St. Ignatius of Loyola was a remarkable Spanish priest and theologian. He founded the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits.
We celebrate his feast day on July 31st.
His dedication to God and humanity makes him an enduring inspiration for all generations.
Here are nine things to know and share about the life and legacy of St. Ignatius of Loyola:
1. Inigo de Loyola was born into a noble family in Spain in 1491. He was the youngest of 13 children.
2. He became an officer in the Spanish army. In 1521, a cannonball wound he received in battle left him bedridden. This hardship eventually led to his conversion.
3. One year later, he gave up his life and riches as a soldier and left home with a zeal for God.
4. He wrote "The Spiritual Exercises," a series of compilations on meditations, prayers, and other practices.
5. Saints Francis Xavier and Peter Faber were his roommates at the University of Paris.
6. He was a founder of the Society of Jesus. Pope Paul III recognized the Jesuits as an official religious order in 1540.
7. He celebrated his first Mass as a priest on Christmas morning.
8. He penned over 6,800 letters in his lifetime
9. Saint Ignatius of Loyola is the patron saint of education, retreats, soldiers, and The Society of Jesus.
Here is a prayer for generosity written by this powerhouse saint:
“Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve; to give, and not to count the cost, to fight, and not to heed the wounds, to toil, and not to seek for rest, to labor, and not to ask for reward, except that of knowing that we are doing your will.”
Prayer Source: Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg
And the Susipe prayer, also written by St. Ignatius of Loyola:
"Take, Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my whole will, all that I have and all that I possess. You gave it all to me, Lord; I give it all back to you. Do with it as you will, according to your good pleasure. Give me your love and your grace; for with this I have all that I need."
Prayer Source: Catholic Diocese of Dallas