Wednesday, July 13, 2022

 


15. Ignatius the Saint.

 

    Ignatius summed up his early life, from 1491 to 1521 by saying, “He was a man given over to the follies of the world.” In 1555 Ignatius humbly said that he could find God at all times in all things. This was the growth of Ignatius from a worldly man to a saint. It was a growth in interior freedom. With God’s grace and his own cooperation he was able to overcome all his blocks so as to give himself fully to God. God filled him with His love and grace and made him a saint. Throughout his life Ignatius maintained a great accountability to God, to others and to himself. He often engaged himself in prayer to discern the will of God. He consulted others and was vigilant against being deceived by evil under the appearance of good. God gave him a clear vision of life’s purpose and filled him with love and grace so that his whole life became “a zealous service of God with pure love.”

 

    In Part IX of the Constitutions Ignatius described the type of a man the General of the Society should be. Everyone who lived with Ignatius, after reading this account, said that Ignatius unknowingly described himself for he lived exactly in that manner. Ignatius by the end of his life was a man very closely united with God in prayer, and intimately connected with God in his generous service. He possessed genuine humility. He was able to balance rectitude and the necessary severity in dealing with others. He possessed a magnanimous heart and fortitude of soul so as to bear the weakness of others.

 

    Ignatius’ favourite word for himself was ‘the Pilgrim’. He was very conscious that God had led him and taught him as a schoolmaster. His singular aim was to ‘dispose himself’, i.e., to let God assume his actions into God’s own divine action. He sought and found God in all things.

 

    On 27th July 1607 Ignatius was beatified by Pope Paul V. On 12th March 1622 Ignatius was raised to sainthood by Gregory XV along with his dear friend, Francis Xavier.


"Placed with the Son"- A short biography of St. Ignatius 

By Fr. Lawrence Dharmaraj, SJ

 

(From the personal study notes under the guidance of late Fr. Maurice Dullard, SJ. 

A special thanks to Fr.Vincent Saldahna s.j for doing the necessary corrections))

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

 


14. Ignatius the General

 

In 1941 the first companions met in Rome to elect a General. Francis Xavier left his vote in writing before leaving Rome for India. Favre sent his vote from Germany. Those gathered at Rome prayed and then voted secretly. Ignatius received all the votes except his own. Ignatius did not accept their decision and asked for another round of voting. So they voted again and in the second round Ignatius received all the votes again. Ignatius still hesitated but the companions and his confessor pointed out that he was resisting God’s clear will. Finally, he accepted their decision, though unwillingly, on 19th April 1541.

 

The companions then asked Ignatius and Codure to draw up the Constitutions for their new order. In August 1541 Codure died so Ignatius undertook to write the Constitutions alone. He also had to organize the Society’s works since everywhere bishops were asking for his men. Soon the Society of Jesus took up many educational works all over the world. They also engaged in training priests and students. The first Jesuit school was built in Goa in 1543 by Francis Xavier. In Rome a seminary for training of priests, the Roman College, was built in 1551.

 

These new works required Ignatius to write letters to bishops, kings, leaders and his companions scattered all over the world. These letters were his wonderful means of union and communication. Ignatius wrote nearly 7000 letters. In those days there were no type writers so all the letters and their duplicates had to be hand written. On the day he died about 200 letters were sent out.

 

In 1550 Ignatius had finished writing the Constitutions and then he called the companions to Rome and took their advice. After finalizing the Constitutions he sent Nadal to explain the same to those who had not come to Rome. Ignatius kept on working on the Constitutions till he died on 31st July 1556.

 

( Coming up  next. 15. Ignatius the Saint )


"Placed with the Son"- A short biography of St. Ignatius 

By Fr. Lawrence Dharmaraj, SJ

 

(From the personal study notes under the guidance of late Fr. Maurice Dullard, SJ. 

A special thanks to Fr.Vincent Saldahna s.j for doing the necessary corrections))

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

 


13. Ignatius and the Society of Jesus

 

    The Pope began sending them out of Rome, and even out of Italy, for the mission of the Church. The little group began to be scattered. In 1539 during Lent they were all back in Rome and held an important meeting. They asked themselves two questions: a) Do they need to keep the union of this group? b) Do they need to take a vow of obedience to one of their group members as a means of deepening their union? They spent much time in prayer, discussion and searching for God’s will. They reflected on how God had brought them together from Spain to Paris, and from Paris to Rome. After due reflection and prayer they discerned that it was God’s will that they should take a vow of obedience to bind themselves together and remain united as a group. They did not want to join one of the existing religious orders. They strongly felt that God had called them together as companions of Jesus and that was the La Storta grace for them.

 

    As making their decision they asked the Pope for permission to form a new religious order. Ignatius was asked by the group to draw up the document regarding their aims and charism. Ignatius completed the work in June 1539 and presented it to the Pope. The Pope had read it and gave an oral approval for the new order. He asked the cardinals to study the document and to draw up an official letter of approval for the new order.

 

    The process of the approval of the new religious order took time as some of the cardinals were objecting to the new ideas of Ignatius. Ignatius did not lose heart. He and his companions offered may Masses and asked their influential friends to talk to the Pope and to the cardinals. Finally, on 27th September 1540 the Pope approved the new religious order, ‘The Society of Jesus’. Ignatius could now look back to the cannon-ball wound at Pamplona and could see how God had led him up this moment. However, his pilgrimage was not over. A lot more still needed to be done. They were required to fight for God under the banner of the Cross in the Society of Jesus under the special direction of the Pope.

           

(Coming up next.14. Ignatius the General)


"Placed with the Son"- A short biography of St. Ignatius 

By Fr. Lawrence Dharmaraj, SJ

 

(From the personal study notes under the guidance of late Fr. Maurice Dullard, SJ. 

A special thanks to Fr.Vincent Saldahna s.j for doing the necessary corrections))

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

 


12. Ignatius in Rome

 

Ignatius arrived in Rome in November 1537. He and his companions were soon busy preaching and giving the Spiritual Exercises. They had to suffer great persecution in Rome from Michael Landivar who had been friendly with him in Paris but had now turned against the group, especially against Ignatius. Only when their name was cleared did Ignatius and his companions present themselves to the Pope.

 

Pope Paul III was anxious to reform the Church but did not have enough priests who were both learned and holy. So when this group of well trained and deeply spiritual priests offered themselves to him to do anything that he would ask them to do, the Pope exclaimed, “The finger of God is here”. He soon gave all of them work in and around Rome.

 

This little group still hoped that they would get a chance to go to the Holy Land. Knowing their secret desires to go to the Holy Land, the Pope Paul III asked them, “Why do you want to go to the Holy Land? Italy is indeed a true and good Jerusalem if you want to yield fruit for the Church of God.” These words of the Pope had a great effect on Ignatius. He came to the realization that the kingdom of God was not just in the Holy Land. In fact, every land was Holy Land and every place was the true Jerusalem, especially if they were sent by Christ’s Vicar, the Pope.

 

Ignatius had not yet said his first Mass as he hoped to say it in Bethlehem where Our Lord was born. On Christmas night 1538, in the crypt of St. Mary Major, Ignatius said his first Mass with great devotion and he gave up his desire of going to the Holy Land. Now onwards he and his companions would find the kingdom of God everywhere. They were engaged in working unreservedly for the Pope. In addition to the teaching and sacramental works, Ignatius and his companions begged food and cared for the poor. In the winter of 1538, the companions fed and housed over 3000 poor people who otherwise would have died in the snow. The population of Rome in 1538 was only 40000.


( Coming up next.   Chapter 13.Ignatius and the Society of Jesus. )


"Placed with the Son"- A short biography of St. Ignatius

 

By Fr. Lawrence Dharmaraj, SJ

 

(From the personal study notes under the guidance of late Fr. Maurice Dullard, SJ. 

A special thanks to Fr.Vincent Saldahna s.j for doing the necessary corrections))

Saturday, June 4, 2022

 


11. Ignatius and La Storta

 

After his ordination Ignatius worked with Favre and Laynez in Vicenza in Northern Italy. In Italy he received great favours from God similar to those that he had received at Manresa. He was praying to Our Lady that he be placed with her Son i.e., be able to follow Jesus and imitate Him in the apostolic works.

 

In September 1537 Ignatius and his companions decided to go to Rome. Before leaving they decided that if anyone would ask them who they were and they would say, “We are the Company or the Society of Jesus” because Jesus alone was their head. The companions went to Rome in small groups. Ignatius went with Laynez and Favre. On the way Ignatius felt that God was about to give him a special grace so he asked his companions to pray fervently. At the village of La Storta, about 20 kms north of Rome, as Ignatius was praying in a roadside chapel, he saw Jesus carrying His cross. Next to Jesus was the God the Father. Ignatius heard the Father saying to Jesus, “I want you to take this man as your servant (companion in work). Then he saw Jesus turning to Ignatius and saying, “We want you to serve us.” The Father then said to Ignatius, “I will be helpful to you in Rome.” Ignatius realized that his prayer to Our Lady had been answered and that he had been placed by the Father with the Son. He realized that he was called to be in companionship with Jesus, i.e., to help Jesus in bearing His cross in the world through the Vicar of Christ.

 

Ignatius felt deeply united with Jesus and offered himself to labour for the Glory of God at La Storta. Later, Ignatius and his companions realized that the Father’s favour was not just for Ignatius alone but was also meant for the entire group. Ignatius and his companions dedicated their lives to work together with Jesus for the Glory of the Father because the Father had placed them with His Son. Ignatius always regarded the La Storta experience as one of the greatest graces that he received in his life - for him and for the Society of Jesus.



( Coming up next.   Chapter 12.Ignatius in Rome. )


"Placed with the Son"- A short biography of St. Ignatius

 

By Fr. Lawrence Dharmaraj, SJ

 

(From the personal study notes under the guidance of late Fr. Maurice Dullard, SJ. 

A special thanks to Fr.Vincent Saldahna s.j for doing the necessary corrections))

 

Friday, June 3, 2022

 



Aflame with Love
Greetings!

I am happy to send you a magazine brought out by the Gujarat Scholastics with articles mainly written by them on the inspiration they received from the life of our Founder and Father St. Ignatius.

In this issue of Aflame with Love, our scholastics extort us to reflect on the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The impact of his spiritual conversion has rippled across the oceans inspiring us to re-turn our hearts to God and to venture “into the deep” – resilient and resolute! 

May we all allow ourselves to be transformed by the content of these pages. 

Happy Reading

Sch.Aric Makwana

To view "Aflame with Love ": Kindly click the link, given below.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mVZzASPA0gM4E_hgdL9VDjGbJYVnWlAt/view?usp=drive_web


Saturday, May 28, 2022

 




10. Ignatius and his companions.

 

    Ignatius was gathering companions who would share his vision and zeal for God’s work. At Alcala from 1525 to 1527, he gathered three companions: Calisto D’Sa, Juan De Arteaga and Lobe de Carcases. They went with him to Salamanca and were put in prison along with Ignatius there. In 1528 Ignatius went to Paris while these three remained in Spain. Eventually they lost contact with Ignatius.

 

    In Paris Ignatius met Peter Favre. Peter Favre helped Ignatius in his studies and in return Ignatius helped Peter Favre in spiritual matters. Peter Favre went through the Spiritual Exercises and was so impressed with them that he brought his roommate Francis Xavier to Ignatius. At first Francis Xavier distrusted Ignatius but Ignatius gradually won him over. Three Spaniards - Diego Laynez, Alphonso Salmeron and Nicolas Bobadilla, and a Portuguese - Simon Rodrigues joined the group. Ignatius gave then all the Spiritual Exercises. This brought about a tremendous change in them. They were fired with zeal for God’s work and formed themselves into a group of ‘friends in the Lord’. 


    They were eager to go with Ignatius to work in the Holy Land. In fact, on 15th August, 1534 at Our Lady’s Chapel in Montmartre, they all took the vows of poverty and chastity with a vow to go to the Holy Land. They decided that in case they did not succeed to go the Holy Land in a year’s time they would go to Rome and present themselves to the Pope and take up the task and go wherever the Pope would send them. In this way they would be more certain of doing God’s will. They had no superior but regarded Ignatius as their leader since he was the original inspiration in uniting them for God’s work.

 

    Ignatius fell sick in 1535 so his friends and the doctors advised him to go to Spain for some months. Peter Favre then became the natural leader of the group. The group was so strong that even during Ignatius’ absence they got three new members to join them: Claude Le Jay, Paschase Broet and Jean Codure. They all joined Ignatius in Venice on January 1537. Ignatius called them “My nine friends in the Lord".


    In Venice they began to think seriously about ordination and their pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Peter Favre and Claude Le Jay were priests before joining the group. The remaining seven were ordained in Venice on 24th June 1537. Due to the Turkish war there was no ship going to the Holy Land. So, in September 1537 the companions set out for Rome to present themselves to the Pope.


( Coming up next.   Chapter 11.Ignatius and La Storta. )


"Placed with the Son"- A short biography of St. Ignatius

 

By Fr. Lawrence Dharmaraj, SJ

 

(From the personal study notes under the guidance of late Fr. Maurice Dullard, SJ. 

A special thanks to Fr.Vincent Saldahna s.j for doing the necessary corrections))