@GarySinise : “My Life is Better Because I Became Catholic.”

18 August 2014

We are big fans here at AlwaysCatholic.com of Gary Sinise. After watching this video and reading this post you will know why. We are proud to say that with over 445,000 followers on Twitter and following only 1100, @AlwaysCatholic is one of the 1,100.
We never quite understood why but after reading about his Catholic Faith, we understand and are grateful he follows us.

Published on You Tube at CatholicTV
Aug 7, 2014

Gary Sinise speaks about his Catholic faith and his foundation to care for our wounded warriors with Father Robert Reed and Kevin Nelson at the 2014 Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention.


Published at Aleteia
by Susan E. Wills

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise – actor, director, bass player, patriot, philanthropist and convert to Catholicism – was a surprise guest at the Knights of Columbus’ annual convention in Orlando earlier this month.

The person who was most surprised about being there may have been Gary Sinise himself. He confessed that “he and his family weren’t part of any religion” until his wife returned to her mother’s abandoned Catholic roots in 2000 and he subsequently slow-walked his way to Confirmation in 2010.

He recounted his initial shock and eventual support of his wife’s decision in an interview several years ago. He’d been filming in North Carolina when his wife, Moira, and three kids came for a visit, at the same time a hurricane was heading ashore. Figuring that flights would be grounded, he rented a car and drove them toward Charlotte through gale force winds, pounding rain and all-to-close lightning strikes. At one point Moira turned to him and announced that when she returned to Chicago, she was going back to the Catholic Church and the kids were going to attend Catholic schools. He was stunned and none too happy about the decision. The only knowledge he had of Catholic schools were the awful stories two friends had told him, friends who were also “guilt-ridden.” So he said something like “No! Are you crazy?”

But Moira did as she planned, enrolling in RCIA and enrolling the children in Catholic school. Two years later, at the Easter Vigil, she entered the Church. In the meantime, the school turned out to be the opposite of what he expected. He discovered that it was a great environment and became a big supporter. It was another 10 years before he crossed the Tiber, but it was 10 years filled with charitable activities.

Shortly after 9/11, he was “invited as a celebrity” to entertain the first responders and that led to his learning about heroes like Father Mychal Judge, a chaplain for the NY Fire Department who died while aiding victims of the attacks on the Twin Towers.

In 2003, Sinise co-founded “Operation Iraqi Children,” which over nine years supported the great work of American troops by gathering and donating supply school supplies and clothing to the children whose schools had been rebuilt by the troops. Donations included 358,763 School Supply Kits, thousands of boxes of stuffed animals, shoes and sports equipment, hundreds of boxes of shoes, clothes, supplies, food and hygiene items and toys.

It was during the 50 USO tours and 119 USO concerts for troops performed by Sinise’s band, the Lt.Dan Band, that he became passionate about helping America’s wounded veterans. His foundation embarked on the Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment (RISE) program. The goal is to build “smart homes” for the service members who were most seriously wounded.

In partnership with the Knights of Columbus, a former Army infantryman who lost both legs and one arm in a roadside explosion in Afghanistan, was able to move into a new high-tech home with his wife.

Sinise expressed gratitude for the Knights’ collaboration and for their years of “incredibly generous and voluminous charitable work and mission.”

Thank you to Aleitea, the Kof C and to Catholic TV for posting about this great Catholic American.

“The Little Church That Could…”

15 August 2014

This is my story of life at Mater Ecclesiae Roman Catholic Church. I have read certain Catholic bloggers who have recently ganged up against the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and their ridiculous claims that every Latin Mass group is uncharitable, unkind and possibly the worst Mass they had ever been to. Well, I steer clear of group religious blogsites that also have bloggers of every other faith contributing on a group site because I find most of the Catholic bloggers who write for these sites questionable in their real knowledge of Catholicism.

That being said, I have for a long time now wanted to tell the story of Mater Ecclesiae an all Latin Mass, all Sacraments according to the 1962 Missal Diocesan-run parish. I throw the challenge to any Catholic blogger who has a very narrow view of the Traditional Mass to make a pilgrimage to Mater Ecclesiae and then write your opinion.

From moment one when I started attending Mater Ecclesiae I was treated with such kindness, respect, friendship and charity. I continued to go to Mater Ecclesiae with gratitude and joy and became good friends with our pastor, Father Pasley and I came to know what a holy priest and good man he is. In addition, I came to know what a vibrant and loving congregation worshipped there.

Father Pasley loves his vocation. I once told him that he would have made a wonderful Catholic husband and father if he had been called to that vocation just based on how he treats his parish family and his priestly vocation. I think most people would find that strange but Father got what I meant.

ConsecrationThe thing about belonging to Mater Ecclesiae is that it becomes your family. It is not a place where people form a cult around the priest, it is a place where Father is our spiritual father and the parishioners our sisters and brothers. It reminds me of the Italian parish I grew up in on the Jersey Shore. The parish didnt have a parish council (THANK GOD) and all of us pitched in when the pastor asked us. Same at Mater Ecclesiae.

Mater Ecclesiae is a parish that remembers what was best about parish life and applies it to this century. It never gives in to the mood of the day but it services our needs as a family in these trying times. It gives us the best of the past with the best of what we NEED today! The greatest gift at Mater Ecclesiae is the vocations which keep coming forth!

Father Pasley is someone who emulates Our Lady in his Fiat, his obedience to the Lord and ultimately we, the Body of Christ benefits from his vocation and his obedience. It is just like the love of a father who would give his life for his family. This is the gift he gives us. This is the gift that given generously has caused Mater Ecclesiae to become a big family.

Mater Ecclesiae is a small place physically but like the loaves and the fishes there is enough for as many who come there. The Church itself seems to hold as many she can, no matter what. The beautiful hall named after Bishop Nicholas DeMarzio is a place of beauty lined with life-sized statues and soft colors and a top notch commercial kitchen all done by the generosity of the parishioners of this little Church, always seems to be large enough to hold as many as needed. The Padre Pio Gift Shop has all one could need for sacramentals and for spiritual enrichment with such a wide variety you would think it was as big as Costco.

This little Church that could has the heart of a basilica. It is a place of pilgrimage for all. Priests and seminarians already get that about Mater Ecclesiae. On any given weekend you will find seminarians helping Father by serving at the Altar or whatever the parish needs at the time. Many priests including our famous Father Z from the Internet and Father Benedict Groeschel have come to Mater Ecclesiae with the spirit of a pilgrim.

There are many more things I could tell you about this little Church, but what I will tell you is that if you ever get to the East Coast and the Philadelphia area, PLEASE make a pilgrimage to this holy place. You will be renewed in a way that is unexplainable until you go there.

Christmas and Easter are as if you are at the Vatican or the Holy Land. The liturgies, the music and presence of the Holy Spirit are felt at every moment. In the Fall there is the older devotion, 40 Hours which in itself alone worthy of a pilgrimage. On the social end, there are dinners, n, barbeques, Craft Fairs, plays and many more events that are worthy of a visit.

Most importantly, it is worthy of a visit to see how a real parish, a loving parish lives. It is a model parish with a model pastor (as my sister Mary once told me) and nothing could describe it better, this little Church that could…

God love you, Father Pasley and my sisters and brothers at Mater Ecclesiae! I am with you in spirit and not a day goes by that I don’t think of you all fondly and pray for all of you. I miss my joyful family at Mater Ecclesiae.

I have since moved to Wisconsin but I still consider myself a parishioner at Mater Ecclesiae. I have the country’s greatest Bishop here in Madison so I have been truly blessed. To have been part of the Mater Ecclesiae family has been such a gift. To now come to Madison WI to find the love of the Latin Mass by our Bishop keeps Mater Ecclesiae alive in my heart. If I had one wish, it would to be in Philadelphia today at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to be part of our thanksgiving celebration to Our Lady for Mater Ecclesiae’s very existence.

Below I have published info concerning Mater Ecclesiae’s Assumption Mass to be held tonight at 7 pm in Philadelphia. If you are in the area, please do not miss this.

It is truly a piece of Heaven on earth to be part of this Mass. If you haven’t yet experienced life at Mater Ecclesiae please try to make a pilgrimage there. It is very close to Philadelphia and one could combine it with a trip to see the historical sites in Philadelphia. Now that Pope Francis is planning to visit the City of Brotherly Love, make sure you get to Mater Ecclesiae after seeing the Holy Father.

In fact, somebody better let Pope Francis know about this little basilica in NJ, he would’t want to miss this jewel while he visits the United States.

From the Website of Mater Ecclesiae, Berlin, NJ

On October 13, 2000, Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio, Bishop of Camden, in the Jubilee Year, and on the anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, established Mater Ecclesiæ Roman Catholic Church within the Diocese.

We were established having no regional boundaries the way normal parishes do. This is in order to serve Catholics who feel an attachment to the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments according to the Roman Missal of 1962.

In 1988, Pope John Paul II in the binding Moto Proprio “Ecclesia Dei” encouraged a wide and generous application of the Traditional Latin Mass.

Mater Ecclesiae is the first canonically established Church owned and staffed by a Roman Catholic Diocese, that has been granted exclusive use of the Roman Missal Typical Edition of 1962.

The “Tridentine Mass” has been called “The Most Venerable Rite of Mass in all of Christianity” as well as “The Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven”.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate these Divine Mysteries at Mater Ecclesiae

Mater Ecclesiae

About the Rector

frPasleyFather Robert C. Pasley, KCHS, a native of the Diocese of Camden, was born on November 20, 1955 in Woodbury, NJ. He attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary College from 1974 to 1978 and received a BA in Philosophy. He then attended Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD from 1978 to 1982 and received an MA in Systematic Theology.

He was ordained by the Most Reverend George H. Guilfoyle in 1982. Father Pasley was stationed as a parish priest in Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Berlin, NJ, 1982-1984, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Cape May, NJ 1984-1987, Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Pennsville, NJ 1987-1990, and Sacred Heart, Mount Ephraim, NJ, 1990-1992. In 1992, he became a resident at St. John, Collingswood, NJ were he lived for the next 8 years.

In 1992, he was assigned to Paul VI High School, Haddon Township, NJ and taught all levels of Religion and reestablished a course in Latin. In 1996, he was transferred to Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill, NJ, were he taught Religion and French I.

In 1998 he was appointed Vice Principal of Academics and served in this post for two years. During his time at Camden Catholic, Father received an MA in Education from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.

On October, 13, 2000, he was appointed Rector, by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of the newly established Tridentine Parish of Mater Ecclesiae, Berlin, NJ. Mater Ecclesiae is the first, diocesan run Tridentine parish in the United States.

Father Pasley is also the Chaplain of the Church Music Association of America and attends the Sacred Music Colloquium that has been offered by the Association since 1990. He also serves on the faculty at the Colloquium. The Colloquium has been held at Christendom College, Front Royal, VA, Catholic University, Washington DC, Loyola University, Chicago, IL, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA and in 2012, for the first time, at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, Salt Lake City, UT. He also served as Vice President and a member of the board of directors of Sacred Music Magazine.

Father Pasley, along with Dr Timothy McDonnell, established the annual Mass of Thanksgiving on the Feast of the Assumption. This Mass features some of the greatest orchestral Masses ever composed for the Sacred Liturgy. Some Masses that have been used for the Assumption Mass are the Lord Nelson Mass of F.J. Haydn, the Missa Septem Dolorum of Carl H. Biber, The Mass in Bb Major of Franz Schubert and the Missa Brevis in C of W.A. Mozart. The Assumption Mass will take place this year on August 14, 7:00PM, at St Peter Church, Merchantville, NJ. The Mass setting will be the Mass in E minor by Anton Bruckner.

In the Diocese of Camden, Father Pasley was a member of the Presbyteral Council. He served as a county Pro-Life Chaplain, and as Chaplain to the Camden County Presidium of the Legion of Mary. He also served as a member of the Diocesan Marian Commission, the Diocesan Liturgical Commission and an assistant vocations director for recruitment.

In September of 2004, Father was installed as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, NY, by His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan. In September of 2010, Father was raised to the rank of Knight Commander, by His Excellency, now Cardinal, Timothy Dolan.

Father Pasley would like to thank Almighty God for the establishment of Mater Ecclesiae. He also acknowledges the maternal love and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This place is a living miracle where the Faith is vibrant and totally Catholic. It truly is a site of the New Evangelization, a place that would make Pope Benedict very proud. Father Pasley is honored and privileged to participate and serve at this wonderful parish.

Mater Ecclesiae’s 14th Annual Assumption Mass
by Fr. Robert C. Pasley, KCHS
Published at New Liturgical Movement 8.17.2014

As many of you know the 14th annual Assumption Mass was celebrated this year at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Even though Mater Ecclesiae is in the Diocese of Camden, across the Delaware river in New Jersey, we were privileged and honored to be given permission to bring this grand celebration to the historic Cathedral Basilica begun by Saint John Neumann. Special thanks are given to His Excellency, Archbishop Charles Chaput for giving permission and to Fr Dennis Gill, Rector of the Cathedral, for his support, kindness and wonderful hospitality.

Mater Ecclesiae Assumption Mass at altar

This celebration has become an anticipated spiritual event for the whole Delaware Valley and beyond. Parish groups came from Dioceses of Trenton, NJ, Allentown, PA, Wilmington, DE, Harrisburg, PA, Camden, NJ, and the Archdioceses of Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The Cathedral was full. The procession was filled with Knights of Columbus, Knights and Lady’s of the Holy Sepulchre, Members of the Sovereign order of Malta, members of the TFP, the Blessed Immelda Society, the Maidens of the Miraculous Medal, Altar servers from across the region, and seminarians and priests. The choir under the direction of Dr Timothy McDonnell, music department chair at Ave Maria University, and the Schola Cantorum, under the direction of Mr Nicholas Beck, music director at Mater Ecclesiae, prayed the music of the Mass flawlessly. A seventy two page booklet filled with descriptions, explanations, lists of donors and adds of patrons, prepared by Miss Barbara Rodio, was given out to the participants. Msgr Andrew Wadsworth, celebrant of the Mass, delivered a beautiful sermon on our Blessed Lady. It was a devout and grand celebration of Our Lady’s Assumption and a magnificent participation in the greatness of Catholic Culture.

For the rest of the post and more of the beautiful photos of this glorious Mass please click >HERE

Introducing “Go Forward & Make Some Noise” A Truly Catholic Blog

11 August 2014

11 August 2014 A.D.

Sometimes when I feel like the world just doesn’t want to “get it” and relishes in sin, I think about putting this blog to sleep. I look in the mirror and ask myself that this little blog doesn’t matter and I could be doing something more “fun”?

Most of the doubt comes from struggling with severe health issues most of the time.Don’t get me wrong. I never complain because go through pain and sickness is the Lord’s greatest gift to me. Health, money and most issues of life always came easy to me. I have done more things in my life than a thousand people will ever get the opportunity to do.

Because of that I am grateful for pain and sickness because it has slowed me down, forced me to live on a small budget and gratefully allowed me much time to pray and study our Faith.
Ironically I have more time to do things I never had time to do before: Knit, Have a flower and vegetable garden (small and on a balcony but just beautiful & the best tasting herbs and tomatoes ever!) sew and to play instruments I have neglected doing in my busy “worldly” years.

My life is more rich now through the lens of illness than I could ever have imagined. None the less, I get sad when I see so many people live a life of silliness and sin that I thought my blog was a waste of time.

10444737_1646888448869800_1760438559038629264_nJust when I was about to throw in the towel, I get this email:

Dear Sofia,

I just wanted to write to you and to all at AlwaysCatholic a quick note of thanks. Although I am from Milwaukee, I am a faithful follower of your blog and you inspired me to start my own. The title of my blog is Go Forward Make Noise and can be found at www.mkecatholic.blogspot.com. My blog’s intention is to energize and engage young adults within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as well as helping to promote events throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Please feel free to check out the blog and or Facebook page if you would like.

Thanks again for your witness to the Catholic faith and for inspiring me to want to bring others closer to Christ through the internet.

God Bless,

John Bender

Shaking my head I realize that God has a great sense of humor. so I go to Mr. Bender’s blog expecting I guess the run of the mill good Catholic blog. What I found when I got there was something very special. I started reading the posts and was moved by the authenticity of the faith of the writer. I was moved by how he allows the Holy Spirit to touch him in ways I don’t see very often.

Several of the posts affected me where I was moved to joyful tears.John Bender is the answer to my fears about the world. He is someone who loves God and the Catholic Faith before all else. He calmly accepts the fact that we all should also. He then reached out to us with that love and faith and touches our hearts. Read and see what I mean…

Alot of us (myself included love to teach and sometimes preach about the Faith) Alot of us love to think we are smarter than the Pope and the Magisterium (Me too) Very few bloggers have the humility that John Bender does… there are a few…Lisa Graas at LisaGraas.com, Sister Lisa Doty at Nunspeak, Nikita Unverzagt OP at The Unpaved Path and of course, Emmy Cecilia at Journey of a Catholic Nerdwriter there are certainly more but you get the idea…

John is this kind of blogger. It’s not about him and his Catholic celebrity. It’s not about selling out to a blog group that thinks they are the Magisterium and argues with every Catholic they can that they know better. It’s not about self-promotion for a speaker’s tour or to sell books. It’s about his role in doing the work of a Catholic- getting those around him to love God more than anything else.

I encourage to check in on this blog as much as possible and your spirits will be raised. You might also find an answer to something you are personally struggling with.What you will find, most definitely, is hope. John is a young man with a big heart and soul. He is the future of the Church. When I first read his posts I didn’t realize he was young. I was surprised when I saw his photo on Twitter. I smiled to myself and said to God,

YOU DO HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR! (in the best way ever!)

Thank you, John Bender and all the aforementioned bloggers for your love of God, the Catholic Faith, your humility and for sharing it with us.”

The blog: More about “Go Forward and Make Noise”:/
Please Like the facebook page at www.facebook.com/gofowardmakenoise
Follow John on twitter @johnny_bender23
Email: johnpaulbender23@yahoo.com

Novena to honor St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Carmelite Martyr at Auschwitz

1 August 2014


st Edith SteinEdith Stein, saintly Carmelite, profound philosopher and brilliant writer, had a great influence on the women of her time, and is having a growing influence in the intellectual and philosophical circles of today’s Germany and of the whole world. She is an inspiration to all Christians whose heritage is the Cross, and her life was offered for her own Jewish people in their sufferings and persecutions.

Born on October 12, 1891, of Jewish parents, Siegried Stein and Auguste Courant, in Breslau, Germany, Edith Stein from her earliest years showed a great aptitude for learning, and by the time of the outbreak of World War I, she had studied philology and philosophy at the universities of Breslau and Goettingen.

After the war, she resumed her higher studies at the University of Freiburg and was awarded her doctorate in philosophy Suma Cum Laude. She later became the assistant and collaborator of Professor Husserl, the famous founder of phenomenology, who greatly appreciated her brilliant mind.

In the midst of all her studies, Edith Stein was searching not only for the truth, but for Truth itself and she found both in the Catholic Church, after reading the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Avila. She was baptized on New Year’s Day, 1922.

After her conversion, Edith spent her days teaching, lecturing, writing and translating, and she soon became known as a celebrated philosopher and author, but her own great longing was for the solitude and contemplation of Carmel, in which she could offer herself to God for her people. It was not until the Nazi persecution of the Jews brought her public activities and her influence in the Catholic world to a sudden close that her Benedictine spiritual director gave his approval to her entering the Discalced Carmelie Nuns’ cloistered community at Cologne-Lindenthal on 14 October 1933. The following April, Edith received the Habit of Carmel and the religious name of “Teresia Benedicta ac Cruce,” and on Easter Sunday, 21 April 1935, she made her Profession of Vows.

When the Jewish persecution increased in violence and fanaticism, Sister Teresa Benedicta soon realized the danger that her presence was to the Cologne Carmel, and she asked and received permission to transfer to a foreign monastery. On the night of 31 December 1938, she secretly crossed the border into Holland where she was warmly received in the Carmel of Echt. There she wrote her last work, The Science of the Cross.

Her own Cross was just ahead of her, for the Nazis had invaded neutral Holland, and when the Dutch bishops issued a pastoral letter protesting the deportation of the Jews and the expulsion of Jewish children from the Catholic school system, the Nazis arrested all Catholics of Jewish extraction in Holland. Edith was taken from the Echt Carmel on 2 August 1942, and transported by cattle train to the death camp of Auschwitz, the conditions in the box cars being so inhuman that many died or went insane on the four day trip. She died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz on 9 August 1942.

st edith stein2We no longer seek her on earth, but with God Who accepted her sacrifice and will give its fruit to the people for whom she prayed, suffered, and died. In her own words: “Once can only learn the science of the Cross by feeling the Cross in one’s own person.” We can say that in the fullest sense of the word, Sister Teresa was “Benedicta a Cruce” — blessed by the Cross.

Pope John Paul II beatified Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross on 1 May 1987, and canonized her on 11 October 1998.

edithstein1Novena Of The Holy Spirit
by St. Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

Who are you, sweet light, that fills me
And illumines the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother’s hand,
And should you let go of me,
I would not know how to take another step.
You are the space
That embraces my being and buries it in yourself.
Away from you it sinks into the abyss
Of nothingness, from which you raised it to the light.
You, nearer to me than I to myself
And more interior than my most interior
And still impalpable and intangible
And beyond any name:
Holy Spirit eternal love!

Are you not the sweet manna
That from the Son’s heart
Overflows into my heart,
The food of angels and the blessed?
He who raised himself from death to life,
He has also awakened me to new life
From the sleep of death.
And he gives me new life from day to day,
And at some time his fullness is to stream through me,
Life of your life indeed, you yourself:
Holy Spirit eternal life!

Are you the ray
That flashes down from the eternal Judge’s throne
And breaks into the night of the soul
That had never known itself?
Mercifully relentlessly
It penetrates hidden folds.
Alarmed at seeing itself,
The self makes space for holy fear,
The beginning of that wisdom
That comes from on high
And anchors us firmly in the heights,
Your action,
That creates us anew:
Holy Spirit ray that penetrates everything!

Are you the spirit’s fullness and the power
By which the Lamb releases the seal
Of God’s eternal decree?
Driven by you
The messengers of judgment ride through the world
And separate with a sharp sword
The kingdom of light from the kingdom of night.
Then heaven becomes new and new the earth,
And all finds its proper place
Through your breath:
Holy Spirit victorious power!

Are you the master who builds the eternal cathedral,
Which towers from the earth through the heavens?
Animated by you, the columns are raised high
And stand immovably firm.
Marked with the eternal name of God,
They stretch up to the light,
Bearing the dome,
Which crowns the holy cathedral,
Your work that encircles the world:
Holy Spirit God’s molding hand!

Are you the one who created the unclouded mirror
Next to the Almighty’s throne,
Like a crystal sea,
In which Divinity lovingly looks at itself?
You bend over the fairest work of your creation,
And radiantly your own gaze
Is illumined in return.
And of all creatures the pure beauty
Is joined in one in the dear form
Of the Virgin, your immaculate bride:
Holy Spirit Creator of all!

Are you the sweet song of love
And of holy awe
That eternally resounds around the triune throne,
That weds in itself the clear chimes of each and every being?
The harmony,
That joins together the members to the Head,
In which each one
Finds the mysterious meaning of his being blessed
And joyously surges forth,
Freely dissolved in your surging:
Holy Spirit eternal jubilation!

We Are ALL Nazarenes: Join us to Support our Iraqi Christians TODAY!

1 August 2014

AUGUST 1st, 2014 Worldwide Day of Prayer and Adoration: Special schedule for online LIVE streaming of events throughout the day

Posted at Rorate Caeli

In solidarity with our Persecuted Brethren in Iraq and Syria

In solidarity with our Persecuted Brethren in Iraq and Syria

As we announced last week, [ today ] will be a Day of Adoration and Prayer around the world for the persecuted Christians of Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East. We know that it has spread from the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) to a great number of churches around the world. Please, try to take part in one of the many public acts of intercession for the safety of our brothers expelled from their homes and cities, maimed, and for consolation for the families of the many martyrs.

If you absolutely cannot go to one of these public acts, or to personal time of adoration before the Lord — and even if you do go, but have some spare time and wish to join others around the world on this special day, LiveMass.org offers an almost round-the-clock opportunity to do so.

The special live schedule for today is the following, beginning in a few hours in Fribourg, Switzerland all the way to evening adoration in Guadalajara, Mexico. The times are all in EDT (US/Canada Eastern Daylight Time). For GMT (UTC), add 4 hours; for London, UK and Ireland (Summer Time), add 5 hours; for Rome and most of the European Mainland (Summer Time), add 6 hours; for Eastern Australia, add 14 hours.

3:00 AM Low Mass from Fribourg, Switzerland followed by Holy Hour
9:00 AM Low Mass from Sarasota, Florida
12:30 PM Rebroadcast of early Mass and Holy Hour from Fribourg
6:30 PM Low Mass from Sarasota, followed by Holy Hour
8:00 PM Solemn Mass with veneration of relic from Guadalajara, Mexico
9:30 PM Holy Hour from Guadalajara
10:30 PM Vigil (Adoración Nocturna) before the Blessed Sacrament from Guadalajara*
* The Adoracion Nocturna will be broadcast until the Mass begins from Fribourg at 3 AM (ET).

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam – The Story of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

31 July 2014

Youngest son of Don Beltrán Yañez de Oñez y Loyola and Marina Saenz de Lieona y Balda (the name López de Recalde, though accepted by the Bollandist Father Pien, is a copyist’s blunder).

Born in 1491 at the castle of Loyola above Azpeitia in Guipuscoa; died at Rome, 31 July, 1556. The family arms are: per pale, or, seven bends gules (?vert) for Oñez; argent, pot and chain sable between two grey wolves rampant, for Loyola. The saint was baptized Iñigo, after St. Enecus (Innicus), Abbot of Oña: the name Ignatius was assumed in later years, while he was residing in Rome. For the saint’s genealogy, see Pérez (op. cit. below, 131); Michel (op. cit. below, II, 383); Polanco (Chronicon, I, 51646). For the date of birth cfr. Astráin, I, 3 S.
Conversion (1491-1521)

At an early age he was made a cleric. We do not know when, or why he was released from clerical obligations. He was brought up in the household of Juan Velásquez de Cuellar, contador mayor to Ferdinand and Isabella, and in his suite probably attended the court from time to time, though not in the royal service. This was perhaps the time of his greatest dissipation and laxity. He was affected and extravagant about his hair and dress, consumed with the desire of winning glory, and would seem to have been sometimes involved in those darker intrigues, for which handsome young courtiers too often think themselves licensed. How far he went on the downward course is still unproved. The balance of evidence tends to show that his own subsequent humble confessions of having been a great sinner should not be treated as pious exaggerations. But we have no details, not even definite charges. In 1517 a change for the better seems to have taken place; Velásquez died and Ignatius took service in the army. The turning-point of his life came in 1521. While the French were besieging the citadel of Pampeluna, a cannon ball, passing between Ignatius’ legs, tore open the left calf and broke the right shin (Whit-Tuesday, 20 May, 1521). With his fall the garrison lost heart and surrendered, but he was well treated by the French and carried on a litter to Loyola, where his leg had to be rebroken and reset, and afterwards a protruding end of the bone was sawn off, and the limb, having been shortened by clumsy setting, was stretched out by weights. All these pains were undergone voluntarily, without uttering a cry or submitting to be bound. But the pain and weakness which followed were so great that the patient began to fail and sink. On the eve of Sts. Peter and Paul, however, a turn for the better took place, and he threw off his fever.

Ignatius the GeneralSo far Ignatius had shown none but the ordinary virtues of the Spanish officer. His dangers and sufferings has doubtless done much to purge his soul, but there was no idea yet of remodelling his life on any higher ideals. Then, in order to divert the weary hours of convalescence, he asked for the romances of chivalry, his favourite reading, but there were none in the castle, and instead they brought him the lives of Christ and of the saints, and he read them in the same quasi-competitive spirit with which he read the achievements of knights and warriors. “Suppose I were to rival this saint in fasting, that one in endurance, that other in pilgrimages.” He would then wander off into thoughts of chivalry, and service to fair ladies, especially to one of high rank, whose name is unknown. Then all of a sudden, he became conscious that the after-effect of these dreams was to make him dry and dissatisfied, while the ideas of falling into rank among the saints braced and strengthened him, and left him full of joy and peace. Next it dawned on him that the former ideas were of the world, the latter God-sent; finally, worldly thoughts began to lose their hold, while heavenly ones grew clearer and dearer. One night as he lay awake, pondering these new lights, “he saw clearly”, so says his autobiography, “the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus”, at whose sight for a notable time he felt a reassuring sweetness, which eventually left him with such a loathing of his past sins, and especially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent to any carnal thought. His conversion was now complete. Everyone noticed that he would speak of nothing but spiritual things, and his elder brother begged him not to take any rash or extreme resolution, which might compromise the honour of their family.


Spiritual formation (1522-24)


When Ignatius left Loyola he had no definite plans for the future, except that he wished to rival all the saints had done in the way of penance. His first care was to make a general confession at the famous sanctuary of Montserrat, where, after three days of self-examination, and carefully noting his sins, he confessed, gave to the poor the rich clothes in which he had come, and put on garment of sack-cloth reaching to his feet. His sword and dagger he suspended at Our Lady’s altar, and passed the night watching before them. Next morning, the feast of the Annunciation, 1522, after Communion, he left the sanctuary, not knowing whither he went. But he soon fell in with a kind woman, Iñes Pascual, who showed him a cavern near the neighbouring town of Manresa, where he might retire for prayer, austerities, and contemplation, while he lived on alms. But here, instead of obtaining greater peace, he was consumed with the most troublesome scruples. Had he confessed this sin? Had he omitted that circumstance? At one time he was violently tempted to end his miseries by suicide, on which he resolved neither to eat nor to drink (unless his life was in danger), until God granted him the peace which he desired, and so he continued until his confessor stopped him at the end of the week. At last, however, he triumphed over all obstacles, and then abounded in wonderful graces and visions.

It was at this time, too, that he began to make notes of his spiritual experiences, notes which grew into the little book of “The Spiritual Exercises”. God also afflicted him with severe sicknesses, when he was looked after by friends in the public hospital; for many felt drawn towards him, and he requited their many kind offices by teaching them how to pray and instructing them in spiritual matters. Having recovered health, and acquired sufficient experience to guide him in his new life, he commenced his long-meditated migration to the Holy Land. From the first he had looked forward to it as leading to a life of heroic penance; now he also regarded it as a school in which he might learn how to realize clearly and to conform himself perfectly to Christ’s life. The voyage was fully as painful as he had conceived. Poverty, sickness, exposure, fatigue, starvation, dangers of shipwreck and capture, prisons, blows, contradictions, these were his daily lot; and on his arrival the Franciscans, who had charge of the holy places, commanded him to return under pain of sin. Ignatius demanded what right they had thus to interfere with a pilgrim like himself, and the friars explained that, to prevent many troubles which had occurred in finding ransoms for Christian prisoners, the pope had given them the power and they offered to show him their Bulls. Ignatius at once submitted, though it meant altering his whole plan of life, refused to look at the proferred Bulls, and was back at Barcelona about March, 1524.
Studies and companions (1521-39)

Ignatius left Jerusalem in the dark as to his future and “asking himself as he went, quid agendum” (Autobiography, 50). Eventually he resolved to study, in order to be of greater help to others. To studies he therefore gave eleven years, more than a third of his remaining life. Later he studied among school-boys at Barcelona, and early in 1526 he knew enough to proceed to his philosophy at the University of Alcalá. But here he met with many troubles to be described later, and at the end of 1527 he entered the University of Salamanca, whence, his trials continuing, he betook himself to Paris (June, 1528), and there with great method repeated his course of arts, taking his M.A. on 14 March, 1535. Meanwhile theology had been begun, and he had taken the licentiate in 1534; the doctorate he never took, as his health compelled him to leave Paris in March, 1535. Though Ignatius, despite his pains, acquired no great erudition, he gained many practical advantages from his course of education. To say nothing of knowledge sufficient to find such information as he needed afterwards to hold his own in the company of the learned, and to control others more erudite than himself, he also became thoroughly versed in the science of education, and learned by experience how the life of prayer and penance might be combined with that of teaching and study, an invaluable acquirement to the future founder of the Society of Jesus. The labours of Ignatius for others involved him in trials without number. At Barcelona, he was beaten senseless, and his companion killed, at the instigation of some worldlings vexed at being refused entrance into a convent which he had reformed. At Alcalá, a meddlesome inquisitor, Figueroa, harassed him constantly, and once automatically imprisoned him for two months. This drove him to Salamanca, where, worse still, he was thrown into the common prison, fettered by the foot to his companion Calisto, which indignity only drew from Ignatius the characteristic words, “There are not so many handcuffs and chains in Salamanca, but that I desire even more for the love of God.”

In Paris his trials were very varied — from poverty, plague, works of charity, and college discipline, on which account he was once sentenced to a public flogging by Dr. Govea, the rector of Collège Ste-Barbe, but on his explaining his conduct, the rector as publicly begged his pardon. There was but one delation to the inquisitors, and, on Ignatius requesting a prompt settlement, the Inquisitor Ori told him proceedings were therewith quashed.

We notice a certain progression in Ignatius’ dealing with accusations against him. The first time he allowed them to cease without any pronouncement being given in his favour. The second time he demurred at Figueroa wanting to end in this fashion. The third time, after sentence had been passed, he appealed to the Archbishop of Toledo against some of its clauses. Finally he does not await sentence, but goes at once to the judge to urge an inquiry, and eventually he made it his practice to demand sentence, whenever reflection was cast upon his orthodoxy. (Records of Ignatius’ legal proceedings at Azpeitia, in 1515; at Alcal´ in 1526, 1527; at Venice, 1537; at Rome in 1538, will be found in “Scripta de S. Ignatio”, pp. 580-620.) Ignatius had now for the third time gathered companions around him. His first followers in Spain had persevered for a time, even amid the severe trials of imprisonment, but instead of following Ignatius to Paris, as they had agreed to do, they gave him up. In Paris too the first to follow did not persevere long, but of the third band not one deserted him. They were (St.) Peter Faber, a Genevan Savoyard; (St.) Francis Xavier, of Navarre; James Laynez, Alonso Salmerón, and Nicolás Bobadilla, Spaniards; Simón Rodríguez, a Portuguese. Three others joined soon after — Claude Le Jay, a Genevan Savoyard; Jean Codure and Paschase Broët, French. Progress is to be noted in the way Ignatius trained his companions. The first were exercised in the same severe exterior mortifications, begging, fasting, going barefoot, etc., which the saint was himself practising. But though this discipline had prospered in a quiet country place like Manresa, it had attracted an objectionable amount of criticism at the University of Alcalá. At Paris dress and habits were adapted to the life in great towns; fasting, etc., was reduced; studies and spiritual exercises were multiplied, and alms funded.

The only bond between Ignatius’ followers so far was devotion to himself, and his great ideal of leading in the Holy Land a life as like as possible to Christ’s. On 15 August, 1534, they took the vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre (probably near the modern Chapelle de St-Denys, Rue Antoinette), and a third vow to go to the Holy Land after two years, when their studies were finished. Six months later Ignatius was compelled by bad health to return to his native country, and on recovery made his way slowly to Bologna, where, unable through ill health to study, he devoted himself to active works of charity till his companions came from Paris to Venice (6 January, 1537) on the way to the Holy Land. Finding further progress barred by the war with the Turks, they now agreed to await for a year the opportunity of fulfilling their vow, after which they would put themselves at the pope’s disposal. Faber and some others, going to Rome in Lent, got leave for all to be ordained. They were eventually made priests on St. John Baptist’s day. But Ignatius took eighteen months to prepare for his first Mass.

Foundation of the society

By the winter of 1537, the year of waiting being over, it was time to offer their services to the pope. The others being sent in pairs to neighboring university towns, Ignatius with Faber and Laynez started for Rome. At La Storta, a few miles before reaching the city, Ignatius had a noteworthy vision. He seemed to see the Eternal Father associating him with His Son, who spoke the words: Ego vobis Romae propitius ero. Many have thought this promise simply referred to the subsequent success of the order there. Ignatius’ own interpretation was characteristic: “I do not know whether we shall be crucified in Rome; but Jesus will be propitious.” Just before or just after this, Ignatius had suggested for the title of their brotherhood “The Company of Jesus”. Company was taken in its military sense, and in those days a company was generally known by its captain’s name. In the Latin Bull of foundation, however, they were called “Societas Jesu”. We first hear of the term Jesuit in 1544, applied as a term of reproach by adversaries. It had been used in the fifteenth century to describe in scorn someone who cantingly interlarded his speech with repetitions of the Holy Name. In 1522 it was still regarded as a mark of scorn, but before very long the friends of the society saw that they could take it in a good sense, and, though never used by Ignatius, it was readily adopted (Pollen, “The Month”, June, 1909). Paul III having received the fathers favourably, all were summoned to Rome to work under the pope’s eyes. At this critical moment an active campaign of slander was opened by one Fra Matteo Mainardi (who eventually died in open heresy), and a certain Michael who had been refused admission to the order. It was not till 18 November, 1538, that Ignatius obtained from the governor of Rome an honourable sentence, still extent, in his favour. The thoughts of the fathers were naturally occupied with a formula of their intended mode of life to submit to the pope; and in March, 1539, they began to meet in the evenings to settle the matter.

ignatiusHitherto without superior, rule or tradition, they had prospered most remarkably. Why not continue as they had begun? The obvious answer was that without some sort of union, some houses for training postulants, they were practically doomed to die out with the existing members, for the pope already desired to send them about as missioners from place to place. This point was soon agreed to, but when the question arose whether they should, by adding a vow of obedience to their existing vows, form themselves into a compact religious order, or remain, as they were, a congregation of secular priests, opinions differed much and seriously. Not only had they done so well without strict rules, but (to mention only one obstacle, which was in fact not overcome afterwards without great difficulty), there was the danger, if they decided for an order, that the pope might force them to adopt some ancient rule, which would mean the end of all their new ideas. The debate on this point continued for several weeks, but the conclusion in favour of a life under obedience was eventually reached unanimously. After this, progress was faster, and by 24 June some sixteen resolutions had been decided on, covering the main points of the proposed institute. Thence Ignatius drew up in five sections the first “Formula Instituti”, which was submitted to the pope, who gave a viva voce approbation 3 September, 1539, but Cardinal Guidiccioni, the head of the commission appointed to report on the “Formula”, was of the view that a new order should not be admitted, and with that the chances of approbation seemed to be at an end. Ignatius and his companions, undismayed, agreed to offer up 4000 Masses to obtain the object desired, and after some time the cardinal unexpectedly changed his mind, approved the “Formula” and the Bull “Regimini militantis Ecclesiae” (27 September, 1540), which embodies and sanctions it, was issued, but the members were not to exceed sixty (this clause was abrogated after two years). In April, 1541, Ignatius was, in spite of his reluctance, elected the first general, and on 22 April he and his companions made their profession in St. Paul Outside the Walls. The society was now fully constituted.

The book of the spiritual exercises

This work originated in Ignatius’ experiences, while he was at Loyola in 1521, and the chief meditations were probably reduced to their present shapes during his life at Manresa in 1522, at the end of which period he had begun to teach them to others. In the process of 1527 at Salamanca, they are spoken of for the first time as the “Book of Exercises”. The earliest extant text is of the year 1541. At the request of St. Francis Borgia. The book was examined by papal censors and a solemn approbation given by Paul III in the Brief “Pastoralis Officii” of 1548. “The Spiritual Exercises” are written very concisely, in the form of a handbook for the priest who is to explain them, and it is practically impossible to describe them without making them, just as it might be impossible to explain Nelson’s “Sailing Orders” to a man who knew nothing of ships or the sea. The idea of the work is to help the exercitant to find out what the will of God is in regard to his future, and to give him energy and courage to follow that will. The exercitant (under ideal circumstances) is guided through four weeks of meditations: the first week on sin and its consequences, the second on Christ’s life on earth, the third on his passion, the fourth on His risen life; and a certain number of instructions (called “rules”, “additions”, “notes”) are added to teach him how to pray, how to avoid scruples, how to elect a vocation in life without being swayed by the love of self or of the world. In their fullness they should, according to Ignatius’ idea, ordinarily be made once or twice only; but in part (from three to four days) they may be most profitably made annually, and are now commonly called “retreats”, from the seclusion or retreat from the world in which the exercitant lives. More popular selections are preached to the people in church and are called “missions”. The stores of spiritual wisdom contained in the “Book of Exercises” are truly astonishing, and their author is believed to have been inspired while drawing them up. (See also next section.) Sommervogel enumerates 292 writers among the Jesuits alone, who have commented on the whole book, to say nothing of commentators on parts (e.g. the meditations), who are far more numerous still. But the best testimony to the work is the frequency with which the exercises are made. In England (for which alone statistics are before the writer) the educated people who make retreats number annually about 22,000, while the number who attend popular expositions of the Exercises in “missions” is approximately 27,000, out of a total Catholic population of 2,000,000.
The constitutions of the society

Ignatius was commissioned in 1541 to draw them up, but he did not begin to do so until 1547, having occupied the mean space with introducing customs tentatively, which were destined in time to become laws. In 1547 Father Polanco became his secretary, and with his intelligent aid the first draft of the constitutions was made between 1547 and 1550, and simultaneously pontifical approbation was asked for a new edition of the “Formula”. Julius III conceded this by the Bull “Exposcit debitum”, 21 July, 1550. At the same time a large number of the older fathers assembled to peruse the first draft of the constitutions, and though none of them made any serious objections, Ignatius’ next recension (1552) shows a fair amount of changes. This revised version was then published and put into force throughout the society, a few explanations being added here and there to meet difficulties as they arose. These final touches were being added by the saint up till the time of his death, after which the first general congregation of the society ordered them to be printed, and they have never been touched since. The true way of appreciating the constitutions of the society is to study them as they are carried into practice by the Jesuits themselves, and for this, reference may be made to the articles on the SOCIETY OF JESUS. A few points, however, in which Ignatius’ institute differed from the older orders may be mentioned here. They are:

ignatius the teacherthe vow not to accept ecclesiastical dignities;
increased probations. The novitiate is prolonged from one year to two, with a third year, which usually falls after the priesthood. Candidates are moreover at first admitted to simple vows only, solemn vows coming much later on;

the Society does not keep choir;
it does not have a distinctive religious habit;
it does not accept the direction of convents;
it is not governed by a regular triennial chapter;
it is also said to have been the first order to undertake officially and by virtue of its constitutions active works such as the following:
foreign missions, at the pope’s bidding;
the education of youth of all classes;
the instruction of the ignorant and the poor;
ministering to the sick, to prisoners, etc.

The above points give no conception of the originality with which Ignatius has handled all parts of his subject, even those common to all orders. It is obvious that he must have acquired some knowledge of other religious constitutions, especially during the years of inquiry (1541-1547), when he was on terms of intimacy with religious of every class. But witnesses, who attended him, tell us that he wrote without any books before him except the Missal. Though his constitutions of course embody technical terms to be found in other rules, and also a few stock phrases like “the old man’s staff”, and “the corpse carried to any place”, the thought is entirely original, and would seem to have been God-guided throughout. By a happy accident we still possess his journal of prayers for forty days, during which he was deliberating the single point of poverty in churches. It shows that in making up his mind he was marvelously aided by heavenly lights, intelligence, and visions. If, as we may surely infer, the whole work was equally assisted by grace, its heavenly inspiration will not be doubtful. The same conclusion is probable true of “The Spiritual”.


Later life and death

The later years of Ignatius were spent in partial retirement, the correspondence inevitable in governing the Society leaving no time for those works of active ministry which in themselves he much preferred. His health too began to fail. In 1551, when he had gathered the elder fathers to revise the constitutions, he laid his resignation of the generalate in their hands, but they refused to accept it then or later, when the saint renewed his prayer. In 1554 Father Nadal was given the powers of vicar-general, but it was often necessary to send him abroad as commissary, and in the end Ignatius continued, with Polanco’s aid, to direct everything. With most of his first companions he had to part soon. Rodríguez started on 5 March, 1540, for Lisbon, where he eventually founded the Portuguese province, of which he was made provincial on 10 October, 1546. St. Francis Xavier followed Rodríguez immediately, and became provincial of India in 1549. In September, 1541, Salmeron and Broet started for their perilous mission to Ireland, which they reached (via Scotland) next Lent. But Ireland, the prey to Henry VIII’s barbarous violence, could not give the zealous missionaries a free field for the exercise of the ministries proper to their institute. All Lent they passed in Ulster, flying from persecutors, and doing in secret such good as they might. With difficulty they reached Scotland, and regained Rome, Dec., 1542. The beginnings of the Society in Germany are connected with St. Peter Faber, Blessed Peter Canisius, Le Jay, and Bobadilla in 1542. In 1546 Laynez and Salmeron were nominated papal theologians for the Council of Trent, where Canisius, Le Jay, and Covillon also found places. In 1553 came the picturesque, but not very successful mission of Nuñez Barretto as Patriarch of Abyssinia. For all these missions Ignatius wrote minute instructions, many of which are still extant. He encouraged and exhorted his envoys in their work by his letters, while the reports they wrote back to him form our chief source of information on the missionary triumphs achieved. Though living alone in Rome, it was he who in effect led, directed, and animated his subjects all the world over.

The two most painful crosses of this period were probably the suits with Isabel Roser and Simón Rodríguez. The former lady had been one of Ignatius’ first and most esteemed patronesses during his beginnings in Spain. She came to Rome later on and persuaded Ignatius to receive a vow of obedience to him, and she was afterwards joined by two or three other ladies. But the saint found that the demands they made on his time were more than he could possibly allow them. “They caused me more trouble”, he is reported to have said, “than the whole of the Society”, and he obtained from the pope a relaxation of the vow he had accepted. A suit with Roser followed, which she lost, and Ignatius forbade his sons hereafter to become ex officio directors to convents of nuns (Scripta de S. Ignatio, pp. 652-5). Painful though this must have been to a man so loyal as Ignatius, the difference with Rodríguez, one of his first companions, must have been more bitter still. Rodríguez had founded the Province of Portugal, and brought it in a short time to a high state of efficiency. But his methods were not precisely those of Ignatius, and, when new men of Ignatius’ own training came under him, differences soon made themselves felt. A struggle ensued in which Rodríguez unfortunately took sides against Ignatius’ envoys. The results for the newly formed province were disastrous. Well-nigh half of its members had to be expelled before peace was established; but Ignatius did not hesitate. Rodriguez having been recalled to Rome, the new provincial being empowered to dismiss him if he refused, he demanded a formal trial, which Ignatius, foreseeing the results, endeavoured to ward off. But on Simón’s insistence a full court of inquiry was granted, whose proceedings are now printed and it unanimously condemned Rodriguez to penance and banishment from the province (Scripta etc., pp. 666-707). Of all his external works, those nearest his heart, to judge by his correspondence, were the building and foundation of the Roman College (1551), and of the German College (1552). For their sake he begged, worked, and borrowed with splendid insistence until his death. The success of the first was ensured by the generosity of St. Francis Borgia, before he entered the Society. The latter was still in a struggling condition when Ignatius died, but his great ideas have proved the true and best foundation of both.

In the summer of 1556 the saint was attacked by Roman fever. His doctors did not foresee any serious consequences, but the saint did. On 30 July, 1556, he asked for the last sacraments and the papal blessing, but he was told that no immediate danger threatened. Next morning at daybreak, the infirmarian found him lying in peaceful prayer, so peaceful that he did not at once perceive that the saint was actually dying. When his condition was realized, the last blessing was given, but the end came before the holy oils could be fetched. Perhaps he had prayed that his death, like his life, might pass without any demonstration. He was beatified by Paul V on 27 July, 1609, and canonized by Gregory XV on 22 May, 1622. His body lies under the altar designed by Pozzi in the Gesù. Though he died in the sixteenth year from the foundation of the Society, that body already numbered about 1000 religious (of whom, however, only 35 were yet professed) with 100 religious houses, arranged in 10 provinces. (Sacchini, op. cit. infra., lib. 1, cc. i, nn. 1-20.) For his place in history see COUNTER-REFORMATION. It is impossible to sketch in brief Ignatius’ grand and complex character: ardent yet restrained, fearless, resolute, simple, prudent, strong, and loving. The Protestant and Jansenistic conception of him as a restless, bustling pragmatist bears no correspondence at all with the peacefulness and perseverance which characterized the real man. That he was a strong disciplinarian is true. In a young and rapidly growing body that was inevitable; and the age loved strong virtues. But if he believed in discipline as an educative force, he despised any other motives for action except the love of God and man. It was by studying Ignatius as a ruler that Xavier learnt the principle, “the company of Jesus ought to be called the company of love and conformity of souls”. (Ep., 12 Jan., 1519).

Reference: Catholic Encyclopedia

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