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Ignatius of Loyola

Born: 1491 AD
Died: 1556 AD
Nationality: Spanish
Categories: Saint

1491 – Saint Ignatius of Loyola, also known as, Ignacio Lopez de Loyola was born on the 24th day of December this year at the castle of Loyola, in the municipality of Azpeitia, 16 miles southwest of Donostia/San Sebastian in the Basque province of Guipúzcoa, Spain. His feast day is July 31, celebrated annually.


1517 – He took service in the army, defending the small town of Pamplona against the recently expelled Navarrese monarchy, who took refuge in Basse-Navarre, a part of Navarre, which did not surrender to Spanish army, and is an actual part of France. He was deeply wounded during the battle.


1522 – Upon recovery, he visited the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat (March 25, 1522), where he hung his military vestments before an image of the Virgin. He then went and spent several months in a cave near the town of Manresa, Catalonia where he practiced the most rigorous asceticism.


1528 – He entered the University of Paris, at the ascetic Collège de Montaigu, where he remained over seven years, extending his literary and theological education and interacting with the students in an attempt to interest them in the Spiritual Exercises.


1534 – On August 15 of this year, he and the other six in St. Mary’s Church, Montmartre, founded the Society of Jesus.


1554 – Ignatius wrote the Jesuit Constitutions, adopted in this year, which created a monarchical organization and stressed absolute self-abnegation and obedience to Pope and superiors.


1553 – From this year until 1555, he 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.


1556 – He died on the 31st day of July this year.


1609 – He was beatified by Paul V on the 27th of July this year.


1622 – Ignatius was canonized by Gregory XV on the 22nd of May this year.