Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

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IGNATIUS LOYOLA (Don Inigo Lopez de Recalde), b. in the Castle of Loyola, Guipuzcoa, Spain, 1491; d. in Rome, July 31, 1556; was educated at the court of Ferdinand the Catholic, - a knight in the full romantic sense of the word. In 1521, when defending the fortress of Pamplona against the French, he received an extremely painful wound in the foot, and was brought to the paternal castle to be nursed. While on his sick-bed, he asked for books: and as his favorite reading, the fantastic and voluptuous romances of chivalry, could not be procured, he plunged himself into the legendaries of the Church, - the lives of the saints. The effect was most wonderful, - a complete conversion, an unquenchable passion. From the sick-bed be immediately repaired to the monastery of Montserrat, hung up his armor before the image of the Virgin, exchanged his gay and splendid attire for the rags of a beggar, and retired to a cavern at Manresa, where he spent some time practising the severest ascetic exercises, but also visited and comforted by glorious visions. At Manresa he drew up the first sketch of his famous Exercitia Spiritualia, which, by the members of the order lie founded, is considered a work of divine inspiration.

In 1523 he made a pilgrimage to Palestine; and on his return he began to study, first grammar at Barcelona, and then philosophy at Alcala. While studying, he lived on alms; and at the same time he devoted himself to the nursing of the sick. But as he also appeared among the students and in the hospitals, as a curer of souls, he became suspected of belonging to the Alombrados. Though acquitted when placed before the Inquisition, he was continually watched; and when, at Salamanca, he was condemned to keep silent for four years on all topics of theology, he left Spain (1528), and went to Paris. In Paris he succeeded, by his innate power of attracting and commanding men, and by the instrumentality of his Exercitia Spiritualia, in gathering a small circle around himself, consisting of Pierre Favre the Savoyard, Simon Rodriguez the Portuguese, and the Spaniards, Francis Xavier, Aiphons Salmeron, Jacob Lainez, and Nicolaus Bobadilla. Aug. 15, 1531, these men met in the Church of Montmartre, formed an association, took the vows of chastity and poverty, and promised furthermore, that, after finishing their studies, they would either go to Jerusalem and devote themselves to missionary work, and work in the hospitals, or place themselves unconditionally at the disposal of the Pope, - a characteristic alternative.

In 1537 the association, increased by three new members, met in Venice; but the war between the republic and the Turks prevented them from continuing the journey to Jerusalem. While laboring in the hospitals, they met with the Theatines, and the meeting was pregnant with great consequences to them. They were all ordained priests, and started for Rome, preaching along the road, in the public squares, in the universities, in the hospitals, etc., and preaching with great effect, though they could speak only broken Italian. In Rome they soon acquired the confidence of the Pope, and were intrusted with important missions to Parma, Piacenza, Calabria, and other places. Ignatius had new visions; and on March 14, 1543, Paul III. confirmed the association under the name of Societas Jesu. Ignatius was unanimously elected general of the new order; and, when he died, the order counted thirteen provinces, - seven in Spain and Portugal, three in Italy, two hi Germany, and one in France. Only a short time elapsed before the eminent usefulness of the new instrument became quite apparent; and on March 18, 1623, Gregory XV. canonized its founder, together with Francis Xavier.

For its external organization the order is, in some respects, as deeply indebted to its second as to its first general; but its informing spirit it received from Ignatius Loyola, and in his Exercitia Spiritualia that spirit found a most characteristic expression. The book may be described as the personal experience of the author transformed into rules, which the reader must follow in order to reach the same goal as he reached. And what is that goal? To be able, through prayers and fasts, through ascetic and spiritual exercises of the severest description, through absolute seclusion from the world and concentrated meditation, to take an irrevocable vow of obedience, - the obedience of the dead body, which has no will and no motion of its own, - the obedience of the stick, which one may take, or leave standing, just as one pleases. The obedience goes from the members to the general, and from the general to the Pope; and when the Pope says that black is white, and white black, it is the great moral glory, of the order that it is able to repeat the lie (Regulæ ad sentiendum cum Ecciesia).

G.E. Steitz, "Ignatius Loyola," Philip Schaff, ed., A Religious Encyclopaedia or Dictionary of Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical Theology, 3rd edn, Vol. 2. Toronto, New York & London: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1894. pp.1060-1061.

Primary Sources

Book or monograph The Autobiography of St. Ignatius LoyolaThe Autobiography of St. Ignatius Loyola with Related Documents, Joseph F. O'Callaghan, translator. Fordham University Press, 1992. Pbk. ISBN: 082321480X. pp.113.
Book or monograph Ignatius of Loyola: Personal WritingsIgnatius of Loyola, Personal Writings, Joseph A. Munitiz, ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1996. Pbk. ISBN: 0140433856. pp.448.
Book or monograph Ignatius of Loyola: The Spiritual Exercises and Selected WorksIgnatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises and Selected Works. Classics of Western Spirituality, George E. Ganss, ed. New York: Paulist Press, 1991. Pbk. ISBN: 0809132168. pp.503.
Book or monograph Hugo Rahner, Saint Ignatius Loyola: Letters to Women. Edinburgh & London: Herder / Freiburg: Nelson, 1960. pp.xxiii + 564.

Secondary Sources

Article in Journal or Book Pedro Arrupe, "The Trinitarian inspiration of the Ignation charism," Centrum Ignatianum Spiritualitatis 39-40 (1982): 11-69.
Book or monograph Brodrick: Saint Ignatius LoyolaJames Brodrick, Saint Ignatius Loyola: The Pilgrim Years 1491-1538. Ignatius Press, 1998. Pbk. ISBN: 0898706831. pp.350.
Book or monograph Phillip Caraman, Ignatius Loyola: A Biography of the Founder of the Jesuits. Harpercollins, 1990. Hbk. ISBN: 0062501305. pp.198.
Article in Journal or Book Philip Endean, "Who do you say Ignatius is? Jesuit fundamentalism and beyond," Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits, Vol. 19, No.5 (November 1987).
Book or monograph Idigoras: Ignatius of Loyola: The Pilgrim SaintJ. Ignacio Tellechea Idigoras, Ignatius of Loyola: The Pilgrim Saint. Loyola Press, 1994. Pbk. ISBN: 0829407790. pp.628.
Article in Journal or Book John E. Longhurst, "St Ignatius at Alcalá 1526-27," Archivum Historicum Societis Jesu. Periodical of the Jesuit Historical Institute, Rome, 26 (1957): 252-6.
Book or monograph Lonsdale: Eyes to Hear: An Introduction to Ignatian SpiritualityDavid Lonsdale, SJ. Eyes to Hear: An Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality, rev. Orbis Books, 2000. Pbk. ISBN: 1570753369. pp.240.
Article in Journal or Book John C. Olin, "The Idea of Pilgrimage in the Experience of Ignatius Loyola," Church History 48.4 (1979): 387-397.
Book or monograph Meissner: Ignatius LoyolaW.W. Meissner, SJ. Ignatius Loyola: The Psychology of a Saint. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1994. Pbk. ISBN: 0300060793. pp.509.
Article in Journal or Book John W. O'Malley, "Was Ignatius Loyola a Church Reformer? How to Look at Early Modern Catholicism," Catholic Historical Review 77.2 (1991): 177-193.
Book or monograph John C. Olin, The Catholic Reformation: Savonarola to Ignatius Loyola : Reform in the Church, 1495-1540. Fordham University Press, 1992. Hbk. ISBN: 082321477X.
Article in Journal or Book Willem A.M. Peters, "Ignatius Loyola and Gian Pietro Carafa: Catholic Reformers at odds," Catholic Historical Review 67 (1981): 386-400.
Book or monograph Hugo Rahner, SJ. Ignatius the Theologian. London: Ignatius Press, 1991. Pbk. ISBN: 0898702909.
Book or monograph Hugo Rahner, SJ. Ignatius: The Man and the Priest. Rome: Centrum Ignatianum Spiritualitatis, 1977. pp.124.
Book or monograph Hugo Rahner, SJ. The Vision of St Ignatius in the Chapel of La Storta, 2nd edn. Rome, 1979.
Article in Journal or Book James W. Reites, "St Ignatius of Loyola and the Jews," Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits, Vol. 13, No. 4. (September 1981).
Article in Journal or Book David A. Salomon, "Forging a New Identity: Narcissism and Imagination in the Mysticism of Ignatius Loyola," Christianity & Literature 47.2 (1998): 195-212.
Article in Journal or Book Philip Sheldrake, "Ignatius Loyola, 1491-1991," Expository Times 102.10 (1991): 296-300.
Article in Journal or Book David M. Stanley, "Contemplation of the Gospels, Ignatius Loyola, and the Contemporary Christian," Theological Studies 29.3 (1968): 417-443.
Article in Journal or Book Carl F. Starkloff, "Barth and Loyola on Communication of the Word of God," Scottish Journal of Theology 27.2 (1974): 147-161.
Article in Journal or Book David C. Steinmetz, "Luther and Loyola," Interpretation 47.1 (1993): 5-14.

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