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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy Feast of Saint Ignatius!

Today is the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. It is a day when Jesuits around the world gather for a special celebration. In New Orleans, where my Jesuit province is based, we honor today the men who are celebrating various jubilees as Jesuits and priests. This includes men who are celebrating 25 to 70 years of ministry as Jesuits. We thank God for their dedicated and continuing service to the people of God. You can learn more about our jubilarians here.

I will not be able to join them today. But part of being a worldwide Society means that we often gather with the local community wherever we find ourselves on this day. Today, another Jesuit from my province and myself will be joining our brothers in Belgium to celebrate the Founder's Feast!

A while back, I wrote a series of reflections on Ignatius' life. The first one talks about the scene depicted in the left hand panel of the above photo of the sanctuary of Ignatius Loyola church in Manhattan. It's the battle in Pamplona, during which Ignatius is injured. It proved to be an injury that would change his life and, eventually, the lives of countless others.

A recent article describes Ignatius Loyola Church:

"The curved apse presents three main events in the life of St. Ignatius. These huge murals of colorful Venetian glass mosaics resemble Renaissance paintings and are by the same company that crafted the Stations of the Cross. The scenes show Ignatius wounded in the battle that prompted his conversion, kneeling before Pope Paul III in 1540 to get approval for his new order, and receiving acclamation in heaven at his canonization."

Read the rest of the article here.

Happy Feast!


Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Well I walked through Pamplona- I wonder how close I came to Ignatius' place! Happy Feast Day celebrations to you all there in Belgium.

Left-Footer said...

And a happy Feast Day to you too.
I'm eternally grateful to St Ignatius, as I owe my Catholicism to a Jesuit (and to Chesterton).