Another 'St. Ignatius'

Letter No. 259 | April 10, 2001


At first, I thought I had ensnared you with your reference to St. Ignatius; however, my "Book of Saints"does cite a St. Ignatius of Antioch who suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Romans when they fed him to the lions in an amphitheater around 107 A.D. People should invoke his aid when they feel overwhelmed by an unpleasant situation, as happens on many occasions in a person's lifetime. My "Saints" book also cites a lesser know saint, St. Ignatius of Laconi, who lived from 1701 to 1781, and helped the sufferings of the poor in Italy.

The best known is St. Ignatius of Loyola, who lived from 1491 to 1556. He is the famous founder of the Jesuits or Society of Jesus, an order of Catholic priests and brothers who mostly teach and are oftentimes accused of being too liberal for a Catholic organization. On occasion, Pope John Paul II has admonished them to follow more closely the strict teachings of the Catholic Church.

St. Ignatius of Loyola was a soldier who was wounded at Pamplona, Spain, but that was before they introduced the celebrated bulls; therefore, the bulls didn't cause his injury. He was struck by a cannon ball in the leg at Pamplona in a battle with the French, and that made him a cripple for the rest of his life. While recovering from his wounds, he read the only books available at the hospital, which were about Jesus and the saints. The books made a deep impression on him and caused him to follow in the footsteps of these saints, to achieve becoming a saint himself. Today his followers, the Society of Jesus, are known for being profound teachers and educators at high schools and colleges, and retreat houses throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

Frank Charney

Webmaster's note: Thanks. Frank, you make a good point. I was aware that St. Ignatius of Loyola is the best known "St. Ignatius," so should have specified St. Ignatius of Antioch.


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  Jon Kennedy 2001