Saint Ignatius of Loyola is asking us to Become Soldiers for Christ

July 27, 2015

Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Soldier, Poet, Mystic, Author, Defender of the Faith
and Founder of the Society of Jesus
ignatiusnew

Saint Ignatius was born in 1491, the year before Christopher Columbus was commissioned by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to go to the New World, in thanksgiving for Spain having been liberated from the yoke of the Saracens. For nearly 700 years, Spaniards could not worship in Catholic Churches; they were deprived from receiving the Sacraments; religious and clergy were exiled, imprisoned or killed; all mention of Jesus was forbidden under the penalty of death. How did the people from whom our Saint comes, preserve their faith with this persecution going on for most of seven centuries?

How did Spain and the Catholic Church raise up such powerful soldiers as the much maligned Catholic Queen Isabella, Saints like Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Paschal Baylon and Ignatius of Loyola to mention a few? We believe the answer lies in the stories of Saints and Martyrs, and others not yet proclaimed.

He was an avid reader, his taste leaning toward books on chivalry, knights and ladies of the court, recounting tales of glorious times of valor and honor. So, it is no surprise, we find him, in 1517, at twenty-six years of age, leaving to engage in his first battle, the defense of Navarre of which his uncle was Viceroy. The attack was suppressed by the Spaniards; but the French renewed their offensiveand this time captured Navarre, and laid siege on Pamplona. Ignatius and the other Spanish soldiers were in the garrison, heavily outnumbered. Victory was impossible; but Ignatius was able to convince the others to remain with him and defend the fort.

The walls of the fortress began to crumble beneath the furious battery of cannon balls striking at its ramparts, quickly tearing down the soldiers’ defenses and with that their hope of victory. Knowing the end was near and they would die, Ignatius turned to a good friend and asked him to hear his confession. He fought courageously, right up to the moment a heavy cannon ball pierced the wall where Ignatius was fighting, shattered the bone of his right leg and seriously injured the other. When he fell, the others surrendered and the French soldiers captured the fort. But seeing how bravely he had fought, the French carried him to his rooms in town and had their physicians attend him for close to fifteen days. When they realized they were limited, the French had a litter made to carry the brave little soldier home. His small frame bobbing up and down on the litter (Ignatius was barely 5’2”), his red hair matted by the sweat pouring down his face from the intense pain, Ignatius never let out a cry!
It is not known why the bones did not set properly. Was it that he had been moved too soon or was it the arduous trip back home? Back at the Castle of Loyola, the doctors decided that the bones had to be broken again. Again, brave and noble knight, he asked for no form of anesthetic and went through the operation with his hands and teeth clenched. He grew weaker and weaker. The doctors advised him he was dying. Ignatius called for a priest and asked to receive the Last Rites of the Church. Ignatius would not last the night.
But again, God had another plan. The eve of the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, at midnight, Ignatius passed the crisis. Now, he had always had a devotion to St. Peter, and historians all agree that Ignatius had an apparition of St. Peter who told him he would be cured, and he was!

His recovery was slow and arduous. Ignatius had an active mind, but it was locked up inside a body which was betraying him. But he could read! His mind and heart never left the young lady he had left behind. Now, he waited for the time when he would return and tell her how she had occupied his every thought in battle and as he was recuperating. He practiced over and over again what he would wear and what he would say. To prepare himself, he requested books on knighthood and ladies of the court. But (as God would plan it), in the Castle of Loyola there were only books on the life of Jesus and of the Saints!
Soon he found that contemplating things of the world gave him momentary pleasure, which soon faded away in the light of what he was reading about the graces from Above! Through the lives of Jesus and the Saints he was discovering a new world and a new battlefield! The Saints taught him he had to make a choice between the kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God. Their lives became strategic maps revealing the great battles needed to be waged, in order to gain eternal victory. All the vain glory he had sought in the past went up like so much smoke, when he discovered the sweet fragrance that was his to give, the offering he was being called to make to God the Creator. He discovered there was only one true, lasting glory in that which makes the “soul pure and like unto God.”

ignatius2

 For more information and media about

Saint Ignatius of Loyola click here

Advertisements

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

July 15, 2009

Soldier, Founder of the Society of Jesus

Saint Ignatius of LoyolaSaint Ignatius was born in 1491, the year before Christopher Columbus was commissioned by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to go to the New World, in thanksgiving for Spain having been liberated from the yoke of the Saracens.  For nearly 700 years, Spaniards could not worship in Catholic Churches; they were deprived from receiving the Sacraments; religious and clergy were exiled, imprisoned or killed; all mention of Jesus was forbidden under the penalty of death.  How did the people from whom our Saint comes, preserve their faith with this persecution going on for most of seven centuries?  How did Spain and the Catholic Church raise up such powerful soldiers as the much maligned Catholic Queen Isabella, Saints like Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Paschal Baylon and Ignatius of Loyola to mention a few?  We believe the answer lies in the stories of Saints and Martyrs, and others not yet proclaimed.

Spain had survived this scourge of physical and spiritual domination which had covered her plains from North to South and East to West; it was a time for rejoicing and thanksgiving.  What they did not know was that another attack would be leveled at this faithful nation of Saints, a new attempt to destroy the Church which Jesus founded.  But God, all-Omnipotent, He Who is, was and always will be, He Who is beyond time and space, He Who sees all and knows all, and upon knowing all, does all to save His Church, raised up a powerful army of Defenders of the Faith, to save this faithful nation and others which would fall under another type of tyranny.

As the enemy of God’s holy Church is raising up men who would bring about a revolution called the Reformation, God is calling forth soldiers to counteract this revolt, an army which will bring about a true Reformation, a Counter-Reformation.  This is the story of one such Saint!

A child is born who will change the course of history!

History brings us to the part of Spain, known as the Basque country, to the Castle of Loyola in Guipuzocoa.  A child is born; Ignatius (baptized Ignio) was of noble blood, his family from a long line of nobles.  His father was Don Bertram Tañez, lord of Oñaz and Loyola and head of one of the oldest families of Spain.  The lineage of his mother Doña Marina of the House of Saenz, equalled that of his father.  God had blessed his parents with eight daughters and three sons, Ignatius being the youngest of the sons.

Right from the beginning, God had a  plan for this child.  Ignatius was sent to his aunt’s castle where he received a solid Christian education and was prepared to enter King Ferdinand’s service initially as a page.  It is in the King’s castle that Ignatius would lend his services to a young lady of the court as her knight.  A gentleman, he never mentions her name in the poetry he writes at this time, but refers to her as “more than a Countess or Duchess.”  Some historians have conjectured that possibly the lady was the very young widow of King Ferdinand.  Of course, marriage was out of the question, so our young knight loved from afar, serving in the noble way befitting his and her station.  He wrote his most beautiful poetry at this time.

He was an avid reader, his taste leaning toward books on chivalry, knights and ladies of the court, recounting tales of glorious times of valor and honor.  So, it is no surprise, we find him, in 1517, at twenty-six years of age, leaving to engage in his first battle, the defense of Navarre of which his uncle was Viceroy.  The attack was suppressed by the Spaniards; but the French renewed their offensive and this time captured Navarre, and laid siege on Pamplona.  Ignatius and the other Spanish soldiers were in the garrison, heavily  outnumbered.  Victory was impossible; but Ignatius was able to convince the others to remain with him and defend the fort.

The walls of the fortress began to crumble beneath the furious battery of cannon balls striking at its ramparts, quickly tearing down the soldiers’ defenses and with that their hope of victory.  Knowing the end was near and they would die, Ignatius turned to a good friend and asked him to hear his confession.   He fought courageously, right up to the moment a heavy cannon ball pierced the wall where Ignatius was fighting, shattered the bone of his right leg and seriously injured the other.  When he fell, the others surrendered and the French soldiers captured the fort.  But seeing how bravely he had fought, the French carried him to his rooms in town and had their physicians attend him for close to fifteen days.  When they realized they were limited, the French had a litter made to carry the brave little soldier home.  His small frame bobbing up and down on the litter (Ignatius was barely 5’2″), his red hair matted by the sweat pouring down his face from the intense pain, Ignatius never let out a cry!

It is not known why the bones did not set properly.  Was it that he had been moved too soon or was it the arduous trip back home?  Back at the Castle of Loyola, the doctors decided that the bones had to be broken again.  Again, brave and noble knight, he asked for no form of anesthetic and went through the operation with his hands and teeth clenched.  He grew weaker and weaker.  The doctors advised him he was dying.  Ignatius called for a priest and asked to receive the Last Rites of the Church.  Ignatius would not last the night.

But again, God had another plan.  The eve of the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, at midnight, Ignatius passed the crisis.  Now, he had always had a devotion to St. Peter, and historians all agree that Ignatius had an apparition of St. Peter who told him he would be cured, and he was!


Saint Ignatius of Loyola

July 22, 2008

Saint Ignatius of Loyola taken from “Defenders of the Faith.”
Ignatius discovers God in a cave
Ignatius discovered a dark cave, virtually unknown because it was so overgrown with brush. There, he would spend hours, sometimes all through the night, praying without interruption, except for the occasional sounds of God’s four-legged and winged creatures calling out to one another. The cave at Manresa was a battlefield, a lonely battlefield, with Ignatius battling one temptation, winning that battle only to be put to the test with another temptation and another battle. Among other struggles, he imagined himself guilty of all types of sins, mistaking venial sin for mortal sin, battling alleged scruples and scrupulosity to the point of near desperation. He did not know where to turn; it seemed to him that God had deserted him. Then, he remembered hearing that God would come to his aid, if he fasted until his petition was granted. He fasted from Sunday to the following Sunday. His Spiritual Director seeing him dangerously weakened by this excessiveness, near death, ordered him to eat some food or he would deny him absolution. Ignatius obeyed and his melancholy left him!
Temptations of one kind or the other persisted until his trial over, his doubts and anxieties were also at an end. It had been one of the severest duels of his life; it seemed as if he were fencing with the prince of darkness himself, with the devil thrusting and him parrying, Ignatius, God’s holy knight falling, appearing at times to be down for the last time, mortally wounded; but with the force of the Holy Spirit Who never left him, he would rise again to fight another battle. This time in the cave of Manresa would fill a spiritual well with teachings from which not only Jesuits would draw lifegiving water of knowledge and strength but those who in the future would read the Spiritual Exercises and follow Ignatius and his experiences to a deeper life with God.
He had fought! The lessons, received from both the powers of Heaven and hell would serve to form the vessel which God was shaping for His purpose. But it was not easy for Ignatius to follow what he called the “Finger of God!” He would say “that God had treated him as a wise master does a child, to whom He gives little to learn at a time, and before whom He does not place a second lesson until he has well understood the first.”…
For more information about St. Ignatius of Loyola click here


July Saints of Interest

July 1, 2008

During July we will be bringing you articles on the following Saints of interest:
Blessed Junipero Serra – Feast Day July 1
St. Oliver Plunkett – Feast Day July 2
St. Maria Goretti – Feast Day July 6
St. Veronica Giuliani – Feast Day July 10
St. Benedict – Feast Day July 11
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha – Feast Day July 14
Saint Bonaventure – Feast Day July 15
Saints Anne and Joaquim – Feast Day July 26
Saint Leopold Mandic – Feast Day July 28
Saint Ignatius of Loyola – Feast Day July 31
These are the Saints and Blesseds that we have written about and have programs available on them.


%d bloggers like this: