紀念日 / Memorial date
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
On Inigo de Loyola was born in Azpeitia in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa in northern Spain. He was the youngest of 13 children. At the age of 16, Inigo left his home to serve as a page for Juan Velazues, treasurer of the kingdom of Castile. He was frequently at court and developed a taste for the material world.
1521, he eventually became an officer in the Spanish army. On May 20, at the battle of Pamplona, his leg was broken by a cannon ball and he was bedridden for the next year.
During his difficult recovery, Inigo asked for books about chivalry, his favorite reading. There weren’t any at the family castle where he convalesced, so he had to settle for a book about the life of Christ and biographies of the saints, topics which he found unexpectedly riveting.
The soldier had always dreamed of imitating heroes, but now, the heroes had names like Francis of Assisi and Catherine of Siena. Ignatius also noticed something strange happening to him. God, he realized, was working within him – prompting, guiding, inviting.
In March of 1522, Ignatius was well enough to leave home with a newfound zeal to serve God. He came to the shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat and kept a vigil all night. He left his sword at the altar and gave his fine clothes to a poor man. He cast aside his life as a noble soldier and dressed himself in rough clothes and sandals so as to take up the life of a poor pilgrim.
He lived in a cave outside the town of Manresa. Ignatius began writing about the emotions that took hold of him – feelings of gratitude and anguish, consolation and sadness – while encountering scripture. It was here where he started work on what would become the Spiritual Exercises.
In 1524, Ignatius felt a calling to the priesthood but did not have the educational requirements. To answer his vocation he had to go back to school, where he studied Latin grammar alongside children.
In 1529, Ignatius continued his education at the University of Paris. It was here where he introduced classmates to the Spiritual Exercises.
The Spiritual Exercises is a series of compilations on meditations, prayers, and other contemplative practices, meant to be used like a handbook, especially for spiritual directors who accompany and guide people through the process of reflection and prayer.
On August 15, 1534, Ignatius and six others (including Francis Xavier and Peter Faber) pronounced vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and form the Society of Jesus.
In 1537, they became ordained priests in Venice, but due to the war, they could not travel to the Holy Land, so they returned to Rome under the administration of Pope.
On September 27, 1540, Pope Paul III made the Society of Jesus an official religious order in the Catholic Church. Its members unanimously elected Ignatius as the first Father General.
On July 31, 1556, he succumbed to his illness and died.
Suscipe Prayer -by St. Ignatius Loyola
Take, Lord, and receive all my liverty,
My memory, my undertanding
And my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
That is enough for me.
O God, who raised up Saint Ignatius of Loyola in your Church to further the greater glory of your name, grant that by his help we may imitate him in fighting the good fight on earth and merit to receive with him a crown in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
中文內容 : 《平日彌撒經文》，香港教區禮儀委員會
English text: Daily Roman Missal, 2011