St. Ignatius Loyola

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St. Ignatius Loyola

SOCIAL JUSTICE HEROSt. Ignatius LoyolaBorn: December 24, 1491 Died: July 31, 1556

Created By Molly Cogan

Catholic Social Justice Document "An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary, and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others…An evangelizing community is also supportive, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be. It is familiar with patient expectation and apostolic endurance. Evangelization consists mostly of patience and disregard for constraints of time." - Pope Francis, 2013Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”)

Living Out St. Ignatius' Work• To continue St. Ignatius’ work in creating just and loving relationships, Christians can bear witness to their faith and be soldiers for Christ in all that they do. We should strive to defend our faith in all situations and fight for social justice in our community; by doing so we can create numerous just and loving relationships within the people of society. In addition, by carrying out our mission in “God’s Army”, we can attain a more just and loving communion with God.• In our lives, we should strive to be more like the social justice hero, St. Ignatius. He fought for social justice throughout the world and dedicated his entire life to educating people about the Christian faith. We too must live out his mission and continue St. Ignatius’ work by teaching others of God’s presence by serving those in need and treating people with the dignity they deserve. In helping those less fortunate and respecting all life we can move one step closer to creating a just society that is essential to just and loving relationships with each other and God.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” - Ephesians 6:10-17

St. Ignatius' Life• In 1521, St. Ignatius Loyola, originally named Inigo Lopez de Loyola, shattered his right leg while defending the Spanish border fortress of Pamplona against the French artillery. During his long recovery, he experienced a period of conversion in which he chose to commit the remainder of his life to social justice. This conversion and Inigo’s choice to turn to God demonstrates God’s plan for human beings to be in a just and loving relationship with him. Clearly his period of conversion in which he fasted, did penance, and performed acts of charity substantiates that God called Inigo to transform and then follow him, thus forming a loving relationship between God and Inigo.• After Inigo’s conversion and commitment to live a life of social justice, he worked to create the Society of Jesus. Inigo collaborated with the members of the group, known as Jesuits, and sent them out into the world as “God’s Soldiers” to protect the Christian faith and to form communion with others in every nation. This phase in Inigo’s life as well as his commitment to serve alongside his brothers to promote social justice demonstrates God’s plan for just and loving relationships amongst all people throughout the world. • St. Ignatius’ cause was to go out in the world as a “Soldier for Christ”, thus protecting Christian beliefs and aiding the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine. As a member of “God’s Army”, St. Ignatius and the Jesuits of the Society of Jesus were committed to accepting orders anywhere and to endure any conditions in the face of social injustices. This cause corresponds to the foundational principles for a just society as taught in God’s Law because St. Ignatius and his men were ready to fight for social justice anywhere and at anytime. He would never step down from any mission that involved evangelizing and sharing the Christian faith with others. By teaching others of the Christian faith, he was supporting the foundational principles for a just society.• The motto of the Society of Jesus, as well as the cause of St. Ignatius’ mission throughout the world, is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, which means “For the greater glory of God. This cause clearly corresponds with the foundational principles that form a just society that was taught in God’s Law as well as reinforced by the prophets of the Old Testament. When every action and every work is performed for the glory of God alone, a society can become closer to the just and rightful community that God envisions for all of his people.• St. Ignatius dedicated his life to performing every action for the glory of God. He strived to convert nonbelievers to Christians by carrying out God’s mission throughout the world. Through this commitment to social justice, he shared God’s love and mercy with everyone he met. • St. Ignatius was chosen to be the Superior General of the Society of Jesus. In this period of his life, he encouraged others to join his mission of evangelization and social justice, thus motivating his fellow Jesuits to exhibit God’s saving mercy and love in all that they did. By bringing more people into the Church and teaching others of God’s justice, the everlasting love and forgiveness that pours from God the Father was made known to all of those who listened to St. Ignatius on his missions.• One of St. Ignatius’ major achievements was creating a compilation of meditations, prayers, and contemplative practices in the form of a book called the Spiritual Exercises. This important action in St. Ignatius’ life demonstrates that through prayer and actively participating in the Church, people can become in closer communion with God and more unified with the entire human race. His creation of the Spiritual Exercises not only helped people of his time see the Church as a sign and instrument of communion, but his wisdom and advice continues to be prevalent to Christians today who are striving to mend their relationships with God and with others.• Another vital action of St. Ignatius was when he created the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits of the Society of Jesus have led people to actively practice their faith and be committed to the Church, thus becoming in better communion with God and other people. Today, the Jesuits continue educating people throughout the world about the importance of God’s saving presence as well as the vitality of Christ’s mission here on Earth which is made known through the Church. The Jesuit Order carries on St. Ignatius’ mission today because of the actions he performed in his life for the greater glory of God.

“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” – St. Ignatius Loyola“Go forth and set the world on fire.”- St. Ignatius Loyola


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