Ignatius was a proud Basque soldier with no learning, and with a willingness to fight duels.
At thirty-four with a cannonball crushed leg, Ignatius hid away with no friends or support, and he began reading a life of Jesus that changed him completely. Seeing the need for learning, he joined boys in a primary school, learning enough to enroll at the University of Paris.
With a hypnotic appeal to scholarly Spaniards, he enrolled six men as close followers, and he led them through a thirty-day retreat that fixed their minds and hearts on doing God’s work. He was forty when he and his companions were ordained priests, and Pope Paul III recognized the Jesuit Order. From then on the Jesuits became the Pope’s frontline soldiers.
(When I was seventeen I spent a year on a Jesuit-like religious program that began with his thirty day retreat,)
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