Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491, one of thirteen children in a family of minor nobility in northern Spain. He grew up at a time of great adventurers like Christopher Columbus and dreamed of gaining fame in battle, so he joined the army of Spain to do just that. When Ignatius was severely wounded in a battle with the French, his days of knighthood ended – and his spiritual adventures began.
The feast of St. Francis Xavier helps us understand what each of us must do to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus in the world today. In the words of the saint – just do what God asks you to do.
The feast day of St. Martin de Porres reminds all who work on behalf of the poor that man’s ways are not God’s ways. Rather than choose powerful and dynamic leaders to be his hands and feet on earth, our Lord often chooses saints from humble places and shapes them through difficult circumstances.
Each year the church celebrates the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, remembered for his dramatic conversion documented in The Acts of The Apostles.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. John Vianney, also known as the Cure’ of Ars. His era was not unlike our own. There was much confusion about life, greed, and a seeming lack of caring for truth and justice.
If you can read this, be thankful. You have been gifted with an education. I’m especially thankful for that gift in my own life. My education is one of my prize possessions. And many of our overseas partners say the students there feel the same way.