St.Ignatius' Zeal for God

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St.Ignatius Of Loyola Zeal for God While Ignatius was convalescing, his first stage of conversion began.-spreadjesus.org

St.Ignatius' Zeal for God :

While Ignatius was convalescing, his first stage of conversion began. His reading of the Life of Christ and the lives of saints touched him spiritually. He realized that the way of the saints alone would give him lasting satisfaction. On his way to Jenisalern, he spent some time at the monastery of Montserrat where more than three hundred Benedictine monks lived a life of prayer and austerities. After his confession to John Chanones, a French monk of great sanctity, Ignatius gave his horse to the monastery, hung his sword on the altar as a sign of renouncing worldly warfare and his rich clothes to beggar. Henceforth he decided to live and fight only for Christ. He retired to a small village called Manresa and lived in a dilapidated hospital as a hermit for ten months. He begged his food and led a rigorous life characterized by prayer, fasting and penance.


It was here at Manresa that Ignatius wrote the first drafts of his ‘Spiritual Exercises’. The Spiritual Exercises, which were the result of his prayers, sufferings and mystical experiences, were intended as a practical spiritual guide for others. After a period of ten months, he left Manresa and traveled to Barcelona and later to Italy.


On 23 September 1523, Ignatius reached Jerusalem, and having spent three weeks in the Holy Land, he came back to Europe. He studied Latin for two years and completed his university studies. While he was at Paris, he enlisted companions for his great work of evangelization. The ones who first joined the new society were - Francis Xavier, Alfanso Sahnaron, Diego Lainez, Simon Rodrigues, Nicolas Bobadilla and Peter Favre. They vowed themselves to be at the service of the Pope, and to go wherever they were sent. Their main work, as written in the outline of the Constitution, was to teach the catechism, preach the gospel, hear confessions, lecture and care for the sick and the prisoners.


In September 1540 their,society was given the papal approval under the name "Society of Jesus." Ignatius was elected as the Superior in 1541 and on 22nd April six companions made their vows. The Society of Jesus spread far and wide into many countries and continents. The members of the Society, who were called the Jesuits, founded many colleges and universities.


Ignatius guided the members by constantly having correspondmce through letters with the members. Although he was the General of the Order for fifteen years, his life was characterized by deep humility. He, often, spent time in doing menial jobs in the community, like making their beds, and cleaning the rooms of the sick people.


At his request Fr. Jerome Nadal was appointed as an assistant, and Ignatius gave up the active administration of the Society. He, now, spent his time in prayer and humble works. Praising the holy name of Jesus, he gave up his spirit to his Creator on 31st July 1556. He was canonized on 12th March 1622, along with St. Terwa of Avila, St. Philip Neri, StFrancis Xavier and St. Isidore.

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