Ignatius was an illiterate Spanish soldier in 1551 when he was wounded in the hip, and had to spend almost a year regaining his footing. He learned how to read the lives of the saints, and he devised a thirty-day exercise for turning himself to God.
He regained his abilities by leaning to read and write properly by going to school with children. Mentally equipped then, he enrolled at the University of Paris. The other Spanish soldiers there at first laughed at him, but his sanctity so won them over that together they decided on going to Jerusalem to win the people there for Christ.
After they had failed in finding passage there they came to the attention of the Holy Father who constituted them as the Jesuit Fathers. The pope used them for doing missionary work in Canada and India, he also enrolled them to write out the resolutions of the council of Trent.
His priests had great respect for Ignatius. Francis Xavier always knelt while writing to Ignatius.