Today in Catholic History – Ignatius of Loyola and the Battle of Pampeluna

On 20 May 1521, Inigo Lopez de Loyola/Ignatius of Loyola was injured during the Battle of Pampeluna or Pamplona. This battle, between the French supported people of Navarre and the Spanish forces moving to conquer the the Iberian region, saw Ignatius severely wounded by a French cannonball which shattered his leg.

During his recovery, Ignatius occupied his time by reading the only books available to him – a life of Christ by Ludolph of Saxony which was a commentary on the Gospels based on the writings of the Church Fathers and a book on the lives of the saints. These texts inspired in Ignatius a profound religious conversion and upon his recovery he would visit the Benedictine monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat on 25 March 1522, where he would hang his military uniform before an image of the Blessed Mother as a sign that he was now a soldier for Christ.

Later Ignatius would use the ideas of Ludolph of Sazony when he wrote his Spiritual Exercises and establish the Society of Jesus/the Jesuits in 1534.

Ignatius of Loyola


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