Ignatius Loyola

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F. A. Forbes


"Bring me a book, a story, a novel - anything to pass away the time!" cried the patient.  Young Ignatius had bravely borne the primitive surgery-the re-opening of his battle wound, the sawing off of part of his leg bone and the stretching of his leg in an iron machine. He had set his teeth and borne the pain without flinching. Now, however, the dreary weeks of recovery dragged on.

One of the books that fell into the young man's hands at this time was a Life of Christ. The heart of the brave but worldly soldier was soon to be touched by grace. Once recuperated, he abandoned his military career and went in search of holiness and learning.

In the following years Ignatius would found the Jesuits, an order of priests organized like an army-an army of Jesus Christ at the disposal of the Pope. His life would include writing his famous Spiritual Exercises, taking tender care of the sick, being put on trial for heresy, effecting the conversion of St. Francis Xavier and sending his "Jesuits" to the Council of Trent.

This is the story of a great man who in a time of grave crisis was sent by God to help the Church recover from the Protestant Revolt-and to help it flourish once again, even more wonderfully than before.

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7"  (17.7 cm) x 4 1/4"  (10.7 cm)
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St. Ignatius Loyola

St. Ignatius Loyola Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 07/31
Tridentine Calendar - 07/31

Patron Of: Retreats, Jesuits

    Spanish nobility. Youngest of twelve children. Page in the Spanish court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Military education. Soldier, entering the army in 1517, and serving in several campaigns. 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. Lived in a cave from 1522 to 1523, contemplating the way to live a Christian life. Pilgrim to Rome and the Holy Land in 1523, where he worked to convert Muslims. In 1528 he began studying theology in Barcelona, 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 on 15 August 1534; it received papal approval in 1541. Friend of James Lainez, Alonso Salmerón, Nicholas Bobadilla, Simón Rodriguez, Blessed Peter Faber, and Saint Francis Xavier, the group that formed the core of the new Society. He never used the term Jesuit, which was coined as an insult by his opponents; the Society today uses the term with pride. He traveled 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.

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

    of fever on 31 July 1556 at Rome, Italy

    27 July 1609 by Pope Paul V

    12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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