St. Ignatius of Loyola


St. Ignatius of Loyola, born Iñigo López de Loyola in 1491, was a Spanish priest and theologian who
went on to become the founder of the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits. Born into a noble Basque
family in Loyola, Spain, Ignatius grew up with a strong sense of adventure and a desire
for influence. 

In his youth, Ignatius served as a soldier and engaged in various military campaigns. However, his
life took a significant turn in 1521 when he was wounded in battle. During his recovery, Ignatius
underwent a profound spiritual transformation. He devoted himself to a life of prayer, study, and
self-reflection, seeking to understand and follow God's will. 

Inspired by his spiritual experience, Ignatius developed practices which would become known as the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. These exercises. These Exercises, based on contemplation, prayer, and discernment, guide individuals in deepening their relationship with God
and making decisions in alignment with His will through study and engagement with sacred

In 1534, Ignatius and a small group of companions, including St. Francis Xavier, formed the Society
of Jesus. Recognized as a religious order by the pope in 1540, the Jesuits focused on education,
missionary work, and serving the marginalized. Ignatius instilled in the Jesuits a commitment to
intellectual rigor, spiritual formation and conversation, and an unwavering loyalty to the Pope. 

Throughout his life, Ignatius exhibited deep humility and a strong devotion to God. He emphasized
the importance of finding God in all aspects of life, encouraging his followers to seek "the greater
glory of God" in everything they did. His spiritual insights and teachings continue to inspire
individuals around the world, regardless of their religious affiliation.

St. Ignatius of Loyola died on July 31, 1556, in Rome, Italy. His legacy as a spiritual
guide, founder of the Jesuits, and a model of holiness endures to this day.