BM Bureau : While the nation has entered the Unlock 3 phase with more relaxations, the night curfew from Saturday and on Sunday has been withdrawn. Wishing all a Happy and Hopeful Day, and presenting a small article by Rev Dr Roland Coelho, S.J. the former young and dynamic principal of St Paul’s High school, Belagavi who is now serving as the provincial of Goa Jesuit Province.
St Ignatius of Loyola: A man to inspire greatness and selfless service in today’s world
Today is the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus whose members are commonly called Jesuits. The Jesuit order has had a significant impact not only on the Catholic Church but also on various aspects of civilized society in different parts of the world. Besides their tremendous contribution to education, for which the Jesuits were called the “schoolmasters of Europe,” they have transformed people of all faiths through their work in social action, youth, spirituality and dialogue, peace and harmony, and so on. Jesuits continue to work with the rich and the poor to transform society in order to bring about a more just and equitable world.
Ignatius came from an aristocratic family from the Basque part of Spain. He was chivalrous, given to the ways of the world, and ready to fight! After being wounded during a battle with the French in 1521, Ignatius felt God calling him to change his ways and to become God’s soldier. He strongly defended the Catholic Church in the critical times of the 16th century. He sent out his Jesuit friends as pioneers to different parts of the world where they made a mark—helping to preserve local languages and traditions, writing dictionaries, formulating grammar books, charting maps, starting schools and colleges, providing medical care to those in remote lands. They were priests, yes, but they were also scientists, teachers, bakers, doctors, preachers, spiritual directors, etc. If there was something that was needed for the good of the people, one could ask the Jesuits to do it.
Ignatius never forgot that he was a sinner and yet God called him to follow Jesus Christ. Despite their many good works around the world, the members of the Society of Jesus are aware that they have made mistakes too. While being human, they have remembered their founder’s call to work for the greater glory of God. With some of the best schools and colleges in India, the Jesuits and their collaborators have trained their students to be real, to accept themselves, to develop their talents, to overcome selfishness and to become men and women for others. Many of their alumni are lovingly serving this country in varied ways, inspired by that great and humble man, Ignatius of Loyola.