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Ignatian Year 2021-22

Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Cannonball Moment of St. Ignatius of Loyola

May 20, 2021 - July 31, 2022

To see all things new in God

"It is my desire that at the heart of this Ignatian year, we would hear the Lord calling us, and we would allow him to work our conversion inspired by the personal experience of Ignatius."

--- Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Who St. Ignatius of Loyola is

St. Ignatius Loyola was born in 1491, one of 13 children of a family of minor nobility in northern Spain. As a young man Ignatius Loyola was inflamed by the ideals of courtly love and knighthood and dreamed of doing great deeds.

But in 1521 Ignatius was gravely wounded in a battle with the French. While recuperating, Ignatius Loyola experienced a conversion. Reading the lives of Jesus and the saints made Ignatius happy and aroused desires to do great things. Ignatius realized that these feelings were clues to God's direction for him.

Over the years, Ignatius became expert in the art of spiritual direction. He collected his insights, prayers, and suggestions in his book the Spiritual Exercises, one of the most influential books on the spiritual life ever written. With a small group of friends, Ignatius Loyola founded the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits. Ignatius conceived the Jesuits as contemplatives in action. This also describes the many Christians who have been touched by Ignatian spirituality.

Who the Jesuits are

500th anniversary of the Cannonball Moment of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Five hundred years ago, St. Ignatius of Loyola experienced an event that would change the course of his life... and the world. As a young soldier in the Spanish army, Ignatius dreamed of fame and glory. But everything changed when he was suddenly and gravely injured by a cannonball while in battle at Pamplona. While in recovery, Ignatius experienced a spiritual conversion and immediately decided to make a change: he found a new sense of purpose and set out to establish the Society of Jesus.

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Description automatically generated with medium confidence Together with our friends and the whole Church, the universal Society [of Jesus] wants to remember that privileged moment when the Holy Spirit inspired Ignatius of Loyola in his decision to follow Christ, and to deepen our understanding of this pilgrim way in order to draw fruit from it.

-- Arturo Sosa, SJ, the Superior General of the Jesuits.

If not for Ignatius' "cannonball" moment, we wouldn't have hundreds of Jesuit colleges, universities, parishes or organizations that all serve to make the world a greater place. This year, all Jesuit works across the world will begin celebrating the Ignatian Year on May 20, 2021: the 500th anniversary of Ignatius' "cannonball" moment. Celebrations will conclude on the Feast Day of St. Ignatius: July 31, 2022.

Why 2021?

We are celebrating the Ignatian Year to commemorate the 500th anniversary of an experience that transformed Ignatius of Loyola forever and gave rise to a spirituality and form of education that has shaped millions of people over the past five centuries.

Opportunity to go "from profession to purpose"

The Ignatian Year presents an opportunity for all of us belonging to the Xaverian Family. It invites each one of us to go from profession to purpose, to make a deeper reflection of our talents, our passions and the world's greatest needs, as we journey together searching for meaning in our lives.

The Cannonball Moment

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Celebrate Ignatius: 500 Years After The Cannonball Struck:

Ignatian Year promotional resources

The Ignatian Year - Jesuit Higher Education

Cannonball - St. Ignatius of Loyola - From proud courtier to companion of Jesus

About Ignatius, Pope Francis said to the Society of Jesus:

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All through his life he put Christ in the centre. And he did so through discernment. Discernment is not about always getting it right from the start, but it's rather about navigating, about having a compass to be able to set out on the road which has many twists and turns, but always letting oneself be guided by the Holy Spirit who leads us to an encounter with the Lord.


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