July 31                                                                                                Patron of:
IGNATIUS of Loyola was a soldier. His leg was badly broken. Three times he had it set, even though he suffered great pain, because he wanted to march and dance again.
As he lay ill in a castle, he picked up a book on the Lives of the Saints and started to read. He became interested and wondered if he could do what the saints had done.

When he left the castle, he went to confession. For almost a year he lived in a cave on the banks of a river.  He fasted, prayed and took care of the poor and the sick.

In Barcelona, Spain, he entered school.  He was thirty-five years old. In Paris he started, with his first five followers, the Society of Jesus. This was the beginning of the Jesuit Order. Schools, preaching, retreats, missionary work any work was to be their work, especially at a time when many were falling away from the Church.  Even in America his men began teaching the Faith to the Indians. They would do whatever the Holy Father wished.
For fifteen years, Ignatius directed the work of his Society. Almost totally blind, he died at the age of 65 on July 31, 1556.

O God, You raised up St. Ignatius in Your Church to inspire men to great work for Your greater glory.  Grant that we may labor on earth with his help and after his example and merit to be crowned with him in heaven.

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