Saturday, July 31, 2010

Feast Day: St. Ignatius of Loyola

Today is the feast of the founder of the Society of Jesus (aka, The Jesuits).  St. Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556)

We like this guy ...  alot.  What's not to like?  He was a soldier ... a hard-talking and tough spiritual leader for the first Jesuits and he's Bam-Bam's patron saint this year.  Oh, and to top it off, he's from the Basque region of Spain (and altho we're French-Basque, we'll just go right ahead and claim him, ok?)

In my family, we have a long history with the Jesuits -- Dad went to a Jesuit college, my brothers (well, 4 out of 5) went to a Jesuit high school, and 2 brothers and I went to a Jesuit university.  We've seen the good Jesuits and the bad Jesuits (and the bad Jebs don't take a thing away from their founder).  St. Ignatius attacked heresy and lack of faith with military precision and tactics and was quite successful.  He mentored future saint and fellow Basque, Francis Xavier and many saints have come from the Jesuit ranks:  St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Edmund Campion, St. Isaac Jogues and St. Stanislaus Kostka ... to name just a few.

My favorite prayer (and one my father particularly liked) attributed to St. Ignatius is:

Lord, 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 reward,

save that of knowing that I do your will.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us!

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