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The house of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Rome

2012-08-21

It was the first house of the Society of Jesus, located near the old Venetian palace used to be the home of the pope at that time. When the Tiber River in Rome flooded in 1598, only four rooms in the house were not ruined. Today, it's hallways are home to the artwork of painter Andrea Pozzo, scenes depict some of the miracles attributed to Saint Ignatius.

DIEGO ALONSO-LASHERAS
Professor, Pontifical Gregorian University

"The four original rooms are conserved where St. Ignatius lived the last 17 years of his life and where he died. There also lived the four successor generals of the order. At that time there was a development of the foundation for the Society of Jesus.”

In these simple rooms is where St. Ignatius wrote the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus and more than seven thousand letters with his signature and the seal of Superior General. They also have some of the original furniture and a copy of the  retain some of the furniture and a copy of the "Our Lady of Writing” located on his desk.

Visitors can see how they would have stood up next to the saint by measuring themselves next to life size statue. The house also has some more personal effects such as clothing, shoes, and the Rules of the Order he composed in 1549.

This small chapel is still in use. It boasts original flooring and a table some 500 years old that also belonged to Saint Ignatius.

DIEGO ALONSO-LASHERAS
Professor, Pontifical Gregorian University

"In the room, which wasn't his, but where St. Ignatius died is used as a chapel today. We have a picture of the Holy Family from the time of St. Ignatius in front of where he would celebrate the Eucharist every day.”

This is the room where the founder of the Jesuits was taken care of until his death on July 31, 1556.
Despite the years, the home continues to bring surprises. In 1991, on the 500th anniversary of his birth, during a restoration, a fresco was uncovered with the initials IHS, the Greek abbreviation for Jesus which is one of the hallmarks for the Society of Jesus.


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