WelCom June/July 2021
From 20 May, 2021 until the end of July 2022, the Society of Jesus will celebrate ‘The Ignatian Year’ to remember the life of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.
The year commenced on the 500th anniversary of St Ignatius’ injury during the Battle of Pamplona on May 20, 1521. While defending the citadel of Pamplona against French forces, St Ignatius was seriously injured after being struck by a cannonball. This led to a long period of convalescence which began his conversion and subsequent transformation from soldier to saint.
During this year of St Ignatius, themed ‘to see all things new in Christ’, the Jesuits will also mark the 400th anniversary of the canonisation of St Ignatius and St Francis Xavier on March 12, 2022. The Ignatian year will conclude on July 31, 2022, the Feast of St Ignatius.
The solemn opening Mass for the Ignatian year took place in Pamplona, Spain on 20 May 2021.
Guided by the theme of the Ignatian year, the Society of Jesus hopes to encourage everyone to draw inspiration from the example of St Ignatius and his inner struggle to conversion, which led him to a close familiarity with God. This familiarity, in turn, led him to find God in all things and to see all things new in Christ.
Fr Pierre Belanger SJ, of the General Curia of the Society of Jesus, said the Ignatian year ‘gives us the opportunity to highlight one of the four apostolic preferences of the Society of Jesus, which is to show the way to God. For that, St Ignatius gave us an extraordinary heritage of the Spiritual Exercises and also spiritual discernment.’
‘During this year, there will be several resources all over the world to better know the Spiritual Exercises – a way to help us find true liberty in our lives; and also the way of discernment – knowing how to consider the future, and justice in the face of different options placed before us. It is thus, an opportunity to know and deepen Ignatian spirituality.’
Fr Arturo Sosa SJ, Superior General of the Jesuits, said the Ignatian year is a call to allow the Lord to work on our conversion. ‘We ask for the grace to be renewed by the Lord. We wish to discover a new apostolic enthusiasm inside ourselves, a new life, new ways to follow the Lord. That is why we have chosen as our theme for the year: “To see all things new in Christ.”’
Source: Vatican News