Era of Reform Ignatius of Loyola
(c. 1491 - 1556)
Era of Reform

Founder of the Society of Jesus.

Ignatius of Loyola,
by Peter Paul Rubens

Son of a noble Spanish family, Ignatius of Loyola entered the military service as a young man. After sustaining a severe leg wound, Ignatius endured a difficult recovery during which he occupied himself with devotional reading. As a result of this experience, he undertook a lengthy retreat and experienced a profound illumination. Consequently he resolved to devote himself to the spiritual life and the ministry of the Gospel. Much of his program for the renewal of Christian ministry is contained in a manual he wrote for leaders of retreats, the Spiritual Exercises. Ignatius went on to gather a group of companions around himself and this became the nucleus of the Society of Jesus, one of the most energetic expressions of Roman Catholic reform.

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