† The youngest born to a noble family, one of 11 children (3 girls and 8 boys).
† He became a soldier like most of the men of his family and was badly injured in the leg when he was 30.
† He had a remarkable conversion while he was stuck in bed healing after reading about the life of Christ and various Saints. It brought him to tears of repentance and gave him a new direction and purpose.
† By 1522, he was determined to become a saint.
† He went on a pilgrimage and confessed his sins at the destination, a Benedictine monastery. There he put down his sword and dedicated himself as a Knight for the Blessed Virgin.
† He lived in a cave for a year, doing penance and praying, and developed spiritual exercises at that time, the Spiritual Exercises.
† He went to Rome, then Jerusalem, living purely on alms, trying to convert the Muslims.
† The Franciscans, because they were worried for his life, prodded him to return toBarcelona.
† It was there that he decided he needed to work on a university education. During that time, he spent hours educating children about the faith, begged for his livelihood, helped people in hospices, and reprehended people with gentleness which caused the conversions of some very notorious people. The bishop was always suspicious of his activities and even had him imprisoned at one point for over a month. He decided to continue his studies inParis, walking on foot all the way there. Three other men went with him. After 11 years, when he was 43, he received a Master of Arts degree.
† He formed the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), who took vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience to the Magesterium, from several of the men who were gathering with him. They were “united in fighting against falsehood and vice under the standard of Christ.” They were ordained inRome.
† The order concentrated on educating priests both spiritually and intellectually.
† They also helped new converts learn the faith, helped make homes for women who wanted to reform their lives, and built colleges.
† After fifteen years of building and directing this new order, there were about 1,000 members in 9 countries spreading across Europe and abroad.
- He died suddenly in 1556.
- see “Authentic Masculinity, Lived” for references