Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saint Ignatius *1491, †1556

Iñigo López de Loyola was born, in the castle of Loyola, in the spanish Basque country. He was the thirteenth child, remember, this was not an age that discouraged fecundity. One should sit down and compile a list of the prominent, whom were among the youngest children of a large family. How the world advanced with so many people, who, had siblings the age of parents, and parents the age of grandparents.

Peter Paul Rubens. c.1621, Sibiu, Romania.

At the onset of adult life, he became a soldier. In 1521 his legs caught a cannonball française, this was followed by surgeries. In convalescence he began spiritual reading. His life was changed. He wrote the Spiritual Exercises, which have been a comfort to prisoners, drunkards (AA), and addicts. It has led many to a greater faith, and has been the manual for spiritual retreats.

He wanted to be an evangelising ascetic in Palestine, where Christ had trod, and then was under the Turk. He went to the University of Paris and became a scholar. The yet to be heresiarch, the Picard, Calvin was there at the time. There Ignatius found other men into a society. Seven men formed the Society of Jesus, in the Chapel of St. Denis, in Montmartre.

They wanted to go to Jerusalem, but became collegian teachers and begat a reputation of vigorous academics, often in trouble with the powers that be. As baroque art combatted protestant heresy, so were the Jesuits a bulwark of the catholic reformation. The accusations of subversion have never ceased. They come from anti-Catholic bigots, and from catholics. People who teach are dangerous. They have been expelled and suppressed from countries, made bogeymen, and have been martyred in the old world and the new: Japan, England, New York and Ontario*, Spain, Germany, China, El Salvador, earning particular enmity from nationalists, calvinists, jingoists and fascists; they have been accused to be communists, and have been imprisoned, and executed, by communists.

And for some reason, they have fielded some, outstandingly, successful, high school football programmes across this country. “Goodness gracious, we’re the boys from Saint Ignatius.” And write on top of your Homework, AMDG, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, for the greater glory of God.
*read the anti-Catholic, Francis Parkman, forced by Clio, to tell admirable truth, The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century.

No comments: