St. Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Jesuits

July 31 is the feast day of St. Ignatius Loyola who was born in Spain in 1491. The youngest of 13 children, he grew up to be a solider in the Spanish Army in wars against the French.  A cannonball and a series of bad operations ended his military career. While recovering he studied the saints and decided to be a soldier of the Catholic faith. He finished his degree at age 43. Along with St. Francis Xavier and seven other students, he started the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits in 1534.
St. Ignatius is famous for his “Spiritual Exercises” designed to help people experience a deepening relationship with God in their daily lives.  A shorter version of the Exercises is the Daily Examen.  One of the popular prayers attributed to St. Ignatius is the Anima Christi. Watch this short video to learn more about St. Ignatius.


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