Saint Ignatius of Loyola, whose feast we celebrate today, had one of those stupendous conversions from worldliness to sanctity that should inspire us to quit worldliness once and for all.
Saint Ignatius, wounded in a military battle, was given to read a Life of Christ and The Lives of the Saints, which inspired him to transform his zeal as a soldier of the Duke of Najera and the Viceroy of Navarre into a soldier in the Army of Christ the King. Saint Ignatius laid down his military armor in front of an image of Our Lady in the Benedictine monastery in Montserrat, Spain, on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 1522, beginning the process that led to his ordination to the priesthood on June 24, 1537. Saint Ignatius endured many trials, some quite literal concerning his Spiritual Exercises, before his ordination as as he founded the Society of Jesus. He endured these trials as a soldier in the company of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Here is the account of his life as found in the readings for Matins in today's Divine Office:
Ignatius was a Spaniard by nation, and was born of the noble Biscayan family of Loyola, in the year of our Lord 1491. He followed first the Court and then the army of the Most Catholic King. At the siege of Pampeluna (in the year 1521) he received a severe wound which laid him up with a long and dangerous illness. During this time he chanced to read some godly books, and conceived from them a burning desire to follow in the footsteps of Christ and His saints. He betook himself to Monserrat, and there entered himself for the heavenly warfare, by hanging up his weapons, and watching them for a night before the Altar of the Blessed Virgin. Thence he withdrew to Manresa, clad in sackcloth, for he had before given his costly raiment to a beggar. At Manresa he lived upon bread and water, begging the bread, and fasting every day except the Lord's Day. He mastered his flesh by the use of a sharp chain and hair-cloth, slept upon the ground, and lashed himself to bloodshedding with iron scourges. Thus he dwelt for a year, feasted by God with such clear lights, that he was used afterwards to say that even if the Holy Bible had not existed, he would have been ready to die for the faith only on the evidence of those things which the Lord had shown unto him at Manresa. It was at this time that, albeit a man of little education, he put together that wonderful book entitled Spiritual Exercises, whose worth hath been attested by the judgment of the Apostolic See, and by universal usefulness.
To make himself of greater use for the profit of souls, he determined to improve himself by education, beginning by going through the rudiments among little boys. He left nothing untried that could help towards the salvation of others, and it was marvellous what pain and mockery he cheerfully accepted on all hands, suffering ill-usage also, imprisonment and stripes almost unto death; but he was willing to suffer them all much more for the greater glory of his Master. At Paris he took to him seven comrades from the members of that University, men of different nations, but who had all taken the Degree of Master of Arts and in Divinity. With these seven he laid the first foundations of the Society of Jesus in the crypt at Montmartre, (upon the 15th day of August, in the year of Christ 1534.) When he afterwards organised the same Society at Rome he bound it by the closest bonds to the Apostolic See, adding to the three accustomed vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, a fourth, concerning Missions. Paul III. was the first Pope to receive and confirm the Institute, but it has since been approved by other Popes and by the Council of Trent. Ignatius, to spread the Faith, sent holy Francis Xavier to preach the Gospel in the Indies, and others in other parts of the world, and the war, which he thus proclaimed against paganism and heresy, was waged with such success, that it was the general belief, confirmed by the utterance of the Pope, that even as God had in other times raised up holy men specially to meet the needs of their day, so He had raised up against Luther and the heretics of that age, Ignatius and the Society which he had founded.
But the first care of Ignatius was to set forward godliness among Catholics. He was a great promoter of seemliness in the Churches, instruction in the Catechism, and often hearing Sermons and using the Sacraments. He opened schools everywhere to train up boys in godliness and good learning. At Rome he founded the German College, a home for fallen and another for imperilled girls, an orphanage for boys and another for girls, houses for converts under instruction, and other godly institutions. He never wearied in his work of gaining souls for God, and was sometimes heard to say that if he had the choice he would rather live without knowing whether he was to be among the blessed, and meanwhile work for God and the salvation of his neighbours, than know he was going to glory and die forthwith. He exercised an extraordinary power over devils. Holy Philip Neri and others saw heavenly light shining from his face. At last, (on the 31st day of July,) in the year of our Redemption 1556 and of his own age the sixty fifth, he passed away to the embrace of that Lord Whose greater glory had been the constant theme of his words and aim of all his works. He is very illustrious in the Church on account of his great deeds and miracles, and Gregory XV. enrolled him in the Kalendar of the Saints. (Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.)
Much in contrast to the counterfeit church of conciliarism's efforts to engage in "dialogue" with non-Catholics, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Father General of the Society of Jesus, and his foot soldiers worked valiantly to seek the unconditional conversion of those outside of the Church to her maternal bosom, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order. In this regard, you see, a Jesuit layman, Jorge Mario Berglio, and most of his Jesuit contemporaries are the living embodiments of the very antithesis of the spirit and mission of Saint Ignatius and his Company of Jesus. Bergoglio, apart from being a figure of Antichrist, is a veritable anti-Saint Ignatius, something that is on display at World Youth Day in Poland as he presides over some of the most sacrilegious and scandalous events ever staged under the apparent aegis of the Catholic Church, she who enjoys a perpetual immunity from error and heresy.
Unlike the lay Jesuit, Bergoglio, Saint Peter Canisius, who in 1543 became the first Dutch member of the Society of Jesus, worked assiduously to win back Protestants to the true Faith in Germany and Vienna and Switzerland. Unlike the scions of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, Saint Peter Canisius, although kind and gentle of spirit, did sought the return of Protestants to the true Faith. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who was shaped in large measure by a priest who left the Society of Jesus in 1950, Father Hans Urs von Balthasar, rejects the "ecumenism of the return." And Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J., was himself a strong force in refuting the errors of Luther and Calvin and in leading the charge of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Blessed Edmund Campion, S.J., courageously defended the Faith as he served souls as the hero of God's underground during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Saint Francis Xavier converted the entire community of Goa in India, traveling also to Japan, where he made nota single convert, and to China, where he died. Why? For the sake of the souls for whom Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood. For the greater honor and glory of God, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Unlike the currently reigning false "pontiff," who wrote in God and the World eight years ago that there were "in fact Christian hotheads and fanatics who destroyed temples, who were unable to see paganism as anything more than idolatry that had to be radically eliminated," Saint Francis Xavier wanted to see all vestiges of paganism destroyed, as he wrote to his Father-General, the man who convinced him to give up a carefree life of partying to become one of the first members of the Society of Jesus, Saint Ignatius of Loyola himself, with whom he, Saint Francis Xavier would be canonized by Pope Gregory XII on March 12, 1622:
As to the numbers who become Christians, you may understand them from this, that it often happens to me to be hardly able to use my hands from the fatigue of baptizing: often in a single day I have baptized whole villages. Sometimes I have lost my voice and strength altogether with repeating again and again the Credo and the other forms. The fruit that is reaped by the baptism of infants, as well as by the instruction of children and others, is quite incredible. These children, I trust heartily, by the grace of God, will be much better than their fathers. They show an ardent love for the Divine law, and an extraordinary zeal for learning our holy religion and imparting it to others. Their hatred for idolatry is marvellous. They get into feuds with the heathen about it, and whenever their own parents practise it, they reproach them and come off to tell me at once. Whenever I hear of any act of idolatrous worship, I go to the place with a large band of these children, who very soon load the devil with a greater amount of insult and abuse than he has lately received of honor and worship from their parents, relations, and acquaintances. The children run at the idols, upset them, dash them down, break them to pieces, spit on them, trample on them, kick them about, and in short heap on them every possible outrage. (St. Francis Xavier: Letter from India, to the Society of Jesus at Rome, 1543.)
Do you realize that it was just a a half century later, in 1597, that Saint Paul Miki was crucified by the very Japanese pagans whom Saint Francis Xavier attempted to convert? The place of Saint Paul Miki's martyrdom? Nagasaki, where the Catholics he helped to convert to the true Faith would live in the catacombs without any Sacrament other than Baptism and Holy Matrimony for the next two and one-half centuries. Unlike the Modernists who go by the name Jesuit today, Saint Paul Miki was willing to give up his life to convert pagans to the true Faith, forgiving his executioners from his cross as the Divine Master forgave His executioners, namely, each one of us, on His Holy Cross.
It was just ninety-nine years after that letter of Saint Francis Xavier to Saint Ignatius of Loyola that the first of the eight sons of the Society of Jesus to be killed between 1642 and 1649 in Canada and what is now upstate New York was put to death in what is now Auriesville, New York, at the hands of the savage Iroquois on September 23, 1642. Saint Rene Goupil, a lay Jesuit missionary, desired to assist the Jesuit Fathers in their work of converting the natives of the northern reaches of North America to the true Faith. Each of the North American Martyrs (Saints Isaac Jogues and Saint Jean Lalande, both killed in Auriesville on October 18, 1646, Anthony Daniel, killed on July 4, 1862, Saint John de Brebeuf, killed on March 16, 1649, Gabriel Lalemant, killed the next day, March 17, 1649, Charles Garnier, killed on December 7, 1649, and Noel Chabanel, killed on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1649) wanted to bring savages out of their imprisonment to Satan and into the light of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They desired to establish in the northern reaches of the North American continent what had been established in its southern reaches and in all of South America: a new Christendom, one that arose from the missionary work of Catholic priests, aided in no small measure by the appearance of Our Lady herself to Juan Diego in Tepeyac Hill on December 9, 1531, replacing almost person for person the number of souls lost to the Faith in Europe as a result of the Protestant Revolt.
Another son of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Peter Claver, S.J., worked contemporaneously in Columbia to baptize the poor souls from Africa who were sent to the Americas to work in cruel slavery. Saint Peter Claver baptized over 300,000 human beings with his own hands between 1610 and the time of his death in 1654, serving also the corporal needs of men and women who were considered to be sub-humans by, yes, many of his own fellow Catholics at the time. Saint Peter Claver saw in each human being the Divine impress, seeking to serve that person as he would serve Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself.
Father Jacques Marquette, S.J., came to Canada from France to serve souls, exploring large parts of what is now Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and much of the Mississippi River, coming within 400 miles of the Gulf of Mexico before turning back to the Illinois territory. Father Marquette served countless numbers of souls in just nine years, between 1666 and 1675. Oh, yes, my friends, vast expanses of what is now the United States of America were Catholic, and they were Catholic as a result of the missionary work of the "Black Robes," the Fathers of the Society of Jesus.
Although the the Society of Jesus was suppressed in all parts of the world save for Prussia and Russia between 1773 and 1814, the sons of Saint Ignatius of Loyola continued to do their work in behalf of souls as they worked as diocesan priests. One can fault Archbishop John Carroll, ordained as a Jesuit, for many reasons as the quintessential Americanist who sought to accommodate the Faith to the false, naturalistic, religiously indifferentist and semi-Pelagian principles of the American founding. Archbishop Carroll did, however, have a great solicitude for the welfare of souls, working closely with the foundress of the Sisters of Charity, the Venerable Elizabeth Ann Seton, to establish Catholic schools. (The founding of Georgetown College, on the other hand, is not such a triumph as theology was compartmentalized in one "department;" Catholicism did not permeated the secular sciences, which was to plant the seeds for future problems, as has been discussed on this site in the past.)
The Black Robes, as the Jesuit Fathers were called by the Indians of the West, explored parts of New France long before Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, S.J., spent himself tirelessly in behalf of the souls of Indians after he came to this country from his native Belgium to study for the priesthood in the Jesuit province of Maryland. He worked with the Venerable Rose Philippine Duchesne in Louisiana, riding a trail from Saint Charles parish in Grand Couteau to Sister Philippine's convent at the Academy of the Sacred Heart where Saint John Berchmans, S.J., would appear some years later to cure Sister Mary Wilson, a novice in the order. Father De Smet wanted only to be of service to souls, to convert those of outside of the true Church to her maternal bosom:
On January 26, 1838, he wrote to the Carmelites of Termonde: "New priests are to be added to the Potawatomi Mission, and my Superior, Father Verhaegen, gives me hope that I will be sent. How happy I would be could I spend myself for the salvation of so many souls, who are lost because they have never known the truth! My good Sisters, I beg you to pray for this intention. Implore the divine Pastor to deign to look upon the most unworthy of His servants, who longs to work for His glory. I tremble when I think of the great qualities an apostolate to the Indian demands. We must make men before making Christians, and such work requires unlimited patience and solid virtue, and you know what I am. Nevertheless, I am not discouraged. God's strength is greater than my weakness, and He can bring forth from stones children of Abraham."
Zeal for the salvation of souls and profound humility (God could not resist his supplications) were the distinguishing traits of our missionary, and a few weeks later he was appointed to the Potawatomi Mission. Father De Smet left St. Louis May 10th, Father Verrydt and Brother Mazelli joining him at Leavenworth. In going up the Missouri he greatly admired the vast river, dotted with its many islands; the villages that rose one above the other on its banks, the towering rocks, the caves, the forests, and the immense prairies, all of which lent infinite variety to the aspect. But the scenic beauty failed to render agreeable a journey fraught with many dangers.
"I would rather cross the ocean," he writes, "than ascend the Missouri River. The current is so swift that in order to get up the river the boat must be heavily loaded and the steam at full pressure. Hence, the traveler is in imminent danger of being shot up into the air by an explosion, and coming down perhaps in bits. Added to this, we run upon sand-bars every day--a dangerous proceeding. Lastly, the river bristles with snags which tear a boat open, and are the terror of pilots and travelers. More than once we were in great peril from them."
Crowds of Indians came to the landing to greet the missionaries, and whenever the boat stopped for fuel the priests went ashore to visit the different villages. The chief of the Iowas, an old pupil of Father De Smet's at Florissant, wished to keep him with his tribe. An Indian convert, eighty-four years of age, prepared himself for death by confession, shedding, meanwhile, tears of repentance. everywhere they were most cordially received.. . . .
Formerly the Coeur d'Alenes were considered the most barbarous and degraded of the mountain tribes; they adored animals, and lived in complete ignorance of God, the souls, and a future life. even the precepts of natural law were but vaguely understood and pretty generally offended against in practice. About 1830, an Iroquois Catholic, it is supposed, taught them the first elements of Christianity. Shortly after this date, the tribe suffered the ravages of a violent epidemic. When the plague was at its height, a dying man heard a voice saying: "Leave your idols, adore Jesus Christ, and you will be cured." He obeyed, and was restored to health. Then, making a tour of the camp, the restored man related what had taken place and entreated his stricken brethren to follow his example. They did so and all likewise were cured. This event produced a profound impression on the Coeur d'Alenes, but without a priest to further instruct them, a few of the tribe returned to the worship of idols; the conduct of many, however, since the revelation of the true God, had remained irreproachable.
Such was the condition of the Coeur d'Alenes when Father De Smet visited the tribe in 1842: "I was conducted in triumph to the lodge of the chief," he tells us, "and there, as in every other Indian camp, the calumet was brought forth. After it had been handed around several times and smoked in solemn silence the chief addressed me in the following words:
"'Black Robe, welcome to our country. Long have we desired to see you and be enlightened by your words. Our fathers worshiped the earth and the sun. I remember directly the day we first heard of the one and only true God. since then it is to Him we have addressed our prayers and supplications, and yet we are much to be pitied. We do not know the teachings of the Great Spirit, and we sit in darkness. But now I hope you have come to bring us light. I have finished. Speak, Black Robe! Every ear is open and eager to hear your words.
"During the two hours in which I spoke to them of salvation and the end of man, absolute silence and stillness reigned. The sun was just setting, and I recited the prayer I had some days before translated into their tongue. Refreshments were then offered, consisting of scraps of dried meat, a black moss cake that tasted like soap, and a glass river water, all of which were as nectar and ambrosia to a man who had not tasted food since sunrise. The chiefs expressing a desire to hear me again, I continued to instruct the tribe until far into the night, pausing every half-hour to hand around the calumet and give time for reflection. During these pauses the chiefs conversed about what they had just heard, explaining it to their subordinates.
"Upon awakening in the morning I found my tent invaded by Indians who had slipped in before dawn. Getting up at once, I knelt down, the Indians following my example, and together we offered our day and our hearts to God. 'Black Robe,' said the chief, 'we came here early this morning to watch you and imitate you. Your prayer is good, and we wish to adopt it. But you will stay here only two nights, and we have no one to teach it to us.' I rang the bell for morning prayers, and promised the chief they all would know the prayer before my departure."
Then it was that Father De Smet laid down the method that would henceforth be used for teaching the tribes their prayers. He assembled the Indians, ranging the children in a circle, with instructions to keep the same place at every reunion. Then each one was made to learn a phrase of the prayer by heart. Two children repeated the Hail Mary, seven the Our Father, ten the Commandments, and twelve the Apostles' Creed. After repeating to each child his particular phrase until he knew it by heart, the missionary then made them recite the phrases each in turn. This made a continued prayer, which the tribe listened to night and morning. After a few days one of the chiefs knew all the prayers by heart, and from that time he recited them for the tribe.
Two days after his arrival at the Coeur d'Alene camp, Father De Smet baptized the children, the sick, and the old men and women of the tribe. It seemed as though God had only kept these last on earth to accord them this supreme favor. In listening to their expressions of joy and gratitude one seemed to hear again Simeon's praises to the Lord.
Torn with regret, the missionary took leave of his new Christians, promising to send them a priest to complete their instruction. "Never has a visit to the Indians given me so much consolation, and nowhere have I seen such mistakable proof of true conversion, not even excepting the Flatheads in 1840." The future but confirmed his judgment, for the Coeur d'Alenes remained the most industrious and Christian of the mountain tribes. (Father E Laveille, S.J., The Life of Father De Smet, S.J.)
The legacy of the truly Catholic seminaries and universities and colleges and secondary schools established by the Society of Jesus was something that angered the devil quite a bit, which is why our ancient adversary, who hates our immortal souls because they are made in the image and the likeness of the One he hates, God--Father, Son and Holy Ghost, worked most insidiously to undermine the Society of Jesus and to make many of its priests instruments in the destruction of souls as veritable revolutions were launched that undermined the work of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier and the North American Martyrs while it made a mockery of the angelic purity of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga and Saint John Berchmans and Saint Stanislaus Kostka. Jesuit turncoats have included the likes of Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the aforementioned Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner, Augustin Cardinal Bea, Robert Drinan, Walter Burghardt, Richard McCormick, John Courtney Murray, and so many others who have been responsible for propagating such heresies as "proportionalism" and "religious liberty" and a concept of dogmatic truth that makes of God nothing other than a pantheistic projection of the human mind.
The devil relishes in corrupting the best, and he managed to corrupt the Society of Jesus to such an extent in the years before the "Second" Vatican Council that it was frequently the case that Jesuit Fathers who remained faithful to the Faith were persecuted mercilessly in the name of "obedience" (Father Vincent Miceli comes to mind here). Even some of those "conservative" Jesuits who are hated by their more progressive brethren these days are disciples of Rahner and von Balthasar and other proponents of the "New Theology." Conciliarism corrupts everything that it touches. Everything. It is from the devil. It is bound to corrupt everything that it touches.
Nevertheless, of course, we express our gratitude on this day, the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, for the fidelity of so many thousands upon thousands of Jesuit Fathers over the course of the past nearly five centuries. My own late father, Dr. Albert Henry Martin Droleskey, and his own late brother Edward were trained by the Jesuit Fathers at the now defunct Brooklyn Preparatory School, learning the Faith very well. Indeed, the valedictorian's address on the occasion of my father's graduation from Brooklyn Prep in February of 1938 (my father lost six months in his studies as a result of a bout with pneumonia) was "The Social Reign of Christ the King in Theory" while the salutatorian's address was "The Social Reign of Christ the King in Practice."
I have been privileged to know and work with believing Jesuits, some of whom tried to make a silk purse out of the sow's ear that is conciliarism, others of whom, like Fathers Vincent Miceli and Frederick Schell, were fierce defenders of the Faith who fought the Modernists as best as they knew how. And I am forever grateful for the spiritual direction given to me by a truly wonderful son of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the late Father Thomas Egan, S.J., who was the retreat master at the Auriesville Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs during the years I was pursuing my doctorate at the State University of New York at Albany (January 1974 to May 1977) and had entered into my full-time teaching career at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York (1976-1977). Moreover, believing Catholics continued to be inspired by the works of Father Edward Cahill, S.J., Father Edward Leen, S.J., and Father Maurice Meschler, S.J., among so many others.
One can get an appreciation for all of the years of anonymous service of so many of the Jesuit Fathers by walking through a cemetery containing their mortal remains. We have done this during each of our visits to Mount Saint Michael's Church and Academy in Spokane, Washington. Mount Saint Michael's was once the Scholasticate of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. It is truly bone-chilling to walk through that cemetery and to pray for the souls of the priests who served for the greater honor of God.
Once again, none of the infidelity of the present moment, which now includes a Jesuit revolutionary as the head of the counterfeit church of conciliarism at a time that sees sees so many Jesuits promoting such abominations as the New Age movement and the "inculturation" of the Gospel and making excuses for Catholics in public life who support various moral evils, including the surgical and chemical assassination of children in their mothers' wombs and unrepentant sins of perversity in violation of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, can blot out the work begun by the saint we commemorate today, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who laid down his military arms at the feet of Our Lady of Montserrat to serve her Divine Son as his solider.
Dom Prosper Gueranger offered a very potent comparison between an anti-Christ of the Sixteenth Century, Martin Luther, and a Soldier in the Army of Christ, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, S.J.:
Although the cycle of the time after Pentecost has shown us many times already the solicitude of the Holy Spirit for the defence of the Church, yet to-day the teaching shines forth with a new lustre. In the sixteenth century Satan made a formidable attack upon the Holy City, by means of a man who, like himself, have fallen from the height of heaven, a man prevented in his early years by the choice graces which lead to perfection, yet unable in an evil day to resist the spirit of revolt. As Lucifer aimed at being equal to God, Luther set himself up against the Vicar of God, on the mountain of the covenant; and soon, falling from abyss to abyss, he drew after him the third part of the stars of the firmament of Holy Church. How terrible is that mysterious law whereby the fallen creature, be he man or angel, is allowed to keep the same ruling power for evil which he would otherwise have exercised for good. But the designs of Eternal Wisdom are never frustrated: against the misused liberty of the angel or man is set up that other merciful law of substitution, by which St. Michael was the first to benefit.
The development of Ignatius' vocation to holiness followed step by step the defections of Luther. In the spring of 1521 Luther had just quitted Worms, and was defying the world from the Castle of Wartburg, when Ignatius received at Pampeluna the wound which was the occasion of his leaving the world and retiring to Manresa. Valiant as his noble ancestors, he felt within him from his earliest years warlike ardour which they had shown on the battlefields of Spain. But the campaign against the Moors close at the very time of his birth. Were his chivalrous instincts to be satisfied with petty political quarrels? The only true King worth of his great soul revealed Himself to him in the trial which put a stop to worldly projects: a new warfare was opened out to his ambition; another crusade was begun; and in the year 1522, from the mountains of Catalonia to those of Thuringia, was developed that divine strategy of which the angels alone know the secret.
In this wonderful campaign it seemed that hell was allowed to take the initiative while heaven was content to look on, only taking care to make grace abound the more where iniquity strove to abound. As in the previous year Ignatius received his first call three weeks after Luther had completed his rebellion, so in this year, at three weeks' distance, the rival camps of hell and heaven each chose and equipped its leader. Ten months of diabolical manifestations prepared Satan's lieutenant., in the place of his forced retreat, which he called his Patmos; and on March 5 the deserter of the altar and of the cloister left Wartburg.
On the 25th of that same month, the glorious night of the Incarnation, the brilliant soldier in the armies of the Catholic kingdom, the descendant of the families of Ognes and Loyola, clad in sackcloth, the uniform of poverty, to indicate his new projects, watched his arms in prayer at Montserrat; then hanging up his trusty sword at Marty's altar, he went forth to make trial of his future combats by a merciless war against himself.
In opposition to the already proudly floating standard of free-thinkers, he displayed upon his own this simple device: To the greater glory of God! At Paris, where Calvin was secretly recruiting the future Huguenots, Ignatius, in the name of that God of armies, organized his vanguard, which he destined to cover the march of the Christian army, to lead the way, to bear the brunt, to deal the first blows. On August 15, 1534, five months after the rupture of England from the Holy See, these first soldiers sealed at Montmartre the definitive engagement which they were afterwards solemnly to renew at St. Paul's outside the walls. For Rome was to be the rallying place of the little troop which was soon to increase so wonderfully and which was, by its special profession, to be ever in readiness, at the least sign from the Head of the Church, to exercise its zeal in whatever part of the world he should think fit in the defence or propagation of the faith, or for the progress of souls in doctrine and Christian life.
An illustrious speaker of our own day [Cardinal Pie] has said: 'What strikes us at once in the history of the Society of Jesus is that it was matured at its very first formation. Whosoever knows the first founders of the Company knows the whole Company, in its spirit, its aim, its enterprises, its proceedings, its methods. What a generation was that which gave it birth. What union of science and activity, of interior life and military life! One may say they were universal men, men of a giant race, compared with whom we are but insects: de genere giganteo quibus comparati quasi locusta videbamur.
All the more touching, then, was the charming simplicity of these first Fathers of the Society, making their way to Rome on foot, fasting and weary, but their hearts overflowing with oy, singing with a low voice the Psalms of David. When it became necessary, on account of the urgency of the times, for the new institute to abandon the great traditions of public prayer, it was a sacrifice to several of these souls; Mary could not give way to Martha without a struggle; for so many centuries the solemn celebration of the Divine Office had been the indispensable duty of every religious family, its primary social debt, and the principal nourishment of the individual holiness of its members.
But new times had come, times of decadence and ruin, calling for an exception as extraordinary as it was grievous to the brave company that was risking its existence amid ceaseless alarms and continual sallies upon hostile territory. Ignatius understood this; and to the special aim imposed upon him, he sacrificed his personal attraction to the sacred chants; nevertheless, to the end of his life, the least note of psalmody falling on his ears drew tears of ecstasy form his eyes.
After his death, the Church, which had never known any interest to outbalance the splendor of worship due her Souse, wished to return from a derogation which so deeply wounded the dearest instincts of her bridal heart; Paul IV revoked it absolutely, but St. Pius V, after combatting it for a long time, was at least obliged to give in. In the latter ages so full of snares, the time had come for the Church to organize special armies. But while it became more and more impossible to expect from these worthy troops, continually taken up with outside combats, the habits of those who dwelt in security, protected by the ancient towers of the Holy City, at the same time Ignatius repudiated the strange misconception which would try to reform the Christian people according to this enforced but abnormal way of life. The third of the eighteen rules which he gives as the crowning of the Spiritual Exercises, to have in us the true sentiments of the orthodox Church, recommends to the faithful the chants of the Church, the Psalms, and the different Canonical Hours at their appointed times. And at the beginning of this book, which is the treasure of the Society of Jesus, where he mentions the conditions for drawing the greatest fruit from the Exercises, he ordains in his twentieth annotation who can do so should for the time of his retreat a dwelling from whence he can easily go to Matins and Vespers as well to the holy Sacrifice. What was our saint here doing but advising that the Exercises should be practice in that same spirit in which they were composed in that blessed retreat of Manresa, where the daily attendance at solemn Mass and the evening offices had been to him the source of heavenly delights. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Volume XIII, Time After Pentecost: Book IV, pp. 220-224.)
Saint Ignatius of Loyola was indeed a valiant soldier of Christ the King. True to this valor exhibited by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Father Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J., laid down his very life for Christ the King as he was martyred at the hands of the Masonic revolutionaries in Mexico on November 23, 1927. Father Pro exclaimed "Viva Cristo Rey!" as the bullets pierced his flesh. Can we do any less as we seek to do what the conciliar "bishops" of the United States of America have said that they oppose, a Catholic States of America? We would dishonor the memory of the Jesuit martyrs of North America, who were so dedicated to the patronage of the Mother God, who appeared to Juan Diego to effect the conversion of the Americans to the true Faith, if we did anything less than to pray and to work the very reason that Saint Ignatius left the world and founded the Society of Jesus: for the honor and glory of God as soldiers in the Army of Christ the King.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola's great spiritual masterpiece, The Spiritual Exercises, is used yet today by true priests when they serve as retreat masters. There is nothing better for the soul than an Ignatian Retreat. Here some excerpts from this masterpiece as found in Lives of Saints, which was edited by Father Joseph Vann and published in 1954 by John J. Crawley & Company, starting with the basic purpose of the exercises, which is to know, to love, and to serve the true God of Divine Revelation as He has reveald Himself to us exclusively through His true Church, the Catholic Church.
Principle and Foundation
Man was created to praise, to do reverence to and serve God our Lord, and thereby to save his soul, and the other things on the face of earth were created for man’s sake and to help him in the following out of the end for which he was created. Hence it follows that man should make use of creatures so as they do help him towards his end, and should withdraw from them so far as they are a hindrance to him with respect to that end. Wherefore it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent toward all created things, in whatever is left to the liberty of our free choice and is not forbidden, so that we on our part should not wish for health rather than sickness, for riches rather than poverty, for honor rather than ignominy, for a long life rather than a short life, and in all other matters should desire and choose solely those things which may better lead us to the end for which we were created.
First Week, Second Exercise:
. . . The first point is the indictment of sins, that is to say, to bring to mind all the sins of my life, looking through it year by year or period by period. For this purpose three things are helpful; the first to look at the place and house where I have lived; the second at our dealings I have had with others; the third at the calling in which I have lived.
The second point is to weigh the sins, looking at the foulness and malice that any mortal sin committed has in itself, even though it was not forbidden.
The third, is to see who I am, belittling myself by examples; first, what am I in comparison to all mankind; second what are all mankind in comparison with all the Angels and Saints in paradise; thirdly, to see what all creation is in comparison with God,—and therefore in myself alone, what can I be? Fourthly, to see all my corruption and foulness of body; fifthly, to look at myself as a sort of ulcer and abscess, from which have sprung so many sins and so many wickednesses and most hideous venom.
The fourth is consider who God is against whom I have sinned, according to His attributes, comparing them with their contraries in me—His wisdom with my ignorance, His omnipotence with my weakness, His justice with my iniquity, His goodness with my malice.
The fifth is a cry of wonder with a flood of emotion, ranging in thought through all creatures, how they have suffered me to live and have preserved me in life—how the Angels, being the sword of divine justice, have borne with me and guarded and prayed for me, how the Saints have interceded and prayed for me, and the heavens, the sun, moon, stars and elements, fruits, birds, fishes and animals . . . and the earth, how it has not opened to swallow me up, creating new hells for my eternal torment therein.
To conclude with a colloquy on mercy, casting a reckoning and giving thanks to God that He has granted me life hitherto, proposing amendment for the time to come with His Grace. Pater Noster.
Fourth Week, A Contemplation to Obatain Love
. . . The usual prayer.
First prelude is a composition, which is here to see how I stand before God our Lord, the Angels, and the Saints interceding for me.
The second, to ask for what I want; it will be here to ask for an inward knowledge of the great good received, in order that I, being fully grateful for the same, may in all things love and serve His Divine Majesty.
The first point is to recall to memory the benefits received of creation, redemption and particular gifts, pondering with deep affection how much God our Lord has done for me, and how much He has given me of what He has, and further, how the same Lord desires to give Himself to me so far as He can, according to His divine ordinance; and therewithal to reflect within myself, considering with much reason and justice what I on my part ought to offer for them, as one who offers with deep affection: Take, O Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and all my will, all I have and possess; you have given it to me; to you, Lord, I return it; all is yours, dispose of it entirely according to your will. Give me your love and grace, because that is enough for me. . . . (Spiritual Exercises, translated by Father Rickaby, S.J., as found in Father Joseph Vann, ed., Lives of Saints, published in 1954 by John J. Crawley & Co., pp. 354-356; 357.)
In order to love God, therefore, we must quit our sins and do penance for them, not to persist in or--worse yet--to celebrate them as the anti-Saint Ignatius, Bergoglio, invites people of all ages, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to do by word and by diabolically-inspired examples.
As we pray our Rosaries today, let us remember the work of the Society of Jesus and to pray that its true spirit, corrupted by the conciliarists, including Jorge Mario Bergoglio, will inspire us to lay down our "arms" of this passing world at the feet of Our Lady as we serve her Divine Son through her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, imploring the help of Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, who was chosen by Our Lord to assist Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in the spreading of devotion to His Most Sacred Heart, to seek shelter in that Sacred Heart of Jesus through the same Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We pray to Saint Ignatius of Loyola--and all of the saints of the Society of Jesus--to enjoy their blessed company in the glory of the Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in the presence of Holy Mary and Saint Joseph and all of the angels and saints, for all eternity.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of the North American Martyrs, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, pray for us.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us.
Saint John Berchmans, pray for us.
Saint Robert Bellarmine, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint Jean Lalande, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lallemant, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Peter Claver, pray for us.
Saint Stanislaus Kostka, pray for us.
Saint Paul Miki, pray for us.
Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, pray for us.
Blessed Edmund Campion, pray for us.
Blessed Edmund Arrowsmith, pray for us.
Blessed John Southwell, pray for us.
Father Jacques Marquette, pray for us.
Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, pray for us.
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.