Category Archives: Jesuit saints & blesseds

Francis and Ignatius – saints who rebuilt the Church

Francis and Ignatius.jpeg

I read this narrative in one of the newsletters I receive. Very curious on these things work out, no?

When the parish priest of a beautiful village of Provence, South of France, asked in January for a new work of art for his parish, he couldn’t imagine that his command would meet the joyful events of the whole church, and of the Society. As this diocesan priest was very close to the Franciscans, and to the Jesuits, he asked a parishioner to create a drawing of St Ignatius and St Francis, and another to transform it in a wood bas relief for his parish. The project was going on, when the new pope, a Jesuit, decided to call himself Francis. This drawing had suddenly a more universal signification, and the artist transformed it also into an icon. Every Jesuit will be able to read it and to appreciate its symbols.

Saint Claude la Colombière

Claude de la Colombiere, S.J and  St. Margaret Mary.jpg

A pivotal saint for our time is the Jesuit Father Saint Claude la Colombière (1641-82) known mostly for being spiritual director of Saint Margaret Mary. He died on the First Sunday of Lent.

Saint Claude was a great believer in Divine Providence, Love and Mercy as revealed by Christ Himself and pledged himself to this mission. Both of these saints were instrumental in the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Father Claude was devoted to working with the poor.

It is said that the day after his death, Saint Margaret Mary received supernatural assurance that Father Claude needed no prayers, as he was in already heaven.

Pope John Paul II, during the canonization of Saint Claude said,

The past three centuries allow us to evaluate the importance of the message which was entrusted to Claude. In a period of contrasts between the fervor of some and the indifference or impiety of many, here is a devotion centered on the humility of Christ, on his presence, on his love of mercy and on forgiveness. Devotion to the Heart of Christ would be a source of balance and spiritual strengthening for Christian communities so often faced with increasing unbelief over the coming centuries.

Saint Francis Xavier


francisco javier detail.jpgO God, who through the preaching of Saint Francis
Xavier won many peoples to yourself, grant that the hearts of the faithful may
burn with the same zeal for the faith and that Holy Church may everywhere
rejoice in an abundance of offspring.


In Spanish he is known as Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta, from the Castillo de Javier, Navarra. The saint is known as Francis Xavier (1506-1552), canonized in 1622 and named patron of the missions.

Never satisfied with the status quo of living the faith and the rigid adherence of structuralism, Francis Xavier always knew that when faced with his own personal conversion and evangelization of those who had not heard of the saving name of Jesus Christ was the most important part of his life to remember. Ever since his first encounter with Saint Ignatius Francis knew what consistency of faith and the desires of the meant. Francis was the first Jesuit missionary sent by Ignatius opening a window of new world yet to be accepted as a grace, and not as a economic opportunity.

For the 500th anniversary Xavier’s birth in 2006, the John J. Burns Library at Boston College pulled together an exhibition to honor the saint.

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All Saints and All Souls Days in religious orders

benedict and devil.jpgThe Church is not liturgically monolithic: let’s consider the various observances of feasts of All Saints and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls) in various religious orders:

All Saints
  • November 5: the Society of Jesus
  • November 7: the Order of Preachers
  • November 13: the Order of St Benedict; Order of St Augustine; the Trinitarian Order
  • November 29: the Franciscan Families
All Souls
  • October 5: the Capuchin Order
  • November 5: the Franciscan Families
  • November 8: the Order of Preachers
  • November 13: the Carthusians
  • November 14: the Order of St Benedict; the Trinitarian Order
  • November 15: the Order of Carmel
  • November 16: the Servite Order

Saint Ignatius of Loyola


St Ignatius Loyola bryan bustard.jpgNothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”

Father Pedro Arrupe , SJ (1907-91)

28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus
image: Bryan Bustard

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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