Today we venerate the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola who committed himself to communicating the Good News of Christ around the world
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31, 2021): LV 25:1,8-17; PS 67:2-3,5,7-8; MT 14:1-12
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
He embraced prayer and penance and eventually sought to educate himself, especially through the study of theology...
In recognizing the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola we find a man who first spent years serving in the military and living at the courts of Spain. Originally known as Inigo, he came from a noble family and was born in Castile in 1491. His early years showed his preferences for fine clothes, sword fighting, and courtly romance. Only after his leg was severely injured in battle in 1521, was he forced to slow down and contemplate his future. Indeed, he would walk with a limp for the rest of his days. Having nothing else to read while healing at his family’s castle, he became enthralled by biographies of Jesus and the saints. He was so moved by the experience that he retired in solitude for many months, seeking confession and resolving to turn his life over to God. He embraced prayer and penance and eventually sought to educate himself, especially through the study of theology, first in Spain and then France. With a few followers who were also eager to dedicate themselves to the service of Christ and His Church, the Society of Jesus developed with the idea of teaching, preaching, and missionary work. And, when they were unable to go to the Holy Land as they had intended, they instead vowed themselves to obedience to the pope.
Ignatius became the superior general of the order, guiding their travels and growth in spreading the message of Christ far and wide. While he stayed in Rome, Ignatius saw to it that the Jesuits brought works of charity and education to the poor, and all those in need of their spiritual and material assistance. He wrote thousands of letters heartening the members’ spirits and efforts. He offered this prayer, “Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve You as You deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for any reward, but that of knowing that I do Your will.” St. Ignatius of Loyola died in 1556 and was canonized in 1622.
Suggested missionary action: We can offer a special prayer to St. Ignatius to guide all the missionaries of the Church. Let us also ask him to intercede for the welfare of the Pontifical Mission Societies and the people they strive to help every day. And finally let us remember in prayer our Holy Father, Pope Francis, himself a Jesuit.