Saint Ignatius of Loyola

31st July

From a soldier in the Spanish army, Saint Ignatius of Loyola became a soldier for Jesus. In this journey, he showed courage and determination not to give up. His great love for Jesus and his profound spirituality still inspire many people.

He is the founder of the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits, who are a group of priests with the same aim as Ignatius’s. Besides the homes they have where they live together under the votes of obedience, poverty, chastity and a special vote of total obedience to the Pope, the Jesuits also have a number of retreat houses, including one in Malta and another one in Gozo. These are places where men and women spend some days in prayer and to further their knowledge of Christian teachings. The Jesuits also run St Aloysius College in Birkirkara. Furthermore, one of our educational colleges is named after the Jesuit founder: St Ignatius College.

Pope Francis is a Jesuit.

After watching the video with the children, ask their opinion on what they admire in Saint Ignatius. Lead them to discover these elements in the life of this saint:

  • His courage as a soldier
  • His courage to change
  • He did not give up (both in his health problems and in learning Latin)
  • The determination he had to continue preaching about Jesus, in every opportunity he had

Discuss with the children (in a simple way with the younger ones) if they ever had any experiences where:

  • They were going to give up/they gave up
  • They needed courage
  • They feared/did not fear showing or sharing that they go to church, that they are in a catholic group and ask them on what did they do when they felt like this

If there are any children in the family that are about to receive (or have already received) the Sacrament of Confirmation, take their opinion about what it means to be a soldier of Christ.

Introduce the children to meditation and reflection according to the method of Saint Ignatius:

  • Find an event/miracle from the Gospel (from the kid’s Bible or a video from the internet)
  • Ask the children:
    • If you were there, who do you think you would be in the story?
    • What would you have thought?
    • What would you have said?
    • What would you have done?
  • End with a personal prayer, this time in silence.

Saint Ignatius was a soldier, but he always loved Jesus. He used to fight with the Spanish army but once he got injured. After being injured he started reading more about Jesus and the saints and he realised that they are Heroes as well! Therefore, he wished to become a soldier of Jesus by teaching, praying and living a good life!

Do as the video instructs you to do so that you can be a soldier of Jesus as well. On the shield write down ways in which you can become a soldier of Jesus: a soldier that loves and does everything for Jesus.

Dance and sing while using the sword and the shield you made!

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.