Home Catechetical Corner Saint of the Day: Ignatius of Loyola

Saint of the Day: Ignatius of Loyola


St. Ignatius of Loyola

Feast Day: July 31

Born in his family’s ancestral Basque castle, Inigo Lopez de Loyola was a page in Castile and a soldier wounded in battle before he experienced a personal conversion that has had profound consequences for the church ever since.

"Ignatius of Loyola" by Peter Paul Rubens
“Ignatius of Loyola” by Peter Paul Rubens (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

While convalescing, he read about Christ and the saints, made a long retreat at Manresa and journeyed to Jerusalem.

He studied for 10 years in Barcelona and Paris, where he became Ignatius and was the center of a group of like-minded men.

They founded the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, to be active missionaries and meet the challenges of the Reformation.

Ignatius, superior general of the new order, also wrote “Spiritual Exercises,” which is still a popular guide.

He is the patron saint of retreats and soldiers.