A Celebration of St. Ignatius of Loyola
This July 31, the Society of Jesus celebrates the closing of a year-long observation of the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius’ conversion – when Ignatius the soldier began his spiritual journey to find a deeper relationship with God.
Ignatius was an ambitious and successful member of the House of Loyola and the Spanish royal court before a long and arduous recovery from battle wounds led him on a lifelong spiritual journey. Often referred to as “the pilgrim saint,” Ignatius walked a path toward God and away from what success looked like in his day. His conversion was the culmination of a deep spiritual experience, now known as the Spiritual Exercises, continuing to inspire the spiritual lives of Catholics and other Christians seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus. This year is also the 400th anniversary of St. Ignatius’ canonization.
As members of the Gonzaga community, our pilgrimage is to follow in his footsteps and find success in ways perhaps misunderstood in our own time and culture. Ignatius taught us the importance of discernment, experiencing authentic encounters with those different from us, and how to align contemplation with action in the world. These gifts, and the model of Ignatian education in its distinctive iteration at Gonzaga University, are truly things to be grateful for on this, Ignatius’ feast day.
St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!
Ad majórem Dei glóriam