A Message on St. Ignatius Day
July 31 of this year marks the 400th anniversary of the conversion of Ignatius Loyola from worldly Spanish courtier and soldier, to apostle, mystic, saint and founder of the Society of Jesus - one of the largest religious orders in the world.
His Spiritual Exercises, born of his experience of discernment, of finding God in all things, are the foundation of Ignatian Spirituality which is as applicable today as it was then.
In their way of life the Jesuits did not celebrate daily Office in common, they were free from the restrictions of enclosure, did not wear a habit, and were not under the authority of the local bishop but through their Father General were ready to go wherever the Pope saw that they need was greatest.
It is not surprising that Mary Ward was inspired to "take the same as the Society" as she was grounded in Ignatian Spirituality both in England where Jesuits ministered in disguise during penal times, and in Europe where they became her spiritual directors.