Ignatius lived an eventful life during an eventful time. In the early 1500s Christianity was in turmoil as Marin Luther and Jean Calvin challenged Church doctrine and authority, and the wars of Emperor Charles V ravaged Europe. One of these wars left Ignatius badly wounded, leading to a long convalescence and a subsequent pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Eventually he would found a new religious order named the Society of Jesus, reinvigorating the Church at a tumultuous time and helping to bring Christianity to new frontiers. By the time of his death in 1556, there were more than 1,000 Jesuits working across the globe.
The videos and recommended readings below provide a short sketch of the life of Ignatius Loyola. The first three offer a simple introduction, with the first video giving the most detailed look at his life. The fourth video takes you on a tour of the places in Spain where Ignatius lived, and the fifth video is a humorous rendition of Ignatius’s life narrated by an olive. Below these four videos are recommended readings as well as a few resources for the intermediate and advanced levels.
For a quick overview of Ignatius's life, click the image above to see a timeline from Jesuits.org.
For those already familiar with the basic contours of Ignatius’s life, check out the following resources:
- A feature-length film by the Filipino Jesuits entitled “Ignatius of Loyola” (2016). The film begins with Ignatius’s childhood and follows his life through his studies in Spain and interrogation before the Inquisition.
- A 23-minute video by a Jesuit scholar who provides a tour of Ignatius’s living quaters in Rome.
- The autobiography of St. Ignatius.