St. Ignatius of Loyola

St Ignatius is a fabulous saint to engage the whole family in a study. He is our featured saint in Catholic Schoolhouse weeks 1-3

Boys love that he was a soldier.

Wounded in battle.

But he was much more. He founded the Society of Jesus, known today as the Jesuits.


And was known for discerning of spirits as shown in this famous image by Peter Paul Ruebens

 Perhaps the most lasting gift he gave us, were his Spiritual Exercises, which are a path to holiness that has been trusted for centuries. Read on for more ideas.


For Children

Find ideas for introducing children to the ideas of Ignatian spirituality at

Or study up on his life with this brief timeline of St. Ignatius’s life


For Grown-ups

If you have never been exposed to the St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises, begin by introducing yourself to the first Principle and Foundation.  (This is prayed daily by those following an Ignatian spirituality.)


 Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.

And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. 
From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it.   
For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our freewill and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.

The text of St. Ignatius’ entire book outlining his Spiritual Exercises can be downloaded free from the Christian Classics Library


For Families

You may also consider book, My Path to Heaven,  for a family retreat based on the tradition of the St. Ignatius Retreat that has been used by Catholics for centuries.

Or pray this together as a morning prayer.

 – God love me more than I do myself.
  – Lord, what is it you want of me?
  – Following you Jesus, I will not get lost.
  – Lord, sustain me with your grace.
  – God will provide what He thinks is bests.
  – I don’t deserve, Lord, all I receive.
  – Lord, I’m a child ! Where are you taking me?
  – Give me Lord, your love and your grace; this is enough for me.
  – Jesus, for nothing in the world will I leave you!
  – Jesus be my guide, and help me.”      — from the Spiritual Diary of St. Ignatius of Loyola


This famous prayer is known as the Suscipe

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my entire will, All I have and call my own.   You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.   Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace. That is enough for me.  — St. Ignatius of Loyola

And finally, the famous Anima Christi, a powerful prayer when said after receiving Holy Communion:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, purify me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Never permit me to be separated from you.
From the evil enemy, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you For everlasting ages. Amen.

 Print it on a pocket sized card your entire family to carry with them to Mass.

God bless us all as we seek holiness.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam! (For the greater glory of God)

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