The Conversion of St Ignatius of Loyola, with Father James Hanvey SJ

May 19, 2021

From broken man to Catholic saint

As part of their ‘Cannonball Conversions’ series, and to mark the start of the ‘Ignatian Year’, the Edinburgh Jesuit Centre invited Father James Hanvey SJ to shed light on the early life of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus.

The talk begins with Ignatius’ injury at the Battle of Pamplona (20th May 2021) when a cannonball ripped through his leg. Father James describes this as “the experience of absolute failure”. This is the moment at which Ignatius realises he will never again be an effective soldier or a great catch for a prospective wife – “he has no prospects at all”.

However, what Ignatius did have is strength of character and determination. After several botched and agonising surgeries to repair his damaged leg, Ignatius underwent a long spiritual conversion which ultimately led to sainthood.

Father James Hanvey is a former Master of Campion Hall at the University of Oxford, and now works in the Jesuit General Curia in Rome as Secretary for the Service of Faith. You can watch his talk in full here.

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