In Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), he enjoins us to embark on our Christian journey of holiness by embracing the ordinariness of everyday. Throughout his exhortation, Pope Francis calls out more than 40 saints who can assist us on our mission of Christian faith, and to teach us how to rejoice and be glad in all of life’s challenges, mysteries, and joys.

During the 34 weeks of Ordinary Time, we will introduce you to some of the saints mentioned in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation. #OrdinarySaints for #OrdinaryTime #HolyOrdinary

St. Ignatius of Loyola – #20, #69, #153

#20 That mission has its fullest meaning in Christ, and can only be understood through him. At its core, holiness is experiencing in union with Christ, the mysteries of his life… The contemplation of these mysteries, as St. Ignatius of Loyola pointed out, leads us to incarnate them in our choices and attitudes.

#69 This spiritual poverty is closely linked to what St. Ignatius of Loyola calls “holy indifference,’ which brings us to a radiant interior freedom: “We need to train ourselves to be indifferent to our attitude to all created things, in all that is permitted to our free will and not forbidden’ so that on our part, we do not set our hearts on good health rather than bad, riches rather than poverty, honour rather than dishonour, a long life rather than a short one, and so in all the rest.”

#153 The memory of God’s work is central to the experience of the covenant between God and his people… This is the grateful memory that St. Ignatius of Loyola refers to in his Contemplation for Attaining Love, when he asks us to be mindful of all the blessings we have received from the Lord.

There’s so much that could be said of St. Ignatius. He was a soldier turned contemplative, who struggled with anxiety and depression. A sickbed conversion changed his life, but difficulties lay ahead. Perseverance in prayer and total trust in God pulled St. Ignatius out the darkness that was trying to consume him.

St. Ignatius never lost his love and zeal for prayer, and through contemplation he write his famous Spiritual Exercises. In fact, the Jesuit order, which St. Ignatius founded, started as a group of college students praying the Spiritual Exercises together.

What started as a group of young men praying together eventually grew into a sort of missionary group. St. Ignatius wanted to preach the Good News in Turkey or his home in Spain, but that did not pan out. However, the Church, reeling from the effects of the Protestant Reformation, needed people to present clear Church teaching. St. Ignatius had no education and was hardly the man for the job. Yet, 450 years later the Jesuits are still known as teachers in the Church.

St. Ignatius of Loyola was canonized in 1622 and his feast day is July 31.

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