For the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), Founder of the Society of Jesus, Pope Francis published this Tweet on July 31, 2019: “When he was a young soldier, Ignatius of Loyola, whom we commemorate today, thought of his own glory, then he was drawn to the glory of God, which gave meaning to his life.”
Ignatius of Loyola was born in Azpeitia, in the Spanish Basque country in 1491. He founded the Society of Jesus in Paris, France, on August 15, 1534. Pope Paul II approved the Society in 1540. Ignatius died in Rome on July 31, 1556. He rests in Rome’s church of the “Gesu” in honor of the Name of Jesus –, the first Jesuit church in the world.
The Jesuit Pope observes this feat every year in a particular way: since his election in 2013, he has celebrated Mass in private with some 250 Jesuits at the Gesu. Two days earlier, in the plane bringing him from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 29, 20013, he confided: “I feel myself a Jesuit in my spirituality, in the spirituality of the Exercises, in the spirituality I have in my heart.”
On July 30, 2016, Pope Francis met with the Polish Jesuit Community of Krakow, Poland. A week earlier, before leaving for the Polish World Youth Day, he lunched at the Jesuits’ General Curia in Rome, which he also did on July 31, 2017.