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St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Feast Day: July 31

St. Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491 in Loyola, Guipuzcoa, Spain. He had a military education and became a solider in 1517. While serving in Pampeluna, he was wounded in the leg by a cannonball, which left him partially crippled for the rest of his life.

During his recovery, St. Ignatius read two books: The Golden Legend, a collection of saint biographies, and The Life of Christ by Ludolph the Carthusian. Because of his readings, he took a vow of chastity and planned a pilgrimage.

From 1522 to 1523, St. Ignatius lived in a cave. He then took a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land where he focused on preaching to the Muslims. In the year 1528, he began studying theology and eventually received his degree.

Based on his meditations, prayers, and visions, St. Ignatius of Loyola formed the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus which is now commonly known as the Jesuits. He died July 31, 1556 of poor health.