Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola – Wednesday, July 31

Today’s Readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. St. Ignatius lived about 400 years ago, a time when a lot of people were not being obedient to God and to His Church.

Ignatius was a soldier from the country of Spain. During a battle, he was hit by a cannonball, which shattered his leg. So of course he had to spend a lot of time in the hospital to recover. He liked to read adventure books, but the people in charge couldn’t find any books like that, so they gave him a book of the lives of the saints to read instead. And as Ignatius read that book, he found the lives of the saints more interesting than his own life, and he realized that up until then, he had not been obedient to God. Ignatius realized that God had a certain plan for him to follow.

Much later, after spending many years in prayer by himself, and many years studying in schools all around Europe, Ignatius felt that he was ready to begin doing special work for God. He founded a new religious order called the Society of Jesus, whose members, called Jesuits, made a special promise to God. They made four promises to God, and the fourth promise was a promise to be obedient to the Holy Father, the pope, doing whatever he asked them to do.

Immediately the pope asked the Jesuits to begin traveling throughout the world to teach the Catholic faith, and this is what they did. Today, there are Catholics in many parts of the world who were first taught the Faith by the Jesuits, and Jesuits today continue to have a special job in schools all over the world of teaching the Faith that Jesus gave us, and that the pope and the bishops of the world explain to us

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