The Great Jubilees - 2005


Ignatius was born in 1491, into a noble Basque family at Loyola. In 1521, while defending Pamplona, his leg was shattered. During the period of convalescence, he seriously went through Life of Christ and Lives of Saints that would exert a powerful influence over his mind and heart. In the cave of Manresa (1522), he tested himself through prayer and mortification, and the notes he wrote during this time became the basis for the Spiritual Exercises. He studied at Barcelona (1524-26); at Alcala (1526-27); at Salamanca (1527-28); then at Paris (1528-34). Ignatius gathered a group of young men at the University of Paris and eventually founded the Society of Jesus. He was elected its first Superior General on 22 April 1541. He died at the age of 66, on 31 July 1556. He was beatified on 27 July 1609 by Pope Paul V and was canonized on 12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.


Francis Xavier was born in Navarre, Spain on 7 April 1506. He studied at the University of Paris, and was one among Ignatius’ first companions to found the Society of Jesus. In June 1537 he was ordained priest. He became the first Jesuit missionary, when he was sent to the Indies. He spent ten years of intense missionary activity in India, Moluccas and Japan. He died in 1552 on a lonely island of Sancian, near the China coast, while trying to reach Mainland China. He was beatified on 25 October 1619 by Pope Paul V and was canonized on 12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. He is called the “Apostle of the Indies” and the “Apostle of Japan”. He is the Patron Saint for India.


Peter Faber was born into a poor peasant family in Savoy, France on 13 April 1506. He was the first of the original nine companions of Ignatius in Paris. He was also the first member of the group to make the Spiritual Exercises, and the first priest among them. He was sent on an ecumenical mission to Germany by Pope Paul III in 1540. He ceaselessly gave the Spiritual Exercises to clergy and laity with equal good effect in Germany, Spain and France. On his way to attend the Council of Trent, he stopped at Rome to meet Ignatius – in whose arms he died on 1 August 1546. He was beatified on 5 September 1872 by Pope Pius IX.