Saint Paul-Without-The-Walls, Rome. Author: Herbert Weber, Hildesheim. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Wikimedia Commons.

31 July 2021

Saint Ignatius Of Loyola (1491 - 1556). Founder Of The Jesuits. Feast Day 31 July.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
   Feast Day 31 July.


White Vestments.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
Artist: Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640).
Date: 1600s.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Ignatius was born in Northern Spain in 1491. He was the eleventh child of the Lord of Loyola, and, at the age of fifteen, came as Page to the Court of King Ferdinand V of Spain.

His ardent and martial nature caused him to choose a military career. At the Siege of Pamplona, he was severely wounded in the leg. During his long convalescence, in the absence of books of chivalry, for which he had a passion, they gave him to read The Lives of Jesus Christ and of The Saints.

This reading was for him a revelation. It dawned on him that The Church also has her Army, which, under the Orders of the Representative of Christ, fights to defend here below the Sacred Interests of The God of Hosts [To the Three Religious Vows, Saint Ignatius adds a fourth, by which the Members of The Society of Jesus bind themselves to go wherever the Pope will send them for the Salvation of Souls].

English: The Choir of the l'Escolania de Montserrat in the Basilica of the Abbey of Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain, where Saint Ignatius laid down his sword at the feet of the statue of The Virgin.
Français: Choeur de l'Escolania de Montserrat ans la basilique de l'abbaye de Montserrat, Catalogne, Espagne.
Photo: 21 September 2009.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

He then laid down his sword at the feet of The Virgin, in the famous Benedictine Abbey at Montserrat, and his generous Soul, once enamoured of worldly glory, now only longed for the Greater Glory of The King, Whom, henceforth, he would serve (Collect).

Throughout the night of 25 March, when the Mystery of The Incarnation of The Word is Solemnised, after confessing his sins, he kept his Knightly Vigil, and The Mother of God armed him for Christ and The Church Militant, His Spouse.

Soon, he became General of The Society of Jesus, raised by Providence to combat Protestantism, Jansenism and returning Paganism.

English: Benedictine Abbey of Montserrat, Spain.
Deutsch: Unterhalb des “Roca de St. Jaume”.
Español: Vista desde la roca de Sant Jaume.
Photo: 2003.
Source: Own work.
Author: Richard Schneider.
(Wikimedia Commons)

On the mountain, The Sons of Benedict, as a prelude to The Liturgy in Heaven, will continue the Solemn Celebration of The Divine Office, which Ignatius will recommend to The Faithful, and whose Sacred Melodies he never heard without tears ["The Third of The Eighteen Rules, made by Saint Ignatius, as the crowning of The Spiritual Exercises, "that we may have the true sentiments of The Orthodox Church," recommends, to The Faithful, The Canticles of The Church, The Psalms and the different Canonical Hours at their appointed times.

And, at the head of this book, in order to enable one to draw most profit from these Exercises, he rules, in his twentieth note, that, he who can do so, is to "choose, for the duration of The Exercises, a dwelling whence he may easily go to The Offices of Matins and Vespers, as well as to Mass" (Dom Guéranger: The Liturgical Year: 31 July. Saint Ignatius of Loyola)]; and he, sacrificing himself to his Mission, goes down into the plain, to oppose with his valiant troops, the attacks of the hostile army, whose violent onslaughts are always directed against his Institute (Epistle).

Wherefore, to preserve in his sons the intense Interior Life, required by the militant activity to which he devotes them, Saint Ignatius subjects them to a strongly organised hierarchy and teaches them, in a masterly treatise, highly approved of by The Church, his Spiritual Exercises, which have Sanctified thousands of Souls.

It has been affirmed that it was the practice of the Exercitatorium of the Benedictine Cisneros, Abbot of Montserrat in 1500, which inspired him with the idea. Guided by Grace, he realised it, however, at Manresa, Spain, in a different and very personal way.

The Life of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
Available on YouTube at

Saint Ignatius arms his sons by giving them, for their shield; the name of Jesus (Introit), for their breastplate; the Love of God, which The Saviour came to enflame on Earth (Communion) [when he sent Missionaries abroad, he used to say to them: "Go, my brothers, inflame the World and spread everywhere the fire which Jesus Christ came to kindle on the Earth"] and Whose symbol, The Sacred Heart, they gloriously bear in the folds of their flag; and for their sword; Preaching, Writing, Teaching, and all other forms of Apostolate.

It was in a Benedictine Monastery in Spain, that, at The Feast of The Annunciation, Saint Ignatius first used these arms; in a Chapel of The Benedictine Abbey of Montmartre, that, on The Feast of The Assumption, in 1534, and later on at the Altar of The Virgin of the Basilica of Saint Paul-Without-the-Walls, served by Benedictines, that was born The Society of Jesus, that noble chivalry of Christ, and, lastly, it was the Benedictine Pope, Pius VII, a native of Cesena and a Monk of its Abbey, who, in 1814, re-established it in all its rights.

It is, therefore, God, Himself, Who unites at the feet of The Blessed Virgin these two Orders, which powerfully help The Church, for Martha and Mary, action and contemplation, both contribute, by different means, to the Glory of God.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
Available on YouTube at

The Mottoes of these two Religious families are alike: "In all things God be Glorified ! (I.O.G.D.)" and "To the Greater Glory of God ! (A.M.D.G.)"

Not to do anything, except for the Glory of God, and to do everything for His greater Glory, is the perfection of Holiness. It is the end of The Creation, the end of man's elevation to a Supernatural Life, the end, indeed, of the evangelical precepts, which cause generous Souls to renounce, by Vow, things that are lawful, in order to devote themselves more freely to the interests of God, and to render to Him, in its entirety, the accidental Glory He had been deprived of by man's use of unlawful things.

Benedict has filled Europe with his Missionary Monks, whose principal work is to Praise God, and Ignatius, with his Priest-Apostles (Gospel), who make manifest their Interior Life by their untiring activity.

Tomb of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Church of Il Gesù,
Mother Church of The Society of Jesus, Rome
Photo: 13 November 2005.
Source: Own work.
Author: Torvindus
(Wikimedia Commons)

From Montserrat, twelve Monks, with their Superior, started with Christoper Columbus, for the New Continent. From Lisbon, started Francis Xavier, who first evangelised Japan and China. It is the same Tree of The Love of God, which, on different branches, bears the same fruit.

On 31 July 1556, Saint Ignatius died, pronouncing the name of Jesus, and his Society of Jesus spread throughout the World. It numbers, nowadays, forty-four Provinces and several hundreds of Colleges [The Society of Jesus numbers: Twenty-three Canonised Saints; 142 Beatified; Three Venerables; and over 100, whose twenty-nine Causes are being discussed. It had, in 1934, 24,270 Members: There were 24,000 at the Time of the Suppression of The Society of Jesus in 1773 [Editor: By Pope Clement XIV, in the Brief "Dominus ac Redemptor" (21 July 1773)].

It has given to The Church illustrious Prelates and a large number of Apostles, learned men, educators and influential men, as is proved by the numerous Congregations or Religious Associations under the direction of the Sons of Saint Ignatius. The Apostleship of Prayer, for instance, is believed to number some thirty million Associates.]

May we obtain, by the intercession of Saint Ignatius, so to be Sanctified in Truth (Secret) by the Sacred Mysteries of Mass and Communion, the Source of all Holiness, that, with the help of this Saint, we may, after his example, so combat evil on Earth, as to be crowned with him in Heaven (Collect).

Mass: In nómine Jesu.

Church of the Gesù, Rome.
Mother Church of The Jesuits.
Saint Ignatius Loyola is buried here.
Photo: 7 September 2013.
(Wikimedia Commons)

1 comment:

  1. Isn’t that view of the choir of the great Abbey church of Montserrat, and also that overhead view of the whole Abbey, looking down from “the jagged mountain” (Montserrat) to the valley below, breathtaking, extraordinary?

    A friend of mine, now deceased, was able to visit and stay at Montserrat for a few days and said the experience stayed with him his whole life. Otherworldly, he said.


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