— Ignatius Loyola —
Ignatius of Loyola was my boyhood hero and, for a young boy growing up, there was much to admire — a dashing knight in the service of his king, his skill and courage in combat, plus suggestions of a love for poetry, vice and pleasure.
Life changed dramatically for Ignatius one day when he had a vision while lying in his hospital bed, recovering from the wounds of battle. Renouncing his worldly status and all the trappings of a privileged life, Ignatius began a life of poverty where he developed a strange dominion and command over devils.
His biographer, Ribadeneira, accounts “he lived amongst the meanest sort of people, being despised and contemned, and desirous to be so: his desire was to be mocked and laughed at by all, and if he would have permitted himself to be carried on by the fervour of his mind, he would have gone up and down the streets almost naked, and like a fool, that the boys of the town might have made sport with him, and thrown dirt upon him.”
Over time, men of similar mind gathered themselves around Ignatius and their Company of Men went on to become that what we now know as the Jesuits. In 1965 I assumed the name of Ignatius at my Confirmation.
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