Unit 10: “St Ignatius and
Apostolic Service”
• Aims of Unit:
• 1. Life of a disciple is a
pilgrimage journey that
requires transformation and
conversion
• 2. Finding God in all
things…
• 3. Called to work with
Christ to serve God’s
people in the world
• 4. How does Ignatius’ story
compare with Augustine’s
and Francis’ accounts?
Early Life of Ignatius…
• Born of noble parents in 1491 at the Castle of
Loyola in the Basque region of northern Spain
• Ignatius = youngest of 13 children…
• The young Ignatius = dreams of being a valiant
soldier…
While in Battle…
• Battle of Pamplona
in 1521
• St Ignatius of
Loyola = seriously
wounded by a
cannon ball while
defending the
Spanish against
French invaders in
Pamplona, Spain.
While in Battle…
• His right leg was broken during the battle…
• French = admired his courage… then He was
then sent back to his home in Loyola.
While Recovering…
• While his long and painful
recovery at Loyola, he read
“The Life of Christ” and
“Lives of Saints…”
• Disappointed at first, but
eventually the books set his
heart on fire!
• His worldly and vain desires
were soon transformed into
what God desired of him!
While Discerning at Manresa…
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After recovering = Ignatius wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
But shorter spiritual journeys first…
One was to the famous Shrine of Our Lady at Montserrat, near
Barcelona.
Saw the Virgin Mary and Baby…
Spent several months in personal prayer (1522-23), living the life of a poor
pilgrim and hermit in a cave at a small nearby town called Manresa.
While Discerning…
• At Manresa, began writing
notes for the Spiritual
Exercises (1548).
• For almost a year, at
Manresa, through mystical
experiences, became more
sensitive to how God
wanted him to serve his
people…
• He was drawn to serve God
and so he continued on his
pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
While Traveling…
• Rome (1523) = received the Pope’s permission to make a
pilgrimage to Jerusalem (to convert Muslims…?)
• September 1523 = deeply moved in visiting the many places
made holy by Jesus' living presence.
• But the dangers from the Turks/Muslims cut his stay short,
which disappointed him deeply = and the Franciscans sent
him back to Spain…
To Serve God Requires Knowledge
• Often preached to groups assembled by chance…
• In those days a layman preaching on his own, without a license
or supervision, was automatically suspected of heresy...
• Ignatius was twice imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition
(began in 1478)…which was to establish church orthodoxy!
To Serve God Requires Knowledge
• They questioned his
competence to teach and
preach about God and
Christianity.
• Studies in Alcala and
Salamanca, and eventually at
the University of Paris where
he obtained his Master in Arts.
• Age 33 in Barcelona = only
one in Latin class with a
beard…
• In Paris, he gave the Spiritual
Exercises…enter Francis
Xavier and Peter Faber (talk
about these people later on…)
Manresa
• Small town on the Cardoner River on road to
Barcelona…
– Intends to stop briefly; stays 10 months
• Time of intense prayer and labor
– Works at hospice caring for dying
– Hours spent in reflection and meditation
– Life of the solitary ascetic…
• Written notes from his experience here form the
foundation of the Spiritual Exercises
Vision At La Storta…
• 1537 = the companions decided to
go to Rome = to be at the disposal
of the Holy Father (the pope)
• A few miles from the Holy City
(Rome), at a chapel in La Storta,
Ignatius had a vision where God the
Father "placed him with His Son"
carrying His cross…
• Ignatius and friends = called to
serve/be companions of Christ!
• Ignatius HAS to be thinking…But
How????
Vision At La Storta…
In Class Reflection: 3 Minutes
• Why is Ignatius’
moment at La Storta
so unique?
• How are we called to
serve at Xavier?
• (Write down your
responses in your
NB’s…)
Responses to Reflection…
• 1. Ignatius and Jesus are equals…God has a special
plan for Ignatius and his companions
• 2. Fits into our definition of discipleship (courage to
serve…)
• 3. Service requires
action!
--Service at Xavier??…
Need to do it as a
community!!
The Founding of The Jesuit Order
• St Ignatius and his companions,
because of the vision at La
Storta, are sure that God’s
will was to form a religious
order...Ignatius working
together with his friends (as a
community!)
• Pope Paul III approved their
petition on the 27th of
September in 1540 in Rome to
form the Society of Jesus.
The Pope Missions the Jesuits
• Ignatius and his
companions = serve the
Pope ANYWHERE in the
world, for God’s greater
glory!
• This still applies today…
• Where do we fit, as students
in a Jesuit school?
• What is our mission as a
Jesuit school to serve?
Jesuit Vocabulary
• Men and Women FOR Others
• Cura Personalis
• “A Jesuit Apostolate SERVING New York,
The Church and The Nation Since 1847”
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Unit 10: “St Ignatius and Apostolic Service”