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July 31


Saint of the day:
Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Patron Saint of Dioceses of San Sebastion and Bilbao, Biscay & Gipuzkoa, Basque Country,

Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, Society of Jesus, soldiers, Educators and Education.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Story

The founder of the Jesuits was on his way to military fame and fortune when a cannon ball shattered his leg. Because there were no books of romance on hand during his convalescence, Ignatius whiled away the time reading a life of Christ and lives of the saints. His conscience was deeply touched, and a long, painful turning to Christ began. Having seen the Mother of God in a vision, he made a pilgrimage to her shrine at Montserrat near Barcelona. He remained for almost a year at nearby Manresa, sometimes with the Dominicans, sometimes in a pauper’s hospice, often in a cave in the hills praying. After a period of great peace of mind, he went through a harrowing trial of scruples. There was no comfort in anything—prayer, fasting, sacraments, penance. At length, his peace of mind returned.

It was during this year of conversion that Ignatius began to write down material that later became his greatest work, the Spiritual Exercises.

He finally achieved his purpose of going to the Holy Land, but could not remain, as he planned, because of the hostility of the Turks. Ignatius spent the next 11 years in various European universities, studying with great difficulty, beginning almost as a child. Like many others, his orthodoxy was questioned; Ignatius was twice jailed for brief periods.

In 1534, at the age of 43, he and six others–one of whom was Saint Francis Xavier–vowed to live in poverty and chastity and to go to the Holy Land. If this became impossible, they vowed to offer themselves to the apostolic service of the pope. The latter became the only choice. Four years later Ignatius made the association permanent. The new Society of Jesus was approved by Pope Paul III, and Ignatius was elected to serve as the first general.

When companions were sent on various missions by the pope, Ignatius remained in Rome, consolidating the new venture, but still finding time to found homes for orphans, catechumens, and penitents. He founded the Roman College, intended to be the model of all other colleges of the Society.

Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, Ad majorem Dei gloriam—“for the greater glory of God.” In his concept, obedience was to be the prominent virtue, to assure the effectiveness and mobility of his men. All activity was to be guided by a true love of the Church and unconditional obedience to the Holy Father, for which reason all professed members took a fourth vow to go wherever the pope should send them for the salvation of souls.






St Ignatius of Loyola

(d. 1556, Rome, Italy) (Relics: Rome, Italy)


Il Gesu (The Jesus)

Via degli Astalli 16

Rome, Italy

*This church is located along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. It honors a number of Jesuit saints.

*St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, is buried under the altar in the left transept.

*An arm of St Francis Xavier (d. 1552) rests within a reliquary above the altar in the right transept.
With this arm he baptized thousands of individuals in India and the Far East.

*The remains of St Peter Faber (d. 1546), an early companion of St Ignatius, are also located here. They are said to rest below the main entrance to this church having been placed here when the church was built in the 16th century. During the placement of these relics it was impossible to separate the bones of St Peter Faber from the bones of other individuals; therefore, his bones are buried together with theirs.





(St. Ignatius Almond Cake)

The stencil design on top of the cake is the basic logo of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a Catholic order founded by St. Ignatius in 1534 (and recognized by Pope Paul III six years later). I, H and S are the first three letters of Jesus’ name in Greek—iota, eta and sigma. The cross symbol in the middle of the letters represents our Lord at the center of our lives. The trinity of nails shows us how he suffered and died for us so that we may be saved. 



  • 3 egg whites

  • 1 ¼ cup sugar

  • 2 cups almond meal

  • ¾ cup flour

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (for decorative topping)





  1. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until stiff. Gradually add the sugar. Mix in the almond meal and the flour. Melt the butter and slightly cool before pouring it in the batter.  Mix well.

  2. Pour the batter in an ungreased, 8-inch round cake pan. Smooth the batter with a spatula. Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for an hour and a half. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick; if the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool completely before sprinkling powdered sugar on the top.

  3. To decorate the top of the cake with a Jesuit design, print the logo and carefully cut out the pieces using an X-Acto knife. Position the logo pieces on top of the cake. Make sure the cake is still on a wire rack with a pan beneath it to catch the remaining powdered sugar.

  4. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top using a sieve. Carefully remove the logo pieces from the top of the cake using tweezers. Present the cake on a platter or cake board. Slice into wedges and serve.





  • Almond meal is also known as almond flour. Blanched or skinless toasted almonds can also be ground in a food processor and used for this recipe.

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