Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491– 1556) was a Spanish knight from a local Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and was its first Superior General. After being seriously wounded in the Battle of Pamplona in 1521, he underwent a spiritual conversion while in recovery. De Vita Christi by Ludolph of Saxony purportedly inspired Loyola to abandon his previous military life and devote himself to labour for God. He died in July 1556, was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1609, canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622, and declared patron of all spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922.
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