Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491 – 1556)

Saint Ignatius of Loyola was the founder of the Catholic order of the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, the highly acclaimed educators and missionaries in the Church hierarchy. Born to aristocratic lineage in Spain, he had a short career in the military, which serious injury brought to an end. At this time, he had a spiritual renaissance, and engaged in extensive study and meditation while pursuing his path. He encouraged asceticism and self-denial, pledging himself to a strict regimen of prayer, bolstered by the Church ordained virtues of chastity, obedience and poverty. In 1534, Ignatius and six companions formed the order that came to be known as the Jesuits, whose abiding principle was their motto: “For the greater glory of God.” Ignatius died of malaria, and was later beatified and then canonized in the Catholic Church in 1622, allowing him to be revered as a saint. His feast day is July 31st, the day of his death. Today innumerable educational institutions throughout the world bear witness to the nobility of his intentions.

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