St. Ignatius of Loyola was born 1491 in northern Spain, the youngest of 13 children.
His Feast Day is July 31, which is the day on which he died.
He founded the Society of Jesus (ALSO KNOWN AS THE JESUITS) together with other two saints, Francis Xavier and Peter Fabar.
He is the patron saint for:
- SOLDIERS; and
- SOCIETY OF JESUS.
He started working at the age of 16 and developed a love for the material world or finer things. He later joined the Spanish army around the age of 29 but was injured in combat and his leg was broken. It took him a year to recover and that is when he started reading on the life of Christ and biographies of saints. This sparked an interest in him to want to create a relationship with God such that by the time he had recovered he had a deep desire to serve God.
When he was well enough to travel, he set out on pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Montserral and kept vigil all night. He left his sword at the altar and gave his fine clothes to a poor man. He began his life as a poor pilgrim from then on and started writing spiritual literature on meditation and prayer. He felt he had a calling to the priesthood but did not meet the educational requirements. At this time he was around the age of 31 years and he decided to go back to school such that he studied latin grammer alongside children.
He later continued to the University of Paris where he studied alongside Francis Xavier and Peter Fabar who would later on establish together the society of Jesus. In 1534 he pronounced his vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. In 1538 he celebrated his first Mass and in 1540, together with 6 other priests they established the Society of Jesus. He was beatified.