Ignatius of Loyola
Portrait by Peter Paul Rubens
|Born||c. 23 October 1491
|Died||31 July 1556 (aged 64)
Rome, Papal States
|Beatified||27 July 1609 by Paul V|
|Canonized||12 March 1622 by Gregory XV|
|Attributes||Eucharist, chasuble, book, cross|
|Patronage||Dioceses of San Sebastián and Bilbao, Biscay and Gipuzkoa; Basque Country; Military Ordinariate of the Philippines; Society of Jesus; Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil; Junín, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Archdiocese of Baltimore; soldiers and Antwerp, Belgium.|
Saint Ignatius of Loyola (Basque: Ignazio Loiolakoa; Spanish: Ignacio de Loyola; Latin: Ignatius de Loyola; c. 23 October 1491 – 31 July 1556) was a Spanish Basque Catholic priest and theologian, who co-founded the religious order called the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and became its first Superior General at Paris in 1541. The Jesuit order served the Pope as missionaries, and they were bound by a vow of special obedience to the sovereign pontiff in regard to the missions. They therefore emerged as an important force during the time of the Counter-Reformation.
Ignatius is remembered as a talented spiritual director. He recorded his method in a celebrated treatise called the Spiritual Exercises, a simple set of meditations, prayers, and other mental exercises, first published in 1548.
Ignatius was beatified in 1609, and then canonized, receiving the title of Saint on 12 March 1622. His feast day is celebrated on 31 July. He is the patron saint of the Basque provinces of Gipuzkoa and Biscay as well as the Society of Jesus, and was declared patron saint of all spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922. Ignatius is also a foremost patron saint of soldiers.
Íñigo López de Loyola (sometimes erroneously called Íñigo López de Recalde) was born in the municipality of Azpeitia at the castle of Loyola in today's Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain. He was baptized Íñigo, after St. Enecus (Innicus) (Basque: Eneko; Spanish: Íñigo) Abbot of Oña, a Basque medieval, affectionate name meaning "My little one". It is not clear when he began using the Latin name "Ignatius" instead of his baptismal name "Íñigo". Historian Gabriel María Verd says that Íñigo did not intend to change his name, but rather adopted a name which he believed was a simple variant of his own, for use in France and Italy where it was better understood.
Íñigo was the youngest of thirteen children. His mother died soon after his birth, and he was then brought up by María de Garín, the local blacksmith's wife. Íñigo adopted the surname "de Loyola" in reference to the Basque village of Loyola where he was born.
As a young man Íñigo had a great love for military exercises as well as a tremendous desire for fame. He framed his life around the stories of El Cid, the knights of Camelot, and the Song of Roland. He joined the army at seventeen, and according to one biographer, he strutted about "with his cape slinging open to reveal his tight-fitting hose and boots; a sword and dagger at his waist". According to another he was "a fancy dresser, an expert dancer, a womanizer, sensitive to insult, and a rough punkish swordsman who used his privileged status to escape prosecution for violent crimes committed with his priest brother at carnival time." Upon encountering a Moor who denied the divinity of Jesus, he challenged him to a duel to the death, and ran him through with his sword. He dueled many other men as well.
In 1509, at the age of 18, Íñigo took up arms for Antonio Manrique de Lara, 2nd Duke of Nájera. His diplomacy and leadership qualities earned him the title "servant of the court", which made him very useful to the Duke. Under the Duke's leadership, Íñigo participated in many battles without injury. But at the Battle of Pamplona in 1521 he was gravely injured when a French-Navarrese expedition force stormed the fortress of Pamplona on 20 May 1521, and a cannonball ricocheting off a nearby wall shattered his right leg. Íñigo was returned to his father's castle in Loyola, where, in an era that knew nothing of anesthetics, he underwent several surgical operations to repair the leg, having the bones set and then rebroken. In the end, these operations left his right leg shorter than before. Íñigo would limp for the rest of his life, and his military career was over.
Religious conversion and visions
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While recovering from surgery, Íñigo underwent a spiritual conversion which led to his experiencing a call to religious life. Hospitals in those days were run by religious orders, and the reading material available to bedridden patients tended to be selected from scripture or devotional literature. This is how Íñigo came to read a series of religious texts on the life of Jesus and on the lives of the saints, since the "romances of chivalry" he loved to read were not available to him in the castle.
The religious work which most particularly struck him was the De Vita Christi of Ludolph of Saxony. This book would influence his whole life, inspiring him to devote himself to God and follow the example of Francis of Assisi and other great monks. It also inspired his method of meditation, since Ludolph proposes that the reader place himself mentally at the scene of the Gospel story, visualising the crib at the Nativity, etc. This type of meditation, known as Simple Contemplation, was the basis for the method that St. Ignatius would promote in his Spiritual Exercises.
Aside from dreaming about imitating the saints in his readings, Íñigo was still wandering off in his mind about what "he would do in service to his king and in honor of the royal lady he was in love with". Cautiously he came to realize the after-effect of both kinds of his dreams. He experienced a desolation and dissatisfaction when the romantic heroism dream was over, but, the saintly dream ended with much joy and peace. It was the first time he learned about discernment.
After he had recovered sufficiently to walk again, Íñigo resolved to begin a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to "kiss the earth where our Lord had walked", and to do stricter penances. He thought that his plan was confirmed by a vision of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus he experienced one night, which resulted in much consolation to him. In March 1522, he visited the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat. There, he carefully examined his past sins, confessed, gave his fine clothes to the poor he met, wore a "garment of sack-cloth", then hung his sword and dagger at the Virgin's altar during an overnight vigil at the shrine.
From Montserrat he walked on to the nearby town of Manresa (Catalonia), where he lived for about a year, begging for his keep, and then eventually doing chores at a local hospital in exchange for food and lodging. For several months he spent much of his time praying in a cave nearby where he practiced rigorous asceticism, praying for seven hours a day, and formulating the fundamentals of his Spiritual Exercises.
Íñigo also experienced a series of visions in full daylight while at the hospital. These repetitive visions appeared as "a form in the air near him and this form gave him much consolation because it was exceedingly beautiful ... it somehow seemed to have the shape of a serpent and had many things that shone like eyes, but were not eyes. He received much delight and consolation from gazing upon this object ... but when the object vanished he became disconsolate". He came to interpret this vision as diabolical in nature.
Period of study
He returned to Barcelona and at the age of thirty-three began to attend a free public grammar school to prepare himself for entrance to a university. When his preparation was complete, he then went on to the University of Alcalá, where he studied theology and Latin from 1524 to 1534.
There he encountered some women who had been called before the Inquisition. These women were considered alumbrados (Illuminated, Illuminati, or Enlightened Ones) – a group that was linked in their zeal and spirituality to Franciscan reforms, but had incurred mounting suspicion on the part of the administrators of the Inquisition. At one point, Íñigo was preaching on the street when three of these devout women began to experience ecstatic states. "One fell senseless, another sometimes rolled about on the ground, another had been seen in the grip of convulsions or shuddering and sweating in anguish." This suspicious activity had taken place while Íñigo was preaching without a degree in theology. Íñigo was then singled out for interrogation by the Inquisition; however, he was later released.
After these adventurous activities, Íñigo (by now Ignatius) moved to Paris to study at the famous University. He studied at the ascetic Collège de Montaigu, where he remained for over seven years.
He arrived during a period of anti-Protestant turmoil which forced John Calvin to flee France. Very soon after his arrival Ignatius had gathered around him six key companions, all of whom he had met as fellow students at the University.— Francis Xavier, Alfonso Salmeron, Diego Laynez, and Nicholas Bobadilla, all Spanish; Peter Faber, a Savoyard; and Simão Rodrigues of Portugal. Peter Faber, a young man from Savoy in the south of France, and Francis Xavier, a nobleman from the eastern end of the Basque country, were his first roommates, and would become his closest associates in founding the Jesuit order.
"On the morning of the 15th of August, 1534, in the chapel of church of Saint Peter, at Montmartre, Loyola and his six companions, of whom only one was a priest, met and took upon themselves the solemn vows of their lifelong work."
Ignatius obtained a master's degree from the University of Paris at the age of forty-three. In later life he was often called "Master Ignatius" because of this.
Foundation of the Jesuit order
In 1539, with Peter Faber and Francis Xavier, Ignatius formed the Society of Jesus, which was approved in 1540 by Pope Paul III. Ignatius was chosen as the first Superior General of the order and invested with the title of Father General by the Jesuits.
Ignatius sent his companions as missionaries around Europe to create schools, colleges, and seminaries. Juan de Vega, the ambassador of Charles V at Rome, met Ignatius there. Esteeming Ignatius and the Jesuits, when Vega was appointed Viceroy of Sicily, he brought Jesuits with him. A Jesuit college was opened at Messina, which proved a success, and its rules and methods were afterwards copied in other colleges.
In 1548 Ignatius was briefly brought before the Roman Inquisition for examination of his book of Spiritual Exercises. But he was released and the book was finally given papal permission to be printed. It was published in a format such that the exercises were designed to be carried out over a period of 28–30 days.
Ignatius, along with the help of his personal secretary Juan Alfonso de Polanco wrote the Jesuit Constitutions, adopted in 1553. It created a centralized organization for the order, and stressed absolute self-denial and obedience to the Pope and to superiors in the Church hierarchy, using the motto perinde ac cadaver – "as if a dead body", i.e. that the good Jesuit should be as well-disciplined as a corpse. But his main principle became the Jesuit motto: Ad maiorem Dei gloriam ("for the greater glory of God").
During the years 1553–1555, Ignatius dictated his autobiography to his secretary, Father Gonçalves da Câmara. This autobiography ("Autobiografía de San Ignacio de Loyola" in Wikisource in Spanish) is a valuable key for understanding his Spiritual Exercises. It was kept in the archives of the Jesuit order for about 150 years, until the Bollandists published the text in Acta Sanctorum.
Death and canonization
Ignatius died in Rome on 31 July 1556, as a result of the Roman Fever, a severe case of malaria that recurred in Rome, Italy, at different points in history. An autopsy revealed that he also had several kidney and bladder stones, a probable cause of the abdominal pains he suffered from later in life. At this time he was placed in a wooden shrine, his body was then covered with his priestly garments. On 1 August the shrine was then buried in the small Maria della Strada Church. In 1568 that church was pulled down and replaced with the Church of the Gesù. Saint Ignatius was put into a new coffin and reinterred in the new church.
Ignatius was beatified by Pope Paul V on 27 July 1609, and canonized by Pope Gregory XV on 12 March 1622. His feast day is celebrated annually on 31 July, the day he died. Saint Ignatius is venerated as the patron saint of Catholic soldiers, the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Basque Country, Antwerp, Belo Horizonte, Junín and various towns and cities in his native region.
Ignatius has to this day a powerful and respectable legacy. Of the institutions dedicated to Saint Ignatius, one of the most famous is the Basilica of St Ignatius Loyola, built next to the house where he was born in Azpeitia, the Basque Country, Spain. The house itself, now a museum, is incorporated into the basilica complex. In addition, he has had a global impact, having been the influence behind numerous Jesuit schools and educational institutions worldwide.
Shield of Oñaz-Loyola
The Shield of Oñaz-Loyola is a symbol of Saint Ignatius family's Oñaz lineage, and is used by many Jesuit institutions around the world. As the official colors of the Loyola family are maroon and gold, the Oñaz shield consists of seven maroon bars going diagonally from the upper left to the lower right on a gold field. The bands were granted by the King of Spain to each of the Oñaz brothers, in recognition of their bravery in battle. The Loyola shield features a pair of rampant gray wolves flanking each side of a cooking pot. The wolf was a symbol of nobility, while the entire design represented the family's generosity towards their military followers. According to legend, wolves had enough to feast on after the soldiers had eaten. Both shields were combined as a result of the intermarriage of the two families in 1261.
Villoslada established the following detailed genealogy of Saint Ignatius:
- The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, TAN Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0-89555-153-5
- Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, London, 2012. limovia.net ISBN 978-1-78336-012-3
- Loyola, (St.) Ignatius (1964). The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Anthony Mottola. Garden City: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-02436-5.
- Loyola, (St.) Ignatius (1900). Joseph O'Conner (ed.). The Autobiography of St. Ignatius. New York: Benziger Brothers. OCLC 1360267. For information on the O'Conner and other translations, see notes in A Pilgrim's Journey: The Autobiography of Ignatius of Loyola Page 11-12.
- Loyola, (St.) Ignatius (1992). John Olin (ed.). The Autobiography of St. Ignatius Loyola, with Related Documents. New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 0-8232-1480-X.
- List of Catholic saints
- List of Jesuits
- Saint Ignatius, patron saint archive
- Marie-Madeleine d'Houët foundress of the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus
- Martín Ignacio de Loyola
- The Cave of Saint Ignatius, a sanctuary built where Ignatius of Loyola reflected for 11 months in a grotto, in Manresa.
- Isabella Roser and Isabel de Josa, wealthy Catalan women who were Loyola's benefactors from the 1520s onwards.
García Villoslada, Ricardo (1986). San Ignacio de Loyola: Nueva biografía (in Spanish). La Editorial Católica. ISBN 84-220-1267-7.
We deduct that, (...), Iñigo de Loyola should have been born before 23 October 1491.
- Idígoras Tellechea, José Ignacio (1994). "When was he born? His nurse's account". Ignatius of Loyola: The Pilgrim Saint. Chicago: Loyola University Press. p. 45. ISBN 0-8294-0779-0.
Ignatius of Loyola (1970). The constitutions of the society of Jesus. Translated by Ganss, George E. Institute of Jesuit Sources. p. 249 [No. 529].
The entire meaning of this fourth vow of obedience to the pope was and is in regard to the missions ... this obedience is treated: in everything which the sovereign pontiff commands.
- Nugent, Donald (1974). Ecumenism in the Age of the Reformation: The Colloquy of Poissy. Harvard University Press. p. 189. ISBN 0-674-23725-0.
- "Summer Fiestas" (PDF). euskadi.net. Retrieved 24 July 2008.
John Hungerford Pollen (1913). . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- "Nombres: Eneko". Euskaltzaindia (The Royal Academy of the Basque Language). Retrieved 23 April 2009. Article in Spanish
- Verd, Gabriel María (1976). "El "Íñigo" de San Ignacio de Loyola". Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu (in Spanish). Roma: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu. 45: 95–128. ISSN 0037-8887.
Verd, Gabriel María (1991). "De Iñigo a Ignacio. El cambio de nombre en San Ignacio de Loyola". Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu (in Spanish). Roma: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu. 60: 113–160. ISSN 0037-8887.
That St. Ignatius of Loyola's name was changed is a known fact, but it cannot be said that it is widely known in the historiography of the saint—neither the characteristics of the names Iñigo and Ignacio nor the reasons for the change. It is first necessary to make clear the meaning of the names; they are distinct, despite the persistently held opinion in onomastic (dictionaries) and popular thought. In Spain Ignacio and Iñigo are at times used interchangeably just as if they were Jacobo and Jaime. With reference to the name Iñigo, it is fitting to give some essential notions to eliminate ambiguities and help understand what follows. This name first appears on the Ascoli brome (dated November 18, 90 BC), in a list of Spanish knights belonging to a Turma salluitana or Saragossan. It speaks of Elandus Enneces f[ilius], and according to Menéndez Pidal the final «s» is the «z» of Spanish patronymics, and could be nothing other than Elando Iñiguez. It is an ancestral Hispanic name. Ignacio, on the other hand, is a Latin name. In classical Latin there is Egnatius with an initial E. It appears only twice with an initial I (Ignatius) in the sixty volumes of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. This late Latin and Greek form prevailed. In the classical period Egnatius was used as a nomen (gentilitial name) and not as a praenomen (first name) or cognomen (surname), except in very rare cases. (...) The most important conclusion, perhaps unexpected, but not unknown, is that St. Ignatius did not change his name. That is to say, he did not intend to change it. What he did was to adopt for France and Italy a name which he believed was a simple variant of his own, and which was more acceptable among foreigners.... If he had remained in Spain, he would have, without doubt, remained Iñigo.
- Page 9, Ignatius of Loyola, the Psychology of a Saint; W.W Meissner SJ MD, Yale University Press, 1992
- "Saint Ignatius of Loyola's Vision of Christ and God the Father at La Storta". lacma.org. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). 30 November 2016.
- Ironically, the Song of Roland has Roland being slain by Moors, when historically his death was at the hands of Basques like Íñigo himself.
- Richard Cohen (5 August 2003). By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions. Modern Library Paperbacks.
- Traub, S.J., George and Mooney, Ph.D., Debra. A Biography of St. Ignatius Loyola, Xavier University
- In Spanish the title was "Gentilhombre", but this should not be understood as synonymous with the English term gentleman, which denotes a man of good family. See Thomas Rochford, Ignatius Loyola: the pilgrim and man of prayer who founded the Society of Jesus "St. Ignatius Loyola: the pilgrim and man of prayer who founded the Society of Jesus", accessed 15 November 2007.]
- Mariani, Antonio. "The Life of St. Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Jesuits". Thomas Richardson. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
- De Vita Christi is a commentary on the Gospels, using extracts from the works of over sixty Church Fathers, and particularly quoting from St Gregory the Great, St Basil, St Augustine and the Venerable Bede. This work took Ludolph forty years to complete.
- Sr Mary Immaculate Bodenstedt, "The Vita Christi of Ludolphus the Carthusian", a Dissertation, Washington: Catholic University of America Press 1944 British Library Catalogue No. Ac2692.y/29.(16).
- "The Vita Christi" by Charles Abbot Conway Analecta Cartusiana 34
- "Ludolph's Life of Christ" by Father Henry James Coleridge in The Month Vol. 17 (New Series VI) July–December 1872, pp. 337–370
- Margo J. Heydt; Sarah J. Melcher (May 2008). "Mary, the Hidden Catalyst: Reflections from an Ignatian Pilgrimage to Spain and Rome". Xavier University.
- "The Cave an artistic heritage". The Cave. Place of pilgrimage and worship. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Jean Lacouture, Jesuits, A Multibiography, Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1995, p. 18.
- Demski, Eric (2014). Living by the Sword. Bloomington, Indiana: Trafford Publishing. p. 289. ISBN 978-1-490-73607-5.
- Twelve years later, standing before the Pope with his companions, Ignatius would again propose sending his companions as emissaries to Jerusalem. Jean Lacouture, Jesuits, A Multibiography, Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1995, p. 24.
- That is, the present-day Complutense University of Madrid, not the newer University of Alcalá established in 1977.
- Jesuits, A Multibiography by Jean Lacouture, pp. 27–29, Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1995
- Michael Servetus Research Website that includes graphical documents in the University of Paris of: Ignations of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Alfonso Salmerón, Nicholas Bobadilla, Peter Faber and Simao Rodrigues, as well as Michael de Villanueva ("Servetus")
- History of The World by John Clarke Ridpath, Vol. V, pp. 238, New York: Merrill & Baker, 1899
- "Saint Ignatius of Loyola | Biography & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
J.H. Pollen (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
|url=(help) . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.).
Ignatius of Loyola (1970). The constitutions of the society of Jesus. Translated by Ganss, George E. Institute of Jesuit Sources. p. 249.
Carried and directed by Divine Providence through the agency of the superior as if he were a lifeless body which allows itself to be carried to any place and to be treated in any manner desired.
- Painter, F. V. N. (1903). A History of Education. International Education Series. 2. New York: D. Appleton and Company. p. 167.
- Jesuitas (1583). "SEXTA PARS – CAP. 1". Constitutiones Societatis Iesu: cum earum declarationibus (in Latin).
Ignatius of Loyola (1970). The constitutions of the society of Jesus. Translated by George E. Ganss. Institute of Jesuit Sources. p. 249.
Carried and directed by Divine Providence through the agency of the superior as if he were a lifeless body which allows itself to be carried to any place and to be treated in any manner desired.
- Siraisi, Nancy G. (2001). Medicine and the Italian Universities: 1250-1600. BRILL. ISBN 9004119426.
- Martin, Malachi (28 May 2013). Jesuits. Simon and Schuster. pp. 169–170. ISBN 9781476751887. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- de Pablo, José (28 February 2017). "Canonization of St Ignatius of Loyola and St Francis Xavier". Jesuit Conference of European Provincials. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
- "Welcome to the Archdiocese of Baltimore". Archdiocese of Baltimore.
- Tantiangco, Aya (20 July 2016). "PHL film 'Ignacio de Loyola' not just for the religious, say director and star". GMA Network (company). Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "Manresa Iconography – Manresa House of Retreats, Convent, LA".
- "Loyola Crests – Loyola High School, Montreal, Quebec, Canada".
- "Saint Ignatius' College Riverview". www.riverview.nsw.edu.au.
- Barros Arana, Diego (2000) . Historia General de Chile (in Spanish). III (2 ed.). Santiago, Chile: Editorial Universitaria. p. 177. ISBN 956-11-1535-2.
- Bartoli, Daniello (1855). History of the Life and Institute of St. Ignatius de Loyola: Founder of the Society of Jesus. New York: Edward Dunigan and Brother.
- Caraman, Philip (1990). Ignatius Loyola: A Biography of the Founder of the Jesuits'. San Francisco: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-250130-5.
- August Derleth, St. Ignatius and the Company of Jesus, Vision Books, 1956. LCCN 56-7278
- Foss, Michael (1969). The Founding of the Jesuits, 1540. Turning Points in History Series. London: Hamilton. ISBN 0-241-01513-8.
- García Villoslada, Ricardo (1986). San Ignacio de Loyola: Nueva biografía (in Spanish). La Editorial Católica. ISBN 84-220-1267-7.
- Meissner, William (1992). Ignatius of Loyola: The Psychology of a Saint. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-06079-3.
- O'Malley, John W. (1993). The First Jesuits. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-30312-1.
- Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, TAN Books, 1997. ISBN 978-0-89555-345-4.
- St. Ignatius of Loyola, TAN Books, 2008. ISBN 978-0-89555-624-0.
- Works by Ignatius of Loyola at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Ignatius of Loyola at Internet Archive
- Works by Ignatius of Loyola at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- "St. Ignatius of Loyola, Confessor", Butler's Lives of the Saints
- The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Translation by Elder Mullan, S.J.
- Letters of Saint Ignatius of Loyola
- "Contemplation to Attain Love", by Ignatius of Loyola
- Founder Statue in St Peter's Basilica
- Colonnade Statue St Peter's Square
- The Book of Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuit Monastic Order in Arabic, dating from 1773
|Catholic Church titles|
Superior General of the Society of Jesus