Universalis
Thursday 31 July 2014    (other days)
Saint Ignatius Loyola, Priest
 (Thursday of week 17 in Ordinary Time)

Christ is the chief shepherd, the leader of his flock: come, let us adore him

Year: A(II). Psalm week: 1.

St Ignatius Loyola (1491 - 1556)
Ignatius (or Iñigo) was born in Loyola in the Spanish Basque country. He was a soldier, but was wounded in the battle of Pamplona (against the French) at the age of 30. During a long convalescence he read a life of Christ and a collection of lives of the saints, and discovered that his true vocation was to devote his life wholly to God. He was as systematic about this as he had been about his military career: he spent a year’s retreat in a Dominican friary, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and then set about learning Latin.
  Such enthusiasm in a layman caused grave suspicion in the Spanish authorities, and he was questioned and imprisoned more than once. He moved to Paris in 1528 and continued his studies; and then in 1534 Ignatius and six companions bound themselves to become missionaries to the Muslims in Palestine. By the time they were ready to set out, war made the journey impossible and so the group (now numbering ten) offered their services to the Pope in any capacity he might choose. A number of them were duly ordained and they were all assigned to various tasks.
  Soon it was proposed that they should organise themselves into a regular religious order, and in 1540 the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) was formed. Ignatius was the first Superior General until his death. Soon after their foundation the Jesuits began to meet the challenge of the Reformation: a tough task, given the debilitated state into which the Church had fallen, but one which, as Ignatius said, had to be undertaken “without hard words or contempt for people’s errors”.
  Ignatius had a gift for inspiring friendship, and was the recipient of deep spiritual insight. Soon after his conversion Ignatius wrote the Spiritual Exercises, a systematic step-by-step retreat that can be followed by anyone – and has been followed by many, not all of them Catholics, ever since.
  See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia. One of our readers has also recommended this site for the Spiritual Exercises.
Other saints: St Justin de Jacobis (1800 - 1860)
Justin was born in Italy in 1800. He joined the Vincentians (Lazarists) and later was sent to Abyssinia (Ethiopia-Eritrea) as a missionary. He studied the local language and culture and slowly developed a special love for the Abyssinian traditions which he used in his missionary ministry. Made bishop in 1849, De Jacobis worked hard for the formation of the Catholic Church, establishing a seminary together with Blessed Ghebre Michael, and ordaining several priests. He died in Eritrea on 31 July 1860. His missionary methodology, rooted in inculturation, is both a legacy and a challenge for missionaries today.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Amos 4:13 ©
He it was who formed the mountains, created the wind, reveals his mind to man, makes both dawn and dark, and walks on the top of the heights of the world; the Lord, the God of Hosts, is his name.

Noon reading (Sext)Amos 5:8 ©
He made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns the dusk to dawn and day to darkest night. He summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the land. ‘The Lord’ is his name.

Afternoon reading (None)Amos 9:6 ©
He has built his high dwelling place in the heavens and supported his vault on the earth; he summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the land. ‘The Lord’ is his name.

Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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