St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) was a Spanish Catholic priest and theologian who co-founded the religious order Society of Jesus, also called the Jesuits. Initially motivated by ideals of courtly love and knighthood, St. Ignatius experienced a conversion when recovering from a battle injury in 1521. Reading books on the lives of Jesus and the saints while recovering helped him realise the plan that God had for him, and caused him to abandon his pursuit of more worldly pleasures.
Following this experience, St. Ignatius dedicated himself to perfecting the art of spiritual direction. His insights, suggestions and prayers are documented in his book Spiritual Exercises. He also went on to co-found the Society of Jesus with friends Peter Faber and Francis Xavier in 1539. He served as the first Superior General of the order. His spiritual vision for the order was to help others, and seek God in all things.
Inspired by their founder, Jesuits around the world are committed to the service of faith and the promotion of justice. They are driven by a mission prepare men and women for the service of others, especially the poor, oppressed and marginalised. This is reflected in the ethos of Jesuit institutions of higher learning, including St. Joseph’s Evening College (Autonomous), Bangalore.
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