Saint Ignatius of Loyola - San Ignacio de Loyola
Founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) - from Spain
Born in 491 in Loyola, died on 31st July 1556
Canonized on 12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV
Feast Day - 31st July
3 2us by Father William Pearsall SJ
"Ignatius gave us ways of prayer that deepen our union with Christ and our commitment, the call of Christ and our response. And he gave us also the idea that we needn't be afraid of the world around us, we should engage in the culture, take part in the great events of our time, be a part of the life because God is active in the world, just as He is active in our lives. And so we discern our way, to decide the best way of serving the Gospel in the world, and this begins from a vision of finding God in all things. God is present and active in His creation."
Carlos, from Spain, chose San Ignacio de Loyola as The Incredibles
"What I most like about St Ignatius is how he resigned all his vanity and all the things he had, all the choices he had, and he gave it all away in exchange for following Jesus, like the disciples did. I really admire him for that. I wish we could all do that but sometimes it's not that easy."
A reading from the Acts of St Ignatius taken down by Luis Gonzalez
Ignatius was very addicted to reading aimless and exaggerated books about the illustrious deeds of the famous, and when he felt well again he asked for some to pass the time. But there were no books of that type in the house and he was given a book called 'The Life of Christ' and another 'The Flower of the Saints', both in his native language.
By reading these regularly he developed a certain sympathy with what was written in them. Sometimes he took his mind off them and turned his thoughts to the type of story he used to read earlier on; sometimes, according as it occurred to him, he thought about those idle inclinations, and things of that nature, such as he used to think about formerly.
But divine mercy was at hand and, in place of these thoughts, it used to substitute others from what he had recently read. For when he had read the lives of Christ our Lord and the saints he would think to himself and ponder: 'What, if I were to do what blessed Francis did or what blessed Dominic did?' And he used to meditate a good deal in this manner. This way of thinking lasted for some time, but then other things intervened, and he resumed his idle and worldly thoughts, and these persisted for a long time. He was involved in that succession of changes of mind for a considerable time.
But there was a difference in his two types of subject for thought. When he was intent on his worldly interests he got great pleasure at the time, but whenever he wearied of them and gave them up, he felt dejected and empty. On the other hand, when he thought about the austerities which he found that holy men practised, not only did he find joy in the account of them, but when he stopped thinking of them his joy remained unabated. However, he never noticed the difference or thought about it, until one day it dawned on him, and he began to wonder at it. He understood from experience that the one subject of thought left him dejection, while the other left him joy. This was the first conclusion which he reached concerning things of a supernatural nature. Afterwards, however, when he had undertaken spiritual exercises, this experience was the starting point for teaching his followers the discernment of spirits.