Posted in JESUIT SJ, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY


Here is a delightful poem for your prayerful contemplation as you remember and celebrate the life of Iñigo López de Loyola.


hoodlum courtier
day-old dreamer
smashed up good in war
convalescent convert
cannonball Christian
crippled companion
with a knack for re-routing attacks

lend us your gift for woundedness
that turns a shot around
then takes its aim at holiness

think of all the saints
you could socialise
if only you hobbled now into Syria
and taught the fallen your techniques

we’ve got sufficient lead and bloodshed
to gild the whole world
with your inside-out-going

Greg Kennedy, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic, in his third year of Theological Studies at Regis College, Toronto. 

Image | Ignatius at Manresa by Montserrat Gudiol (1991). The painting is at Manresa.ignatius boy soldier posted 31 july 2018


Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to St Dominic – DAY TWO – 31 July

Novena to St Dominic

Second Day: Humility
Your attitude must be that of Christ:  though he was in the form of God, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at.   Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men.   He was known to be of human estate and it was thus that he humbled himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)

DOCTOR VERITATIS                                   DOCTOR OF TRUTH

Humility is the foundation of perfection and in St. Dominic it was deep and strong.   So clear was his knowledge of the great majesty of God and his own nothingness that he lived always in holy fear and self-distrust.   Though most innocent, he considered himself to be a sinner, unworthy of the least grace.   Constantly he prostrated himself before God, praying for long periods of time.
Before entering a town to preach, he used to kneel down on the road, begging God not to punish the people for his sins but to make his labour fruitful.   When passing an altar or crucifix he would bow profoundly, in token of his nothingness.   Personal praise and honour he detested and three times refused the bishopric.   At the General Chapter he said to his brethren, “I deserve to be deposed from my office, for I am negligent and relaxed.” When asked where he would be buried, “Under the feet of my brethren,” the saint responded.
The saints, though great in virtue, look upon themselves as worthless, because they see themselves in the light of God and knowing Him they know themselves. “Our righteousness,” St. Dominic would say, “when compared to the righteousness of God, is mere uncleanness.”

Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. …Matthew 11:29

Pray for us, blessed father, St. Dominic, that we may be made worthy of the prom­ises of Christ.

Let us pray:

O Holy Father St. Dominic,
true lover of humility,
the greater you appeared in the sight of men,
the more you humbled yourself before God.
Be to us a loving guide, that, following in your footsteps,
we may be enabled to withstand all the snares of the enemy
and spending our lives in earnest prayer,
self-denial and humility,
we may, at the hour of death,
be received with you into heaven.
Pray too Holy St Dominic,
that as the virtue of our humility grows,
we may draw back those
who have lapsed from the one, true faith
and for this our special intention …
(make your request)
Through Christ our Lord. Amen




Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, Uncategorized

NOVENA in Honour of and preparation for, the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord – Day Four – 31 July

NOVENA Transfiguration of our Lord – Day Four – 31 July

Explanation of this Novena here:

The Revelation of Christ’s Divine Glory

Fourth Day: Responsibility in our mission

In the transfiguration episode, we can see just how much Peter lived his calling with enthusiasm and with a sense of responsibility. “Master, it is wonderful for us to be here, so let us make three tents, one for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”  Here we see Peter in all his generosity.  At this moment he feels at the height of his power and ability.   He is growing in awareness of his responsibility, the weight he carries on his shoulders.

Let us Pray:

Loving Father,
You have so loved us
that we have been called to be Your sons,
Sons and daughters of God.
Help us to fulfil the mission given us by Your Son
with fidelity, responsibility and generosity.


Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, Uncategorized

Novena In Honour of Saint John Marie Vianney – Day Six– 31 July

Novena In Honour of Saint John Marie Vianney


O Holy Priest of Ars,
whose only comfort in this world was the real presence of Jesus in the tabernacle,
was it not your great joy to distribute the Eucharist to the pilgrims who visited you?
You refused Communion to the souls who refused to reform
but to souls of goodwill you opened wide the doors of the Eucharistic Feast.
You, who each day at Holy Mass received Holy Communion with great loves,
give me some of your fervour.
With freedom from mortal sin,
obtain for me a sincere desire to profit from receiving Holy Communion.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession.
Pray for me during this novena especially for…
(mention silently your special intentions)
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.


Posted in JESUIT SJ, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius

Thought for the Day – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius

Ignatius was a true mystic.   He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist.   His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, Ad majorem Dei gloriam—“for the greater glory of God.”   In his concept, obedience was to be the prominent virtue, to assure the effectiveness and mobility of his men.   All activity was to be guided by a true love of the Church and unconditional obedience to the Holy Father, for which reason all professed members took a fourth vow to go wherever the pope should send them for the salvation of souls.
Luther nailed his theses to the church door at Wittenberg in 1517.   Seventeen years later, Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society that was to play so prominent a part in the Catholic Reformation.   He was an implacable foe of Protestantism.   Yet the seeds of ecumenism may be found in his words:  “Great care must be taken to show forth orthodox truth in such a way that if any heretics happen to be present they may have an example of charity and Christian moderation. No hard words should be used nor any sort of contempt for their errors be shown.” ( Fr Don Miller, OFM)

St Ignatius pray for us!

st iggy pray for us 2


Quote/s of the Day – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius de Loyola

Quote/s of the Day – 31 July

“Be generous to the poor orphans and those in need.
The man to whom our Lord has been liberal
ought not to be stingy.
We shall one day find in Heaven as much rest and joy
as we ourselves have dispensed in this life.”

be generous - st iggy

“If our church is not marked by caring for the poor,
the oppressed, the hungry, we are guilty of heresy.”

if our church - st iggy

“If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials,
it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain.
Do you want to become a great saint?
Ask God to send you many sufferings.
The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed
with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity
of the Saviour used to finish His sacrifice.
All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared
with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to
Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured
for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ…..If God causes you
to suffer much, it is a sign that He certainly
intends to make you a saint.”

St Ignatius of Loyola

if gd gives you - st iggy

Posted in JESUIT SJ, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 July

One Minute Reflection – 31 July

My brothers, I implore you by God’s mercy, to offer your very selves to him: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for his acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart………Romans 12:1

romans 12 1

REFLECTION – “We must speak to God as a friend speaks to his friend, servant to his master; now asking some favour, now acknowledging our faults and communicating to Him all that concerns us, our thoughts, our fears, our projects, our desires and in all things seeking His counsel.”…St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

we must speak to god - st ignatius

PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that the example of Your saints may spur us on to perfection, so that we who are celebrating the feast of St Ignatius, may follow him step by step in his way of life to reach You in heaven. St Ignatius, pray for us, amen.

st ignatius pray for us

Posted in JESUIT SJ, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Our Morning Offering – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola

Our Morning Offering – 31 July

Eternal Lord of All
By St Ignatius Loyola

Eternal Lord of all things,
I come before Your infinite goodness,
and before Your glorious mother
and all saints of the heavenly court,
to make my offering,
with Your help and favour:
it is my wish, desire and determination,
provided that it would be
for Your greater service and praise,
to imitate You in suffering injury,
and poverty,
actual as well as spiritual,
should Your most Holy Majesty
choose to receive me in such a way of life. Amen

eternal lord of all - st ignatius for his feast day 31 July

Posted in JESUIT SJ, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 July – St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) – Founder of the Society of Jesus/The Jesuits

Saint of the Day – 31 July – St Ignatius Loyola sj (1491-1556) Spanish: Ignacio de Loyola; c 23 October 1491 at Loyola, Guipuzcoa, Spain as Inigo Lopez de Loyola – 31 July 1556 at Rome, Italy of fever) was a Spanish Basque Priest, Mystic Founder and Theologian, who founded the religious order called the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and became its first Superior General.  Ignatius was beatified in 1609 and Canonised on 12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. Patronages – soldiers, Jesuit Order, Jesuits, Society of Jesus, retreats (proclaimed on 25 July 1922 by Pope Pius XI), Spiritual Exercises (by Pope Pius XI), Basque country, diocese of Bilbao, Spain, military ordinariate of the Philippines, álava, Spain, Bizkaia, Spain, Gipuzkoa, Spain, Guipuscoa, Spain, Guipúzcoa, Spain, Vizcaya, Spain. Attributes – apparition of Our Lord, book, chasuble, Holy Communion.

st ignaius infographic
beautiful iggy!
Italian School; St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

The Early Years

Iñigo Lopez de Oñaz y Loyola, whom we know as St. Ignatius, was born in the Castle Loyola, in the Basque country of northeastern Spain, in 1491, during the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
Iñigo was the youngest of 13 children, raised in a family culture of high Catholic piety but lax morals.    He experienced the contradictions between the ideals of church and crown and the realities of his own family.   His father had several children by another woman and his grandfather’s lawless behaviour led to the top two floors of the Loyola castle being demolished by order of the crown.
Iñigo hardly knew his mother, Marina Saenz de Licona y Balda Maria;  she died when he was a child.   His father, Don Beltrán Yañez de Oñaz y Loyola, died when he was 16.   One of his brothers went on the second voyage of Columbus and another died in battle also far away.
Iñigo was raised to be a courtier and diplomat in service to the crown, having received a chivalric yet academically sparse education typical of his class.   He spent some time as a page at court.   Winning personal glory was his passion.   He was a fancy dresser, an expert dancer, a womanizer, sensitive to insult and a rough punkish swordsman who used his privileged status to escape prosecution for violent crimes committed with his priest brother at carnival time.

The Soldier

In the spring of 1521, a very large French army attacked the fortress town of Pamplona. A tiny band of Spanish soldiers trying to defend the town were ready to surrender;  all of them except Iñigo de Loyola.   He would hold off the French single-handedly.   But a French cannonball shattered his leg and put an end to his stand.   The French admired the courage of the man.   They carried him on a litter back home to his castle of Loyola.
His leg was not the only thing that had been shattered.   His image of himself as a handsome, dashing courtier – everything that he had ever lived for – was shattered, too.
The broken leg was not properly set.   The bone protruded in a way that would show through the tight hose that a courtier wore, “so much as to be something ugly.”   Iñigo insisted on having the leg re-broken and re-set;  there was, of course, no anesthetic.   In the end one leg was still shorter than the other;  Iñigo limped the rest of his life.
To pass the time while he recovered, he asked for the kind of books he enjoyed reading: romances of chivalry.   But the only reading available in the house was an illustrated Life of Christ and a book of saints’ legends.   He spent hours dreaming.   He dreamed of the exploits he would do in service to his king and in honour of the royal lady he was in love with.   But he would also dream about the exploits he could do to imitate St. Francis of Assisi and St Dominic in fidelity to his heavenly Lord.
Gradually, he began to reflect on these experiences;  he noticed what was going on within.   Both kinds of daydreams engaged him completely but after the romantic chivalry dreaming was over, he felt empty and dissatisfied, whereas after the spiritual dreaming ended, he still felt a deep peace, a quiet happiness.   “[H]e did not consider nor did he stop to examine this difference until one day his eyes were partially opened and he began to wonder at this difference and to reflect upon it.   From experience he knew that some thoughts left him sad while others made him happy and little by little he came to perceive the different spirits that were moving him…”
Here we see the beginning of his powers of discernment, of decision making.   He realised God was leading him by his feelings, drawing him toward an entirely new way of life.

The Pilgrim

As soon as Iñigo had healed enough to walk, he began a journey to Jerusalem so that he could “kiss the earth where our Lord had walked.”   He traveled through the town of Montserrat, Spain where he gave away his fine clothes to a poor man.   Then, in an all-night vigil before the Black Madonna in the church of the Benedictine abbey there, he hung up his sword and dagger.   Effectively, his old life was over and his new life had begun.
Barcelona was the port from which to embark on a passage to Rome and then to the Holy Land. Not wanting to see his old friends, who might be in conflict with his new values, he went instead to the nearby town of Manresa with the intention of staying there a few days. But those “few days” turned into ten months.

Ignatius at Manresa
The “Pilgrim,” as he referred to himself in his autobiography, asked for lodging at a hospital for the poor located outside the town’s walls.   In exchange for his bed, he did chores around the hospital;  and he begged for his food in the town.    As we see him here, he spent much of his time in a cave, in prayer with God-praying as much as seven hours a day.   He was blessed with powerful insights into himself and about who God was for him.   Still, for extended periods, he experienced doubts, anxieties, scruples, severe depression;  he even contemplated suicide to end his psychic pain.
He recorded his experiences in a notebook and would soon find his jottings helpful in guiding others.  These notes which he continued to revise and expand over time as he listened to people became his Spiritual Exercises.   Eventually, they were published and then reprinted again and again and translated into many languages as they spread around the world.
An example of a spiritual exercise might be to reflect on the ways you have been loved, or on what your personal gifts are and how you use them and for whom, or to imagine yourself present in one of the gospel scenes-for example, Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000.
Today, nearly 500 years later, Jesuits and other priests and sisters and brothers, and an ever larger number of professional men and women use these Spiritual Exercises to guide others toward spiritual transformation, to a deeper relationship with God.

Visiting the Holy Land

The Pilgrim did manage to beg passage on a ship to the Holy Land.   But instead of being able to fulfill his great dream to remain there for the rest of his life, trying to convert the so-called “infidel,” he was told by church authorities to return to Europe after only a few weeks.   They had enough trouble there without him and his conversion scheme. Another dream of Iñigo shattered.
When it came time for him to set sail and head back to the western Mediterranean, he ran back to the Mount of Olives to see which way the “footprint of Jesus” was facing. Pious legend had it that the mark in a certain rock there was left by Jesus as he ascended into heaven.   Now what may interest us here is not the historical credibility of the legend but rather what this action of the Pilgrim tells us about his own inner life, his imaginative life.   He was in the habit of entering imaginatively into all the various gospel stories and scenes, and, in this way, he made them very concrete and real and immediate to himself.   He wanted to be in an intimate relationship with Jesus and every detail about Jesus was precious to him.

A Non-traditional Student

Although Iñigo was unable to preach and serve God in the Holy Land as he had hoped, he was still determined to meet this goal in some fashion.   He decided that he needed to get an education in order to “help souls.”    He returned to Barcelona and attended a free public grammar school to prepare himself for entrance into a university.   This meant that beginning at the age of 33 and for two years, he was studying Latin grammar and other basics with classmates who were 8 to 14 years old.   He may have felt some discomfort at the age difference but it was at this time that he had the “most beloved” teacher in his entire academic career-Master Jeronimo Ardevol.

tn_Barcelona School

Ignatius in Prison

After this initial schooling in Barcelona, Iñigo moved to Spanish university towns-first Alcala, near Madrid and then Salamanca in the north.   In both places, he spent nearly as much time engaging people in conversation about spiritual matters as he did studying and attending lectures.   Such conversations got him into trouble with the Spanish Inquisition and he was put in prison three times for interrogation.   The charge was always the same: that he dared to speak of theological matters when he did not have a theology degree.   Further, he was not ordained.   In the end, he was always exonerated, but he decided to avoid further harassment by the Inquisition.   He left his homeland and headed north to the premier university of sixteenth-century Europe.

Higher Education in Paris

At the age of 38, the Pilgrim attended the College Ste. Barbe of the University of Paris, considered the heart of the French Renaissance.    He knew little French and he was not very fluent or correct in Latin.    Still he made progress, little by little.   In those days, students rose at 4:00 a.m.;  classes-lectures-began at 5:00 am.   There were also classes for several hours in the later afternoon.   The university curriculum-in the Parisian style-was much more orderly than he was used to in Spain.   There was progression;  there were prerequisites.   As a result, he started all over again with grammar, language and the humanities and only then moved on to the sciences, philosophy and theology.   The present-day notion of levels or classes–freshman, sophomore, junior, senior– is a Jesuit legacy to education based on the experience with this Parisian style of learning.
Eventually, he earned a master’s degree.   The name on his diploma was not Iñigo, but “Ignatius,” which he adopted in Paris and used for the rest of his life.  (It is speculated that he named himself after a saint he admired – Ignatius of Antioch.)   When he applied for doctoral studies, he was turned down as too old;  he was 44, and too ill, from stomach ailments that he attributed to the extreme penances he practiced during his time in Manresa.

The First Companions

While at the University of Paris, Ignatius roomed with Peter Faber, a young man from Savoy in the south of France, and Francis Xavier, a nobleman from the eastern end of the Basque country.

Gradually a whole circle of “Friends in the Lord,” as they called themselves, formed around Ignatius.    What bonded them closely together was the fact that one after another they were led through the Spiritual Exercises.   Most were guided by Ignatius himself.   In a deep sense, they all became “companions of Jesus” and companions of one another.
Ignatius also shared with them his dream of going on mission to the Holy Land;  yet this time he was a bit wiser and more practical.   If the Holy Land dream fell through, they would go to Rome and put themselves at the disposition of the pope.   The pope, as universal pastor, should know where the greatest needs were.
They waited in Venice a whole year for a ship to take them to the Holy Land.   As Providence would have it, just that one year because of war between Venice and the Turks, no ship sailed.   So they went to Rome, and there they entered into an extended period of communal discernmen.   They were about to be sent all over Europe and all over the world.   Spread out like that, how would they secure the bond among them? Their decision was to form themselves into a religious order.   They called it the Company (meaning the companionship) or Society of Jesus.   Outsiders disparagingly nicknamed them the “Jesuits” but the name caught-on and eventually was used by all alike.   “On the morning of the 15th of August, 1534, in the chapel of church of Saint Peter, at Montmartre, Loyola and his six companions, of whom only one was a priest, met and took upon themselves the solemn vows of their lifelong work.”  Later, they were joined by Saint Francis Borgia, a member of the House of Borgia, who was the main aide of Emperor Charles V, and other nobles.   Ignatius obtained a master’s degree from the University of Paris at the age of forty-three. In later life he was often called “Master Ignatius” because of this.

The Founder

The Society of Jesus was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 and thus became an official Catholic religious order.   Ignatius was elected their first leader.   He declined after the first vote.   He felt unworthy for the position because of the vanity and licentiousness of his earlier life and because he felt that others were more theologically knowledgeable. After much discernment, he accepted the position and served until his death sixteen years later.

St Ignatius & Paul III
As the Superior General, he sent companions all over Europe and around the world. He called them to “hurry to any part of the world where…the needs of the neighbor should summon them.”   And he counseled them to serve “without hard words or contempt for people’s errors.”   In addition to writing the Constitutions of the fledgling order, with the help of his assistant Juan Polanco, he wrote nearly 7,000 letters.   He wrote to high and low in church and state and to women as well as men.   But most of these letters were to his Jesuit companions, thus forming a vast communication network of friendship, love, and care.  When companions were sent on various missions by the pope, Ignatius remained in Rome, consolidating the new venture but still finding time to found homes for orphans, catechumens, and penitents.   He founded the Roman College, intended to be the model of all other colleges of the Society.


Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, Ad majorem Dei gloriam—“for the greater glory of God.”   In his concept, obedience was to be the prominent virtue, to assure the effectiveness and mobility of his men.   All activity was to be guided by a true love of the Church and unconditional obedience to the Holy Father, for which reason all professed members took a fourth vow to go wherever the pope should send them for the salvation of souls.

for the greater glory of god

At the time of his death, there were 1,000 Jesuits, a good number of them involved in the 35 schools that had been founded.   Twenty-five years later the number of schools rose to 144, and another 35 years after that, it approached 400.
In contrast to the ambitions of his early days, the fundamental philosophy of the mature Ignatius was that we ought to desire and choose only that which is more conducive to the end for which we are created – to praise, reverence, and serve God through serving other human beings.

tomb at the gesu church

He prayed:

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 labour, and not to ask for reward,
except that of knowing that we are doing Your will.

teach us good lord - prayer of st ignatius

Saints’ Memorials and a Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 31 July

St Ignatius of Loyola (Memorial) – and

Our Lady of Consolation: Starting in the 2nd century, Catholics venerated Mary as Our Lady of Consolation, one of her earliest titles of honour. The title of Our Lady of Consolation, or Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted, comes from the Latin Consolatrix Afflictorum. The origin of this invocation is derived from the Augustinian monks who propagated this particular devotion. In 1436 the Confraternity of the Holy Cincture of Our Lady of Consolation was founded in Bologna, Italy. It was based on an Augustinian tradition which hold that Saint Monica in the fourth century, was distraught with anxiety for her wayward son, Augustine and that Mary gave her a sash which the Virgin wore, with the assurance that whoever wore this belt would receive her special consolation and protection. Along with Augustine and Monica, Our Lady of Consolation is one of the three patrons of the Augustinians. The “Augustinian Rosary” is sometimes called the “Corona (or Crown) of Our Mother of Consolation”.

our Lady of Consolation Turin

St Calimerius of Milan
Bl Cecilia Schelingov
Bl Everard Hanse
St Fabius of Caesarea
St Firmus of Tagaste
St Germanus of Auxerre
St Giustino de Jacobis
StHelen of Skofde
Bl Jean-François Jarrige de La Morelie de Breuil
Bl John Colombini
St Marcel Denis
St Neot

Matyrs of Syria – 350 saints: 350 monks massacred by heretics for their adherence to orthodox Christianity and the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon. 517 in Syria.

Martyrs of Synnada:
Dionysius the Martyr

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Ciriaco Olarte Pérez de Mendiguren
• Blessed Dionisio Vicente Ramos
• Blessed Francisco Remón Játiva
• Blessed Miguel Goñi Ariz
• Blessed Miguel Francisco González-Díez González-Núñez
Agapito Alcalde Garrido
Ciriaco Olarte Pérez de Mendiguren
Dionisio Vicente Ramos
Francisco Remón Játiva
Jaume Buch Canals
Maria Roqueta Serra
Miguel Goñi Ariz
Miguel Francisco González-Díez González-Núñez
Prudencio Gueréquiz y Guezuraga
Segundo de Santa Teresa
Teresa Subirà Sanjaume
Bl Vicenta Achurra Gogenola
Francisca Pons Sardá