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St. Ignatius Loyola (July 31)

Founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), St. Ignatius Loyola was born in the castle of Loyola at Azpeitia in Guipuzcoa, Spain in 1491. His father, Don Beltran, was lord of Onaz and Loyola and head of one of the most ancient and noble families of Spain. Ignatius was the youngest of eleven children. He became a page at the court of King Ferdinand V of Aragon, and entered the military under the command of the Duke of Nagara.

In 1521, a cannon ball broke his right shin and tore open his left calf during the battle of Pamplona against France. After being wounded, he was returned to the family castle at Loyola to recuperate. While recovering, he read books about the life of Christ and the lives of the saints. He was so inspired by what he had read, that he decided to dedicate his life to Christ.