Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola
Saint Ignatius was born at Loyola in Spain, in the year 1491. He served his king as a courtier and a soldier until his thirtieth year. At that time a cannon ball broke the right leg of the young officer, who in a few days had reached the brink of death and received the Last Sacraments.
To pass the time of his convalescence after three operations, he asked for books; the Life of Christ and lives of the Saints were brought to him. He read them distractedly at first, then with profound emotion. He underwent a violent combat, but finally grace won out.
One night, he consecrated himself to the Saviour through the intercession of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners, swearing inviolable fidelity to the Son and His Mother. Not long afterwards, to fortify him in his good resolutions, Mary appeared to him surrounded by light, holding in her arms the Child Jesus. His heart purified by this vision, Ignatius made a general confession and a pilgrimage to Montserrat, to venerate a miraculous image of the Mother of God and implore her protection, then bought a rude long habit for the pilgrimage he was planning to make to Jerusalem.