Sunday, July 31, 2005

St. Ignatius of Loyola

"Go and preach to all nations: baptize them and teach them all I have commanded you, says the Lord."(Matthew 28: 19-20)

Ignatius Loyola who was born in 1491 in Spain, heard the above words of Christ late in his life. He went to school as an adult student and earned a master's degree from the University of Paris. There he met his future companions with whom he founded the Society of Jesus, (the Jesuits) an order of priests in the Catholic Church devoted to teaching, retreat work and missionary activities. Ignatius greatest legacy to the Church is the Spiritual Exercises which he wrote in 1522.

The congregation he founded, the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits are at work in most countries of the world. He died in 1556 and the Lord rewarded him by making him a model for others to imitate as He promised: "He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob." (Psalm 24: 5-6) His feast day is today, July 31. Ignatius is the patron of soldiers and retreat masters.

Motto: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam: For the Greater Glory of God.

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