An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Ignatius of Loyola

(1491-July 31, 1556). Founder of the Jesuits. He was born in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa, Spain. Ignatius was a soldier who underwent a conversion on May 20, 1520, while he was recuperating from a leg wound. With six companions he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Paris on Aug. 15, 1534, to work for the conversion of heretics. In Nov. 1538 the society placed itself at the service of the Pope. The motto of the society is, “For the greater glory of God.” Ignatius has influenced most forms of modern Christian spirituality through the Spiritual Exercises. Ignatius composed this work to guide retreatants through a thirty-day process in which they choose between God and evil. They also learn to meditate on the life of Christ and to imitate him. The society specializes in education in the spirit of the Counter-Reformation, with a generous opening to classical and humanistic studies. Ignatian spirituality has an Incarnational emphasis that seeks “to find God in all things,” serving God and humanity. Ignatius died in Rome. He was canonized on May 22, 1622. Ignatius is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on July 31.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.