Ignatius was born in Loyola in Spain, the youngest of thirteen children. While serving as a soldier he received a bullet wound in the leg, and during convalescence he began spiritual reading. He soon came to God, and before long wrote the first draft of the ‘Spiritual Exercises’. He went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and was persuaded by the Franciscans there to renounce his plan to convert the local Muslims. Finally, in Paris, he gathered six disciples and taught the Exercises. This band became the Society of Jesus, or the ‘Jesuits’, who made themselves available to work for the spread of the faith anywhere in the world. They were instructed to visit the sick and poor, and to avoid argument and displays of learning.

For the suggested prayer we turn to part of ‘A Prayer in Brokenness’ from Celtic Daily Prayer, in the spirit of Ignatius: O God, I cannot undo the past, or make it never have happened! – neither can You. I ask You humbly, and from the bottom of my heart: Please God, would You write straight with my crooked lines? Out of the serious mistakes of my life will You make something beautiful for You? Amen.