Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
With the Church we pray:
O God, Who for spreading the greater glory of Thy Name did, through blessed Ignatius, strengthen Thy Church militant with a new army; grant that by his aid and example we may so fight on earth as to deserve to be crowned with him in heaven.
The Litany of Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Saint Ignatius’ life in pictures
O blessed Aloysius, adorned with angelic graces, I, your most unworthy suppliant, recommend specially to you the chastity of my soul and body, praying you by your angelic purity to plead for me with Jesus Christ, the Immaculate Lamb, and his most holy Mother, Virgin of virgins, that they would keep me from all grievous sin.
O never let me be defiled with any stain of impurity; but when you see me in temptation, or in danger of falling, then remove far from my heart all bad thoughts and unclean desires, and awaken in me the memory of eternity to come and of Jesus crucified; impress deeply in my heart a sense of the holy fear of God; and thus, kindling in me the fire of divine love, enable me so to follow your footsteps here on earth that, in heaven with you, I may be made worthy to enjoy the vision of our God forever. Amen.
A brief biography on Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
In the spring of 2008 a book of Ivan Petransky about his life was published Zivot pod hviezdou (“A life under a star”). People from around the Jesuit community in Ruzomberok have organized a concert to remember this young brave man who in his early life had written: Amor Christi usque ad oblivionem sui – Love for Christ until self-oblivion. The local TV station has produced a documentary DVD on his life and people are very much interested in the witness this young man has got to offer. Parts of the published book were broadcasted on the Catholic radio station in the country.
Tomas Munk was born in Budapest on January 29, 1924 as the first son of a Jewish couple. After conversion in 1939 he was received in the Catholic Church. Tomas studied in Bratislava and partly in Ruzomberok. He decided to become priest in the Society of Jesus where he entered on July 30, 1943. In the autumn of 1944, Nazi soldiers came in Ruzomberok. After several months the whole family was arrested and the Nazi eventually came to the Novitiate and took him away as a Jewish convert. According to a fellow novice, now a respected Jesuit, Tomas confided to him having prayed all night in the Novitiate chapel: “I have sacrificed my life for my nation, for its conversion and for the Church.” Tomas was killed on the way to the concentration camp.
A point of connection for me with Tomas Munk is that we share the same birth date but 45 years apart from each other, and that we had a love of the Society. May he interceded for all of us.
O God, Who did strengthen blessed Peter Thy Confessor, in virtue and learning for the defense of the Catholic faith: mercifully grant that through his examples and teaching, those who are in error may be brought back to salvation and that the faithful may persevere in the confession of the truth.
Jesuit Father John Hardon’s brief note on Saint Peter Canisius
On the third centenary of the death of the Saint Peter Canisius, Pope Leo XIII wrote to the Bishops of Austria, Germany and Switzerland:
7. This is not the place to recall in detail the life of this man, so eminent in sanctity; the zeal with which he labored to restore harmony and union to his country torn by dissension and revolt; the ardor of his public debates with the teachers of error; his inspiring sermons; the persecutions he suffered; the many countries he travelled through; and the difficult missions he undertook in the interest of the faith. However, to return to the weapons of knowledge which we have mentioned: how constantly, readily, wisely and fitly he employed them! Upon his return from Messana where he went as a teacher of rhetoric, he committed himself to the teaching of the sacred sciences in the academies of Cologne, Ingolstadt and Vienna. Here he followed the royal road of the most approved learned men of the Christian school and revealed to the Germans the treasures of scholastic philosophy. As this philosophy was shunned at that time by the enemies of the faith because it was a great support of Catholic truth, he had it taught publicly in the schools and colleges of the Society of Jesus for whose establishment he had worked so hard.
8. He did not hesitate to descend from the heights of wisdom to the basics of writing. He undertook the instruction of children and even composed elementary writing books and grammars for their use. Indeed, just as he often came back from preaching to the courts of kings to address the people, so, after learned writings on dogma or morals, he used to compose pamphlets destined either to strengthen the faith of the people or to
arouse and nourish their piety. He had wonderful success in preventing the inexperienced from getting caught in the nets of error. The Summa which he published for this purpose is a compact and tightly-knit work, written in beautiful Latin and not unworthy of the Fathers of the Church. This remarkable work was enthusiastically received by learned men in almost all the countries of Europe. Less voluminous, but no less useful, were the two famous catechisms which this blessed man wrote for less cultivated minds: one for the religious instruction of children, the other for young men already involved in the study of the arts. These two works had such a great success among Catholics immediately upon publication, that almost all professors charged with teaching the basics of the faith had them in hand. They were used not only in the schools as a spiritual milk for the children, but they were also explained publicly in the churches to the benefit of all. Thus, during three centuries Canisius has been regarded as the teacher of Catholics in Germany. In popular speech, “knowing Canisius” was synonymous with “preserving the Christian faith.“
Pope Leo XIII, Militantis Ecclesiae (On St. Peter Canisius), August 1, 1897.