"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

Ignatiu500: Selected Letters and Instructions of St Ignatius of Loyola


In July 1521, a 29-year-old Basque knight, named Iñigo was brought home to recuperate after his watershed cannonball experience in the battle of Pamplona. The wounds on his lower limbs led to the first long lockdown in his life, about nine months, during which he read a life of Christ and a book on the lives of the saints, the only reading matter the Loyola castle afforded. He also killed time by recalling tales of martial valour and by day-dreaming about a great lady who captured his heart. Later when he was out of mortal danger, his attention was centered on the saints. This profoundly moved and attracted him that soon after he had barely recovered he resolved to do something about his many sins. To fulfill this he must embark on a journey towards spiritual awakening, this time as Ignatius (Ignacio), the man who followed the holy austerities of the saints, e.g. Francis of Assisi and Dominic, that God sent as his first spiritual guides.

8thWorker features the selected letters and instructions of St Ignatius of Loyola compiled with commentaries and footnotes by Joseph N. Tylenda SJ (Woodstock Theological Library, Gregorian University). Click IGNATIU500 link on the menu above and then click LABELS found at the bottom of the webpage to see the index of names [N] and topics [T] for your easy navigation.

There is an old proverb that says 'all journeys begin from a single step'. To faithfully relive any journey, we must consider how the first crucial step came about, i.e. its before, during and after. In a letter circulated to the entire Society of Jesus on 27th September 2019, Fr Arturo Sosa SJ, 31st General Superior, declared an Ignatian Year from 20th May 2021, the 500th anniversary (Quincentenary) of Ignatius’ injury during the battle of Pamplona, to 31st July 2022, the solemn feast of St Ignatius which is also the 400th year (Quadricentennial) of his sainthood. Fr Sosa writes, “It is my desire that at the heart of this Ignatian Year we would hear the Lord calling us, and we would allow him to work our conversion inspired by the personal experience of Ignatius.”