Ignatius of Loyola facts

Saint Ignatius of Loyola
St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) Founder of the Jesuits.jpg
Portrait by Peter Paul Rubens
Born c. October 23, 1491
Loyola, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Kingdom of Castille (currently Spain)
Died July 31, 1556 (aged 64)
Rome, Papal States
Venerated in Catholic Church, Anglican Communion
Beatified July 27, 1609 by Paul V
Canonized March 12, 1622 by Gregory XV
Feast July 31
Attributes Eucharist, chasuble, book, cross
Patronage Dioceses of San Sebastián and Bilbao, Biscay and Gipuzkoa; Basque Country; Military Ordinariate of the Philippines; Society of Jesus; Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil; Junín, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Antwerp, Belgium.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola (Basque: Ignazio Loiolakoa, Spanish: Ignacio de Loyola; c. October 23, 1491 – July 31, 1556) was a Spanish Basque priest and theologian, who founded the religious order called the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and became its first Superior General. The Jesuit order served the Pope as missionaries, and they were bound by a vow of special obedience to the sovereign pontiff in regard to the missions. They therefore emerged as an important force during the time of the Counter-Reformation.

Ignatius is remembered as a talented spiritual director. He recorded his method in a celebrated treatise called the Spiritual Exercises, a simple set of meditations, prayers, and other mental exercises, first published in 1548.

Ignatius was beatified in 1609, and then canonized, receiving the title of Saint on March 12, 1622. His feast day is celebrated on July 31. He is the patron saint of the Basque provinces of Gipuzkoa and Biscay as well as the Society of Jesus, and was declared patron saint of all spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922. Ignatius is also a foremost patron saint of soldiers.

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