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There are currently 5 names in this directory beginning with the letter I.
Adjective, from the noun Ignatius [of Loyola] .* Often used now in distinction to Jesuit* indicating aspects of spirituality* that derive from Ignatius the lay person* rather than from the later Ignatius and his religious order,* the Society of Jesus,* the former being more appropriate for and adaptable to lay people today.

Ignatian/Jesuit Vision, Characteristics of the
Drawing on a variety of contemporary sources which tend to confirm one another, one can construct a list of rather commonly accepted characteristics of the Ignatian/Jesuit vision. It …
  • sees life and the whole universe as a gift calling forth wonder and gratefulness;
  • gives ample scope to imagination and emotion as well as intellect;
  • seeks to find the divine in all things–in all peoples and cultures, in all areas of study and learning, in every human experience, and (for the Christian) especially in the person of Jesus*;
  • cultivates critical awareness of personal and social evil, but points to God’s love as more powerful than any evil;
  • stresses freedom, need for discernment,* and responsible action;
  • empowers people to become leaders in service, “mean and women for others,”* “whole persons of solidarity,”* building a more just and humane world.
No one claims that any of these are uniquely Ignatian/Jesuit. It is rather the combination of them all and the way they fit together that make the vision distinctive and so appropriate for an age in transition–whether from the medieval to the modern in Ignatius’ time, or from the modern to the postmodern in ours.

Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)
Youngest child of a noble Basque family fiercely loyal to the Spanish crown (Ferdinand and Isabella), he was named Inigo after a local saint. Raised to be a courtier, he was trying valiantly to defend the fortress town of Pamplona in 1521 when a French cannonball shattered his leg. During a long convalescence, he found himself drawn away from the romances of chivalry that had filled his imagination from an early age to more spiritual reading–an illustrated life of Christ and a collection of saints’ lives.

After his recovery, he set out for the Holy Land to realize a dream of “converting the infidel.” On the way he stopped in the little town of Manresa* and wound up spending nearly a year there during which he experienced both the depths of despair and great times of enlightenment.

Ordered to leave Palestine after being there little more than a month, Ignatius decided that he needed an education in order to be able to “help souls.” In Barcelona, he went to school with boys a quarter his age to learn the rudiments of Latin grammar, and then moved on to several other Spanish university cities. In each he was imprisoned and interrogated by the Inquisition, because he kept speaking to people about “spiritual* things,” having neither a theology degree nor priestly ordination.

Finally, turning his back on his homeland, he went to the foremost university of the time, the University of Paris, where he began his education all over again and with diligence, after five years, was finally awarded the degree “Master of Arts.” It was here at Paris that he changed his Basque name to the Latin Ignatius and its Spanish equivalent Ignacio.

While at the University, he had roomed with and become good friends with a fellow Basque named Francis Xavier* and a Savoyard named Peter Faber.* After graduation, these three, together with several other Paris graduates, undertook a process of communal discernment* and decided to bind themselves together in an apostolic* community that became the Society of Jesus.* Unanimously elected superior by his companions, Ignatius spent the last 16 years of his life in Rome directing the fledgling order, while the others went all over Europe, to the Far East, and eventually to the New World. And wherever they went they founded schools as a means of helping people to “find God in all things.”*

The first three letters, in Greek, of the name Jesus. These letters appear as a symbol on the official seal of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits.

A modern theological concept, which expresses that God is already present and active in a culture, and so our presentation of the Gospel to any given culture should be allowed to flourish in the “soil” of that culture.