Manresa 2022

Ignatius of Loyola, a universal figure

Not only is Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) one of the most influential figures in the history of mankind, but he is also the individual who has done most to raise awareness of Manresa around the globe, having lived in the Catalan city for almost one year between 1522 and 1523. Ignatius? experiences in Manresa helped to consolidate the transformation that began in Loyola when he decided to abandon his military career to devote himself to meditation and the contemplative life. In his autobiography, he writes about series of mystical experiences that took place during his time in the city, which would be decisive in his writing of the Spiritual Exercises..

The full biography
  • 1491
    Íñigo López de Loyola was born in Loyola, Azpeitia, into a noble Basque family.
    The beginning of a profound transformation
  • 1521
    While serving in the military, he suffered a major injury to his right leg during the Battle of Pamplona. During his period of convalescence, he experienced a profound transformation that would see him leave his military career behind and lead a life devoted to God. This led to him undertaking a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and leading a penitent life.
    The Pilgrim's Way
  • 1522
    The first phase of the pilgrimage took him to Montserrat, where he confessed his sins and relinquished his clothes, armour and sword. From there he walked to Manresa: a city that he would call home for eleven months. During his stay in the Bages capital, Ignatius underwent an introspective transformation that would see him experience episodes of spiritual fervour, crises and enlightenment. These experiences would strengthen his religious vocation and leave a deep impression on him, culminating in the writing of Spiritual Exercises and the foundation of the Society of Jesus, or ?the Jesuits?.
  • 1523
    After leaving Manresa, he continued his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He would then stay here for a period of time.
    Period of studies
  • 1524-1527
    He attended a grammar school in Barcelona between 1524 and 1526. He would then go on to study at the University of Alcalá, where he was called before the Inquisition and imprisoned. He went on to study at the University of Salamanca after his release, before being prosecuted for a second time and banned from preaching and teaching theology. He finally decided to leave Spain.
  • 1528-1535
    EHe obtained a philosophy degree from the University of Paris in 1535 before going on to study theology. /div>
    His period as a priest in Rome
  • 1537
    After being ordained in Venice, he would travel to Rome to hold his first mass as a priest in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.
  • 1540
    Pope Paul III approved the foundation of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits). Ignatius began writing the Jesuit Constitutions in 1541 and was named Superior General of the Society of Jesus. At this time, he made the decision to reside permanently in Rome.
  • 1553-1555
    Ignatius spoke of his experiences to his personal secretary, who would be responsible for writing his biography.
    Death and canonisation
  • 1556
    Ignatius of Loyola died in Rome on 31 July.
  • 1609
    He was beatified by Pope Paul V.
  • 1622
    He was canonised by Pope Gregory XV.
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