Feast Day: July 31
Patron: Spiritual Retreats and Exercises
Info: Ignatius was born in Spain to a noble family and was the youngest of thirteen children. He joined the military. It was while recovering from a leg wound that he read the Bible and became impressed not only by Jesus, but those who followed Him.
There are two things that Ignatius Loyola is known for. One is founding the Jesuits order in 1534 at the age of 45. Other founding members included St. Francis Xavier and Peter Favre. The Jesuits (also known as the Society of Jesus) did not adopt their name until 1537, when Loyola became ordained as a priest. It was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. The Jesuits are now a worldwide organization.
His second noteworthy item was his writing of Spiritual Exercises, which he wrote while on retreat most likely in the year 1522 or 1523. These Exercises are practiced by meditating on sacred mysteries. These exercises are still practiced today by priests and those on retreats.