Browsing Ignatian Threads

Founder of the Jesuits

July 5

The Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola will be July 31, so during this month, let us recall the life of this founder of the Society of Jesus. Ignatius was a Basque soldier, who, until age 26 sought fame and renown, especially through combat and warfare.  In 1521 while fighting for King Ferdinand of Spain against the French at Pamplona, his one leg was shattered by a cannonball; the other was injured as well.  During his long recovery in Loyola, he asked for books to pass the time reading, hoping for courtly adventures or kingly tales. The only books available to him were of the life of Christ and lives of the saints. Ignatius began to develop interest in a different kind of greatness as he imagined what kind of saint he might be.  His imagination shifted from fantasies about knights and ladies to the direction of service to an Eternal, not an earthly, King.

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