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Saturday 12 March
400 Year Celebration of the
Canonisation of Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier

This weekend on Saturday 12 March we celebrate 400 years since Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier were canonised in 1622. Canonisation is the state of being declared a saint.

Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), an order of priests and brothers, that is committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ, justice for all, and seeking and finding God in all things.

Ignatius met Francis Xavier at university in Paris and Francis was one of Ignatius’ first companions in the Society of Jesus and together they were the first Jesuits to be declared saints. Today the Society of Jesus numbers 53 saints, 34 of them martyrs.

Below are two reflections from Jesuit priests. One on being a saint and the other regarding the significance of this event for us today.

“A saint is a person who allows himself/herself to be led by the Spirit and is, in this way, in God's hands. With open hands, the individual offers the Lord his/her projects, time, achievements and disappointments, thoughts and opinions. This person lives every moment of life actively, with open eyes and ears, and tries to respond in every circumstance, before his/her brothers and sisters, as the beatitudes indicate: as poor in spirit, merciful, pure of heart, hungry for justice and peace... He/she does everything with God, does nothing without God, and others often perceive this as well. In this way, that kind of life, even with imperfections, is similar to that of the Lord.” Fr Pascual Cebollada SJ

“The larger significance of the canonisation of St Ignatius lies in recalling the life of a man whose own life was extraordinary and dedicated to shaping a better world. It more narrowly evokes a faithful and generous way of living within the Catholic Church. It also embodies a way of proceeding for those from any background who see their lives and work as a gift and a mission. Ignatius’ desire for something more, and his emphasis on reflection on one’s own life and motivation, on the needs of the world and possibilities for action, on purposeful action and on evaluation of it, underlie the ways of working at all of our Jesuit ministries. They are open to people of any background with a generous vision of the world and commitment to people in need.” Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ

We celebrate this day as part of the Ignatian Year which began on 21 May 2021, the 500 year anniversary of Ignatius being struck by the cannonball and will conclude on 31 July 2022, the feast day of Ignatius of Loyola.

Mrs Jacquie McCabe
Head of Ignatian Ethos

Lent is a time of Reconciliation
From the Head of Senior School