July 31st marks the Feast Day of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits. As Pope, Benedict XVI talked about the strong spirituality of the saint, who he described as a man who always put God first.
April 22, 2006
"St. Ignatius of Loyola was first and foremost a man of God. In his life, God was first. His greatest glory and his greatest service came first. He was a profoundly prayerful man from whom the daily celebration of the Eucharist was the heart and crowning point of his day. Thus, he left his followers a precious spiritual legacy that must not be lost or forgotten. Precisely because he was a man of God, St. Ignatius was a faithful servant of the Church, in which he saw and venerated the Bride of the Lord and the Mother of Christians. And from his desire to serve the Church in the most beneficial way possible, was born the special vow of obedience to the Pope, which he himself describes as "our first and principal foundation.”
The Order was established in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola, and it currently has over 17,000 members throughout the world.