Thought for the Day – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
Learn a bit more about St Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius Loyola is best known as the person who founded the Jesuits and whose spiritual insights gave birth to Ignatian spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises. A lesser-known fact is that the cannonball wound he received in battle is actually what led to his conversion experience. Without this conversion, there would be no Jesuits, no Ignatian spirituality.
Listed below are seven more fun facts about St Ignatius of Loyola that you’re unlikely to hear in general conversation about this 16th-century saint:
He once allowed the donkey on which he was riding to determine whether he should follow and bodily attack someone he thought had insulted the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Fortunately, the donkey chose the path that led away from the insulter.)
He thought that his leg had been set poorly after the cannonball incident and that, as a result, he wouldn’t look good in his courtier’s tights. So he had a doctor re-break his leg and start over!
He may be the only Canonised saint to have a notarised police record—for night-time brawling, with intent to inflict serious harm.
He was hauled before the Spanish Inquisition on a number of occasions.
At age 33, he joined a class of young children so he could learn Latin.
He sometimes cried with so much devotion at Mass that he couldn’t continue and he feared he would lose his eyesight.
He penned over 6,800 letters in his lifetime, making him one of the most prolific letter writers of his time—or any time, for that matter.
And below is a fun infographic by Loyola Press eating alongside St Ignatius as he grew up in Loyola, Spain, servds in the royal court, fasted after his conversion and later, lived out his last years in Rome.
The food Ignatius ate offers rich insight into his spiritual transformation, from the sumptuous feasts he enjoyed at court, to the severe fasting he subjected himself to post-conversion.
There’s hope for us yet!