Four Principles of Pilgrimage

We have taken a rather brisk tour through the life of St. Ignatius during the past few weeks, following the pilgrimage that is his life story. Now let’s glean some general principles of pilgrimage that apply to each one of us. 1. Pilgrimage presents itself, but we decide to go or stay. Ignatius could have responded in other ways to his months of healing from the cannonball incident. He could have set his mind in […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #4: The Legacy of St. Ignatius

One year after Pope Paul III approved the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits elected Ignatius Loyola to be Superior General of their Society, in 1541. Ignatius tried to reject this appointment, but after he was voted to the position three times, he accepted that this was God’s will for him and the Jesuits. The man who had dreamed first of serving God in Jerusalem and then of spreading the Gospel throughout the world would, for […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #3: Preparation for a Life’s Vocation

Ignatius Loyola went through a conversion experience while he was recuperating from battle wounds. However, the transformation was not over. In fact, the most critical months were ahead of him—months that would prepare him for the life to which God was calling him. After Ignatius laid down his sword before Our Lady of Montserrat, he traveled down the mountain to Manresa. There, a woman named Inez Pascual, who would remain a friend throughout his life, […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #2: The Injury That Changed Everything

Ignatius Loyola became a soldier, and in 1521 he found himself and his small group of fellow warriors defending the fortress of Pamplona against the French. They were seriously outnumbered, and a more prudent—and less zealous—leader might have negotiated a surrender, but Ignatius was not the type to do anything halfway. They were roundly defeated by the French, and during the battle a cannonball ripped through Ignatius’s legs, leaving a mangled mess. Because Ignatius was […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #1: The Place Where a Person Begins

As you probably know, Loyola Press, the host of this blog, is a ministry of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. And this society is the legacy of St. Ignatius Loyola, who formed it 500 years ago with a few companions who, with him, wanted to help souls and change the world. Over the next few weeks, we will follow Ignatius’s life story and use key moments in it to prompt reflection […]