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The Life of St. Ignatius Loyola (in First Person)

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St. Ignatius Loyola

I am St. Ignatius Loyola the man who found the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. My original name is Inigo de Loyola and I was born in 1491 in a place called Azpeitia in the Basque province of Guipuzoa in northern Spain. I was the youngest of thirteen children. At the age of sixteen I became a servant for Juan Velazquez, the treasurer of the kingdom of Castile. I was considered a member of the Velazquez family so when ever Juan went to court I would go with him. In doing this I began to like court and any thing to deal with court, but I gained the biggest interest in the woman. I also began to like gambling; I liked it so much I became addicted to it. I was also very completive and was open to competing in anything-even sword fighting.

For the next decade or so I didn't really do much my life didn't progress at all till 1521 when I turned 30 and I was defending the fortress of the town of Pamplona against the French. We were starting to lose the battle we were out numbered and my head commander wanted to throw in the towel but I said "no" and convinced him to stay in the battle and fight. I wanted to fight for the honor of Spain, and not for the win. I was in the thick of the battle and "Wham" I got blasted by cannon ball breaking my leg and wounding the other. Because I was such a courageous leader the French soldiers carried me back to my home rather that prison so I could get better. They set my leg after it broke but it was not healing right so the doctors said they had to break it again with out any use of painkillers. I was told to prepare for my death but instead one day my health took a turn for the better. My leg did heal good but it was shorter than the other one so for the rest of my life I had to walk with a limp.

During the many, many, many weeks of recuperation I thought I was going to lose my mind out of boredom. So I asked for some romance novels to help my pass the time. There were no romance novels of any sort in the castle of Loyola; with my luck I did find a book called the Life of Christ. I also found a Book of Saints I also read. With the TV or video games a few centuries away I had to find something to do so I began to read Life of Christ and the Book of Saints. The more I read these books the more they drew me in. I also realized that they made me feel complete at the end of the day. This is what some call the beginning of my conversion. This is what also inspirited me to write Spiritual Exercises.

One day I decided to return to school I was 33 years old and through becoming very interested in Jesus and saints I wanted to become a priest. But I did not speak Latin so I had to go all the way back to grade school to learn Latin. After 8 semesters of taking Latin I finally learned it and went to the University of Alcala were I would always get in trouble for preaching the gospels and telling people how to pray. One time I was preaching and I was thrown in jail for 42 Days because I was preaching and I was not ordained. Because I could not stay out of trouble in Alcala I moved to Salamanca but yet again I was put in jail. This time I decided to go to Paris to preach maybe in a bigger place I will not be noticed so easily. Here I went to the UP (University of Paris) were I enrolled in Latin, philosophy and theology classes. When in Paris I roomed with to people who later became friends Francis Xavier and Peter Faber.



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