Ignatius of Loyola
|Ignatius of Loyola|
Portrait by Peter Paul Rubens
|Born||October 23, 1491
Loyola, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Kingdom of Castille (currently Spain)
|Died||July 31, 1556 (aged 64)
Rome, Papal States
|Venerated in||Catholic Church, Anglican Communion|
|Beatified||July 27, 1609 by Paul V|
|Canonized||March 12, 1622 by Gregory XV|
|Attributes||Eucharist, chasuble, book, cross|
|Patronage||Dioceses of San Sebastián and Bilbao, Biscay & Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, Society of Jesus, soldiers, Educators and Education.|
Ignatius of Loyola (Basque: Ignazio Loiolakoa, Spanish: Ignacio de Loyola) (c. October 23, 1491 – July 31, 1556) was a Spanish knight from a local Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and, on 19 April 1541, became its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation. Loyola's devotion to the Catholic Church was characterized by absolute obedience to the Pope.
After being seriously wounded in the Battle of Pamplona in 1521, he underwent a spiritual conversion while in recovery. De Vita Christi by Ludolph of Saxony purportedly inspired Loyola to abandon his previous military life and devote himself to labour for God, following the example of spiritual leaders such as Francis of Assisi. After experiencing a vision of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus at the shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat in March 1522, he went to Manresa, where he began praying for seven hours a day, often in a nearby cave, and formulating the fundamentals of the Spiritual Exercises. In September 1523, Loyola reached the Holy Land to settle there, but was sent back to Europe by the Franciscans.
Between 1524 and 1537, Ignatius studied theology and Latin in the University of Alcalá and then in Paris. In 1534, he arrived in the latter city during a period of anti-Protestant turmoil which forced John Calvin to flee France. Ignatius and a few followers bound themselves by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In 1539, they formed the Society of Jesus, approved in 1540 by Pope Paul III, as well as his Spiritual Exercises approved in 1548. Loyola also composed the Constitutions of the Society. He died in July 1556, was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1609, canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622, and declared patron of all spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922. Ignatius' feast day is celebrated on July 31. Ignatius is a foremost patron saint of soldiers, the Society of Jesus, the Basque Country, and the provinces of Gipuzkoa and Biscay.
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 medieval Basque name arguably meaning "My little one". It is unclear when he started using Ignatius instead of his baptismal name "Íñigo". Ignatius did not intend to change his name but rather adopted for France and Italy a name which he believed was a simple variant of his own, and which was more acceptable among foreigners.
The youngest of thirteen children, Íñigo López was brought up by María de Garín, the local blacksmith's wife, after his own mother died soon after his birth. Íñigo adopted the last name "de Loyola" in reference to the Basque village of Loyola where he was born. He later became a page in the service of a relative, Juan Velázquez de Cuéllar, treasurer (contador mayor) of the kingdom of Castile.
As a young aristocrat Ignatius had a "love of martial exercises and a vainglorious desire for fame". At this period he framed his life around the stories of the adventures of El Cid, the knights of Camelot, and The Song of Roland (the tale has Roland slain by Muslims, when historically his death was at the hands of Basques like Ignatius). Joining the army at seventeen, he strutted about "with his cape slinging open to reveal his tight-fitting hose and boots; a sword and dagger at his waist". Upon encountering a Moor who denied the divinity of Jesus, he challenged him to a duel to the death and ran him through. He dueled others until the events of 1521.
In 1509, Íñigo took up arms for Antonio Manrique de Lara, Duke of Nájera and Viceroy of Navarre. According to Thomas Rochford, S.J., his diplomacy and leadership qualities made him a "Gentilhombre" (Spanish for "Gentleman", but should be understood as "servant of the court". By contrast, the English term Gentleman denotes a man of good family. In that sense, the word equates with the French "Gentilhomme", meaning "nobleman", which in Great Britain was long confined to the peerage.) This made him very useful to the Duke. Under the Duke's leadership, he participated in many battles without injury. But when a French-Navarrese army supporting the Navarrese monarchy, expelled in 1512, stormed Pamplona's fortress on May 20, 1521, a cannonball wounded one of his legs and broke the other. Heavily injured, Íñigo was returned to the castle. He was very concerned about the injuries and had several surgical operations, which must have been very painful in the days before anaesthetics.
During this time he read the De Vita Christi, by Ludolph of Saxony, in a Catalan edition. This work influenced his whole life. De Vita Christi is the result of forty years of work by Ludolph. It is a commentary on the life of Jesus Christ, a commentary on the Gospels, borrowing extracts from the works of over sixty of the Fathers of the Church and particularly quoting St Gregory the Great, St Basil, St Augustine and the Venerable Bede. Ludolph proposes to the reader that he place himself at the scene of the Gospel story; that he visualise the crib at the Nativity, etc. A type of prayer known as Simple Contemplation, it is the basis of the method that St. Ignatius sets out in his Spiritual Exercises.
Religious conversion and religious life
During his period of convalescence in 1521, Ignatius read a series of religious texts on the life of Jesus and on the lives of the saints; he became fired with an ambition to lead a life of self-denying labour and to emulate the heroic deeds of Francis of Assisi and other great monastics. He resolved to devote himself to the conversion of non-Christians in the Holy Land. Upon his recovery, he visited the Benedictine monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat (March 25, 1522), where he hung his military garments before an image of the Virgin. He then traveled on foot to the town of Manresa (Catalonia) and spent several months in a cave nearby  where he practiced rigorous asceticism. Ignatius also began experiencing a series of visions in full daylight while in 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". In 1523, he instituted a pilgrimage to the Holy Land on a path of self-denial and sacrifice. He remained there from September 3 to 23 but was not permitted to stay. Twelve years later, standing before the Pope with his companions, he again proposed sending his companions as emissaries to Jerusalem.
Returning to Spain, he and his companions were occupied in the University of Alcalá (the present-day Complutense University of Madrid, not the newer University of Alcalá established in 1977) with the task of making disciples of women called as witnesses by the Inquisition under the direction of magistrate Alonso Mejias. Although the alumbrados [Illuminated; Illuminati; Enlightened Ones] of Spain were linked in their zeal and spirituality to the Franciscan reforms of which Cardinal de Cisneros was a promoter, the administrators of the Inquisition had mounting suspicions. These female disciples, Doña Leo, Doña Maria, and Doña Beatriz, were so hysterically zealous that "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 Ignatius and his companions were regularly preaching in public. Because of his "street-corner perorations" being identified "with the activities of the alumbrados", Ignatius was naturally singled out for inspection as one of these visionaries; however, he was later released. After these adventurous activities, he studied at the ascetic Collège de Montaigu of the University of Paris, where he remained for over seven years. In later life, he was often called "Master Ignatius", due to his having obtained a master's degree from that university at the age of forty-three.
By 1534 he had gathered six key companions, all of whom he had met as fellow students at the University of Paris—Francis Xavier, Alfonso Salmeron, Diego Laynez, and Nicholas Bobadilla, all Spanish; Peter Faber, a Frenchman; and Simão Rodrigues of Portugal. Later, he was joined by Saint Francis Borgia, a member of the House of Borgia, who was the main aide of Emperor Charles V, and other nobles. "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 of Loyola was the main creator and first Superior General of the Society of Jesus, a religious organization of the Catholic Church whose members, known as Jesuits, served the Pope as missionaries. He is remembered as a talented spiritual director. He was vigorous in opposing the Protestant Reformation and promoting the following Counter-Reformation. He was beatified and then canonized and received the title of Saint on March 12, 1622. He is the patron saint of the provinces of Gipuzkoa and Biscay as well as the Society of Jesus. Ignatius Loyola wrote Spiritual Exercises, a simple 200-page set of meditations, prayers, and various other mental exercises, from 1522 to 1524. The exercises in the book were designed to be carried out over a period of 28–30 days.
Father General of the Jesuits
Ignatius was chosen as the first Superior General of his religious order and invested with the title of Father General by the Jesuits. He 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 Spiritual Exercises was finally printed, and he was briefly brought before the Roman Inquisition but was released.
Ignatius wrote the Jesuit Constitutions, adopted in 1554, which created a monarchical organization and stressed absolute self-abnegation and obedience to pope and superiors (perinde ac [si] cadaver [essent], "[well-disciplined] like a corpse", as Ignatius put it). His main principle became the Jesuit motto: Ad maiorem Dei gloriam ("for the greater glory of God"). The Jesuits were a major factor in the Counter-Reformation. During the years 1553–1555, Ignatius dictated his life's story to his secretary, Father Gonçalves da Câmara. This autobiography is a valuable key for the understanding of his Spiritual Exercises. It was kept in the archives for about 150 years, until the Bollandists published the text in Acta Sanctorum. He died in Rome on July 31, 1556, as a result of the Roman Fever, a severe case of malaria that recurred in Rome, Italy, at different points in history.
Canonization and legacy
Ignatius was beatified by Pope Paul V on July 27, 1609, and canonized by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622. His feast day is celebrated annually on July 31, 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, 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 St. 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 Loyola name was a contraction of the words Lobo y Olla which literally meant "wolf and pot" in Spanish. 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 St. Ignatius:
- 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.
- 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.
- Foss, Michael (1969). The Founding of the Jesuits, 1540. Turning Points in History Series. London: Hamilton. ISBN 0-241-01513-8.
- 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.
- O'Malley, John W. (1993). The First Jesuits. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-30312-1.
- Meissner, William (1992). Ignatius of Loyola: The Psychology of a Saint. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-06079-3.
- García Villoslada, Ricardo (1986). San Ignacio de Loyola: Nueva biografía (in Spanish). La Editorial Católica. ISBN 84-220-1267-7.
- August Derleth, St. Ignatius ant the Company of Jesus, Vision Books, 1956. LCCN 56-7278
- 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
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- List of Catholic saints
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- 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 October 23, 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.
- "The Counter-Reformation". Washington State University. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Summer Fiestas" (PDF). euskadi.net. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
- John Hungerford Pollen (1913). "St._Ignatius_Loyola". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- "Nombres: Eneko". Euskaltzaindia (The Royal Academy of the Basque Language). Retrieved 2009-04-23. 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. That Ignacio ended up replacing Iñigo does not change his intention. 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
- Richard Cohen (August 5, 2003). By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions. Modern Library Paperbacks.
- Rochford, Thomas. "St. Ignatius Loyola: the pilgrim and man of prayer who founded the Society of Jesus". Society of Jesus. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
- 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
- "The Cave". The Cave. Place of pilgrimage and worship. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- "The Cave an artistic heritage". The Cave. Place of pilgrimage and worship. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Jesuits, A Multibiography by Jean Lacouture, p. 18, Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1995
- Jesuits, A Multibiography by Jean Lacouture, p. 24, Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1995
- Jesuits, A Multibiography by Jean Lacouture, pp. 27–29, Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1995
- History of The World by John Clarke Ridpath, Vol. V, pp. 238, New York: Merrill & Baker, 1899
- 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")
- J.H. Pollen (1913). "History of the Jesuits Before the 1773 Suppression". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- 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.
- Life of Ignatius - New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus
- St. Ignatius Feast Day – The Archdiocese of Baltimore.
- Manresa Iconography – Manresa House of Retreats, Convent, LA.
- Loyola Crests – Loyola High School, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- The Crest – Saint Ignatius' College, Riverview, Lane Cove, New South Wales, Australia.
- 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.
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- "Contemplation to Attain Love", by Ignatius of Loyola
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