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St. Ignatius of Loyola



St. Ignatius of Loyola is best known as the person who founded the Jesuits and whose spiritual insights gave birth to Ignatian spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises. A lesser-known fact is that it was the cannonball wound he received in battle that actually led to his conversion experience. Without this conversion, there would be no Jesuits, no Ignatian spirituality.


Listed below are three fun facts about the 16th-century saint, St. Ignatius of Loyola:

  • He once allowed the donkey on which he was riding to determine whether he should follow and murder someone he thought had insulted the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fortunately, the donkey chose the path that led away from the insulter.
  • He thought that his leg had been set poorly after the cannonball incident and that, as a result, he wouldn’t look good in his courtier’s tights. So he had a doctor rebreak his leg and start over!
  • He may be the only canonized saint to have a notarized police record—for nighttime brawling with intent to inflict serious harm.



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