Tag Archives: Jesuit saints and blesseds

St Ignatius of Loyola

Today is the liturgical memorial of one of the most influential saints of the 16th century, Saint Ignatius of Loyola. His clarity of thought, his discernment of Spirits and determination to serve the Lord in everything is what set the world on fire with a new charism.

Our moment-to-moment task is to keep the Divine Name on our lips “His Name is like fire burning in my heart” (see Jeremiah 20:8), we ought to do everything to serve and love. By no other name are saved but Jesus’.

The Spiritual Exercises are a great gift to the Church; his rules of discernment, contemplation on Divine Love, and thinking with the Church are key to the spiritual life.

In the 16the century Loyola wanted to serve the Lord in model of Saint Dominic and Saint Francis; what ended up happening was a renewal in the manner by which the Church is apostolic — and he (and his spiritual sons had great success until the 1960s. Today, mentioning the word Jesuit is to say “I follow a left-leaning agenda.” One can think of various theologians, philosophers, writers and pastoral ministers who are ordained and professed members of the Society of Jesus. The disasters in ministry, hence, orchestrated by the Jesuits has been scandalous.

We need Loyola and the true beauty of the Society of Jesus; we need real men; we need men who will sacrifice themselves for the greater glory of God; we need Jesuits who will preach the received Gospel and to administer the sacraments according the to mind and heart of the Church. What we don’t need is the faithless Jesuits who do not think with the Church and follow closely what their sainted founder (and the patrimony of saints and blesseds) set out to do for Christ Jesus and His Church.

Saint Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

St Aloysius Gonzaga: lived and died with the Holy Name on his lips

Saint Aloysius is admirable for several reasons –two come to mind. The first is reflected here:

“He was baptized in the womb because his life was in danger. He received his First Holy Communion from Saint Charles Borromeo. At age nine he vowed virginity, and in spite of temptations of the princely courts his first innocence was sustained. He died in 1591, age 23, as a result of his devoted nursing of the plague-victims” (Daily Missal).

AND, then it is recorded that the last word he spoke was the Holy Name of Jesus.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, patron and model of youth, pray for us.

St Peter Canisius

“At length, it was as if you [Lord] opened to me the heart in your most sacred body: I seemed to see it directly before my eyes. You told me to drink from this fountain, inviting me, that is, to draw the waters of my salvation from your wellsprings, my Savior. I was most eager that streams of faith, hope and love should flow into me from that source. I was thirsting for poverty, chastity, obedience. I asked to be made wholly clean by you, to be clothed by you, to be made resplendent by you.”

St Peter Canisius, pray for us.

St. Nicholas Owen

St. Nicholas Owen is one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales; he died in 1606. Own was the son of an Oxford carpenter becoming a carpenter himself. His personal mission was to secretly construct well-disguised ‘priest-holes’, or hiding places for hunted priests, during the night.

Nicholas Owen was a professed co-opperator (lay) brother of the Society of Jesus in England. On the mission, Owen served jail time for defending the martyred St. Edmund Campion. History shows that Nicholas masterminded the priest’s escape from the Tower of London and he was a wanted man after the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. His martyrdom was the usual English horror with his entrails burst open. 

St Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatius LoyolaFrom the life of Saint Ignatius from his own words by Luis Gonzalez

Ignatius was passionately fond of reading worldly books of fiction and tales of knight-errantry. When he felt he was getting better, he asked for some of these books to pass the time. But no book of that sort could be found in the house; instead they gave him a life of Christ and a collection of the lives of saints written in Spanish.

By constantly reading these books he began to be attracted to what he found narrated there. Sometimes in the midst of his reading he would reflect on what he had read. Yet at other times he would dwell on many of the things which he had been accustomed to dwell on previously. But at this point our Lord came to his assistance, insuring that these thoughts were followed by others which arose from his current reading.

While reading the life of Christ our Lord or the lives of the saints, he would reflect and reason with himself: “What if I should do what Saint Francis or Saint Dominic did?” In this way he let his mind dwell on many thoughts; they lasted a while until other things took their place. Then those vain and worldly images would come into his mind and remain a long time. This sequence of thoughts persisted with him for a long time.

But there was a difference. When Ignatius reflected on worldly thoughts, he felt intense pleasure; but when he gave them up out of weariness, he felt dry and depressed. Yet when he thought of living the rigorous sort of life he knew the saints had lived, he not only experienced pleasure when he actually thought about it, but even after he dismissed these thoughts, he still experienced great joy. Yet he did not pay attention to this, nor did he appreciate it until one day, in a moment of insight, he began to marvel at the difference. Then he understood his experience: thoughts of one kind left him sad, the others full of joy. And this was the first time he applied a process of reasoning to his religious experience. Later on, when he began to formulate his spiritual exercises, he used this experience as an illustration to explain the doctrine he taught his disciples on the discernment of spirits.

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.
coat of arms

Categories

Archives

Humanities Blog Directory