The novitiate called the noviciate, is the period of training and preparation that a Christian novice monastic, apostolic, or member of a religious order undergoes prior to taking vows in order to discern whether he or she is called to vowed religious life. It includes times of intense study, living in community, studying the vowed life, deepening one's relationship with God, deepening one's self-awareness, it is a time of creating a new way of being in the world. The novitiate stage in most communities is a two-year period of formation; these years are "Sabbath time" to deepen one's relationship with God, to intensify the living out of the community's mission and charism, to foster human growth. The novitiate experience for many communities includes a concentrated program of prayer, study and limited ministerial engagement. Novices are not admitted to vows until they have completed the prescribed period of training and proving, called the novitiate. In the Middle Ages novices would have dormitories in separate areas within a monastery.
Earlier, different orders followed their own rules governing the length and conditions of the novitiate. At the time of the Reformation, the Council of Trent legislated the length and conditions by which anyone aspiring to become a monk is obliged to be a novice; the novitiate, through which life in an institute is begun, is arranged so that the novices better understand their divine vocation, indeed one, proper to the institute, experience the manner of living of the institute, form their mind and heart in its spirit, so that their intention and suitability are tested. —Canon Law 646 Conscious of their own responsibility, the Novices are to collaborate with their Director in such a way that they faithfully respond to the grace of a divine vocation. —Canon Law 652.3 Members of the institute are to take care that they cooperate for their part in the work of formation of the Novices through example of life and prayer —Canon Law 652.3 Novices are to be led to cultivate human and Christian virtues.
—Canon Law 652 A novice is free to quit the novitiate at any time, the Novice Director, Formation Director, or Superior is free to dismiss him or her with or without cause in most communities. In novicating, the vows are continuous through training. In some novitiate communities monastic, the novice wears clothing, distinct from secular dress but is not the full habit worn by professed members of the community; the novice's day encompasses participation in the full canonical hours, manual labor, classes designed to instruct novices in the religious life he is preparing to embrace. Spiritual exercises and tests of humility are common features of a novitiate; some Roman Catholic communities encourage frequent confession and reception of Holy Communion by their novices. A Superior will appoint an experienced member of the community to oversee the training of novices; this may be a Finally Professed Member, novice master or mistress, responsible for the training of all novices. Different religious communities will have varying requirements for the duration of the novitiate.
One must complete a postulancy before entering the novitiate. In many apostolic religious communities in the United States, postulancy or candidacy is one to three years. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the novitiate is set at three years before one may be tonsured a monk or nun, though this requirement may be waived; the term "novitiate" refers to the building, house, or complex within a monastery or convent, devoted to the needs of novices. Monasticism Novice master
Pope Pius VI
Pope Pius VI, born Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 15 February 1775 to his death in 1799. Pius VI condemned the French Revolution and the suppression of the Gallican Church that resulted from it. French troops commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the papal troops and occupied the Papal States in 1796. In 1798, upon his refusal to renounce his temporal power, Pius was taken prisoner and transported to France, he died one year in Valence. His reign of over two decades is the fourth-longest in papal history. Giovanni Angelo Braschi was born in Cesena on Christmas in 1717 as the eldest of eight children to Count Marco Aurelio Tommaso Braschi and Ana Teresa Bandi, his siblings were Felice Silvestro, Giulia Francesca, Cornelio Francesco, Maria Olimpia, Anna Maria Costanza, Giuseppe Luigi and Maria Lucia Margherita. He was baptized in Cesena on the following 27 December and was given the baptismal name of Angelo Onofrio Melchiorre Natale Giovanni Antonio.
After completing his studies in the Jesuit college of Cesena and receiving his doctorate of both canon and civil law in 1734, Braschi continued his studies at the University of Ferrara. Braschi became the private secretary of papal legate Cardinal Tommaso Ruffo. Bishop of Ostia and Velletri. Cardinal Ruffo took him as his conclavist at the 1740 papal conclave and when the latter became the Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals in 1740, Braschi was appointed as his auditor, a post he held until 1753, his skill in the conduct of a mission to the court of Naples won him the esteem of Pope Benedict XIV. In 1753, following the death of Cardinal Ruffo, Benedict appointed Braschi one of his secretaries. In 1755, the pope appointed him as a canon of St Peter's Basilica in 1755. In 1758, putting an end to an engagement to be married, he was ordained to the priesthood. Braschi was appointed as the Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura in 1758 and held that position until 1759, he became the auditor and secretary of Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico, the nephew of Pope Clement XIII.
In 1766, he was appointed as the treasurer of the camera apostolica by Pope Clement XIII. Those who suffered under his conscientious economics had managed to convince Pope Clement XIV to elevate him into the cardinalate. Braschi was elevated on 26 April 1773 in Rome as the Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Onofrio; this was a promotion. He retired to the Abbey of Subiaco, of which he was commendatory abbot. Pope Clement XIV died in 1774 and this triggered a conclave to choose a successor. Spain and Portugal dropped all objections to the election of Braschi, one of the more moderate opponents of the anti-Jesuit stance of the late pope. Braschi received support from those who disliked the Jesuits and were of the belief he would continue the actions of Clement XIV and hold true to Clement's brief "Dominus ac Redemptor" which saw the dissolution of the order, but the zelanti faction - pro-Jesuit - believed that he was in secret sympathetic towards the Jesuits and expected reparation for the wrongs suffered in the previous reign.
As a result, Braschi - as pope - was led into situations where he gave little satisfaction to either side. Cardinal Braschi was elected to the pontificate on 15 February 1775 and took the pontifical name of "Pius VI", he was consecrated into the episcopate on 22 February 1775 by Cardinal Gian Francesco Albani and was crowned that same day by the Cardinal Protodeacon Alessandro Albani. Pius VI first opened a jubilee it initiated the 1775 Jubilee Year; the earlier acts of Pius VI gave fair promise of reformist rule and tackled the problem of corruption in the Papal States. Though he was benevolent, Pius VI sometimes showed discrimination, he appointed his uncle Giovanni Carlo Bandi as Bishop of Imola in 1752, as a member of the Roman Curia, cardinal in the consistory on 29 May 1775, but did not proffer any other members of his family. He reprimanded prince Potenziani, the governor of Rome, for failing to adequately deal with corruption in the city, appointed a council of cardinals to remedy the state of the finances and relieve the pressure of imposts, called to account Nicolò Bischi for the spending of funds intended for the purchase of grain, reduced the annual disbursements by denying pensions to many prominent people, adopted a reward system to encourage agriculture.
Upon his election, Pius VI ordered the release of Lorenzo Ricci, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, held prisoner in the Castel Sant'Angelo, but the general died before the decree of liberation arrived. It is due to Pius VI, that the Jesuits managed to escape dissolution in White Ruthenia and Silesia. In 1792, the pope considered the universal re-establishment of the Society of Jesus as a bulwark against the ideas of the French Revolution, but this did not happen. Besides facing dissatisfaction with this temporising policy, Pius VI met with practical protests tending to the limitation of papal authority. Johann Nikolaus von Hontheim, writing under the pseudonym of "Febronius", the chief German literary exponent of Gallican ideas of national Catholic Churches, was himself induced publicly to retract his positions. There the social and ecclesiastical reforms, undertaken by Emperor Joseph II and his minister Kaunitz, as a way of influencing appointments within the Roman Catholic hierarchy, touched the supremacy of Rome so nearly that in the hope of staying them Pius VI adopted the exceptional course of visiting Vienna in person.
He left Rome on 27 February 1782 and, though magnificently received by the Emperor, his mission proved a fiasco.
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men founded by Ignatius of Loyola and approved by Pope Paul III. The members are called Jesuits; the society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, cultural pursuits. Jesuits give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, promote ecumenical dialogue. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a Basque nobleman from the Pyrenees area of northern Spain, founded the society after discerning his spiritual vocation while recovering from a wound sustained in the Battle of Pamplona, he composed the Spiritual Exercises to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 1534, Ignatius and six other young men, including Francis Xavier and Peter Faber and professed vows of poverty and obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope in matters of mission direction and assignment. Ignatius's plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by a bull containing the "Formula of the Institute".
Ignatius was a nobleman who had a military background, the members of the society were supposed to accept orders anywhere in the world, where they might be required to live in extreme conditions. Accordingly, the opening lines of the founding document declared that the society was founded for "whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine." Jesuits are thus sometimes referred to colloquially as "God's soldiers", "God's marines", or "the Company", which evolved from references to Ignatius' history as a soldier and the society's commitment to accepting orders anywhere and to endure any conditions. The society participated in the Counter-Reformation and in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council; the Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage of Madonna Della Strada, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is led by a Superior General. The headquarters of the society, its General Curia, is in Rome.
The historic curia of Ignatius is now part of the Collegio del Gesù attached to the Church of the Gesù, the Jesuit mother church. In 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Jesuit to be elected Pope, taking the name Pope Francis; as of 2012, the Jesuits formed the largest single religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church. The Jesuits have experienced a decline in numbers in recent decades; as of 2017 the society had 16,088 members, 11,583 priests and 4,505 Jesuits in formation, which includes brothers and scholastics. This represents a 42.6 percent decline since 1977, when the society had a total membership of 28,038, of which 20,205 were priests. This decline is most pronounced in Europe and the Americas, with modest membership gains occurring in Asia and Africa. There seems to be no "Pope Francis effect" in counteracting the fall of vocations among the Jesuits; the society is divided into 83 provinces along with six independent regions and ten dependent regions. On 1 January 2007, members served in 112 nations on six continents with the largest number in India and the US.
Their average age was 57.3 years: 63.4 years for priests, 29.9 years for scholastics, 65.5 years for brothers. The current Superior General of the Jesuits is Arturo Sosa; the society is characterized by its ministries in the fields of missionary work, human rights, social justice and, most notably, higher education. It operates colleges and universities in various countries around the world and is active in the Philippines and India. In the United States the Jesuits have historical ties to 28 colleges and universities and 61 high schools; the degree to which the Jesuits are involved in the administration of each institution varies. As of September 2018, 15 of the 28 Jesuit universities in the US had non-Jesuit lay presidents. According to a 2014 article in The Atlantic, "the number of Jesuit priests who are active in everyday operations at the schools isn’t nearly as high as it once was". Worldwide it runs 172 colleges and universities. A typical conception of the mission of a Jesuit school will contain such concepts as proposing Christ as the model of human life, the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, lifelong spiritual and intellectual growth, training men and women for others.
Ignatius laid out his original vision for the new order in the "Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus", "the fundamental charter of the order, of which all subsequent official documents were elaborations and to which they had to conform." He ensured that his formula was contained in two papal bulls signed by Pope Paul III in 1540 and by Pope Julius III in 1550. The formula expressed the nature, community life, apostolate of the new religious order, its famous opening statement echoed Ignatius' military background: Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the Name of Jesus, to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity and obedience, keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching and any other ministration whatsoever of the Word of God, further by means of ret
Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and the historical centre of Lithuanian economic and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the centre of a county in Trakai Municipality of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413. In the Russian Empire, it was the capital of the Kaunas Governorate from 1843 to 1915. During the interwar period, it served as the temporary capital of Lithuania, when Vilnius was seized by Poland between 1920 and 1939. During that period Kaunas was celebrated for its rich cultural and academic life, construction of countless Art Deco and Lithuanian National Romanticism architectural-style buildings as well as popular furniture, the interior design of the time, a widespread café culture; the city interwar architecture is regarded as among the finest examples of European Art Deco and has received the European Heritage Label. It contributed to Kaunas being named as the first city in Central and Eastern Europe to be designated as a UNESCO City of Design. Kaunas has been selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2022, together with Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.
The city is the capital of Kaunas County, the seat of the Kaunas city municipality and the Kaunas District Municipality. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas. Kaunas is located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris, is near the Kaunas Reservoir, the largest body of water in the whole of Lithuania; the city's name is of Lithuanian origin and most derives from a personal name. Before Lithuania regained independence, the city was known in English as Kovno, the traditional Slavicized form of its name. An earlier Russian name was Ковно Kovno, although Каунас Kaunas has been used since 1940; the Yiddish name is קאָװנע Kovne, the names in German include Kaunas and Kauen. The city and its elderates have names in other languages. An old legend claims; these Romans were led by a patrician named Palemon, who had three sons: Barcus and Sperus. Palemon fled from Rome. Palemon, his sons and other relatives travelled to Lithuania. After Palemon's death, his sons divided his land.
Kunas got the land. He built a fortress near the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers, the city that grew up there was named after him. A suburban region in the vicinity is named "Palemonas". On 30 June 1993, the historical coat of arms of Kaunas city was re-established by a special presidential decree; the coat of arms features a white aurochs with a golden cross between its horns, set against a deep red background. The aurochs was the original heraldic symbol of the city, established in 1400; the heraldic seal of Kaunas, introduced in the early 15th century during the reign of Grand Duke Vytautas, is the oldest city heraldic seal known in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The current emblem was the result of much study and discussion on the part of the Lithuanian Heraldry Commission, realized by the artist Raimondas Miknevičius. An auroch has replaced a wisent, depicted in the Soviet-era emblem, used since 1969. Blazon: Gules, an aurochs passant guardant argent ensigned with a cross Or between his horns.
Kaunas has a greater coat of arms, used for purposes of Kaunas city representation. The sailor, three golden balls, Latin text "Diligite justitiam qui judicatis terram" in the greater coat of arms refers to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of merchants and seafarers, regarded as a heavenly guardian of Kaunas by Queen Bona Sforza. According to the archeological excavations, the richest collections of ceramics and other artifacts found at the confluence of the Nemunas and the Neris rivers are from the second and first millennium BC. During that time, people settled in some territories of the present Kaunas: the confluence of the two longest rivers of Lithuania area, Lampėdžiai, Kaniūkai, Marvelė, Romainiai, Petrašiūnai, Sargėnai, Veršvai sites. A settlement had been established on the site of the current Kaunas old town, at the confluence of two large rivers, at least by the 10th century AD. Kaunas is first mentioned in written sources in 1361. In 1362, the castle was destroyed by the Teutonic Order.
Commander Vaidotas of the Kaunas castle garrison, with 36 men, tried to break through, but was taken prisoner. It was one of the largest and important military victories of the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century against Lithuania; the Kaunas castle was rebuilt at the beginning of the 15th century. In 1408, the town was granted Magdeburg rights by Vytautas the Great and became a centre of Kaunas Powiat in Trakai Voivodeship in 1413. Vytautas ceded Kaunas the right to own the scales used for weighing the goods brought to the city or packed on site, wax processing, woolen cloth-trimming facilities; the power of the self-governing Kaunas was shared by three interrelated major institutions: vaitas, the Magistrate, the so-called Benchers' Court. Kaunas began to gain prominence, since it was at an intersection of a river port. In 1441 Kaunas joined the Hanseatic League, Hansa merchant office Kontor was opened—the only one in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. By the 16th century, Kaunas had a public school and a hospital and was one of the best-formed towns in
The Kražiai College was a Jesuit college in Kražiai, Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Russian Empire. Established in 1616 in hopes to educate new generations of anti-Protestants, the college was one of the major cultural and educational centers in Samogitia. In 1620–1742, it shared premises with the Samogitian Priest Seminary. In 1844, the college was transferred to Kaunas. Bishop Merkelis Giedraitis raised the idea of establishing a college in Kražiai, the first higher education institution in Samogitia. To that end, in 1608, he bought them land and built a house for their needs. Merkelis died the following year. Other patrons included Mikołaj Krzysztof "the Orphan" Radziwiłł who donated a palace, built in 1565, Jan Karol Chodkiewicz who donated seven homesteads; the college was founded in 1613, was called Collegium Chodkievicianum in honor of Chodkiewicz. The first class was held only in September 1616 in a temporary wooden house; the construction of a permanent school began in 1618. At the time, the college had about 50 students and 12 teachers.
With the support of many wealthy sponsors, the college expanded into a large campus, including its own church built in 1625–89. Full financial support was given to 26 impoverished students. On average, the school educated 250 -- 300 students; the curriculum and teaching methods followed the Ratio Studiorum. Students visited the sick; the college had a rich library, which in 1803 held 3,264 volumes. The college suffered severe human and capital losses during the Swedish invasion of 1656 and the plague of 1710, but recovered. After the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, the college's administration was taken over by the Commission of National Education. After the Third Partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Carmelites from Kolainiai administered the school from 1797 to 1817. In 1817, Tsarist authorities secularized the school, changed its name to gymnasium, introduced primary education classes, transferred its administration to Vilnius University; as such, the number of students grew and exceeded 400.
Vilnius University was closed in the aftermath of the 1831 November Uprising. After the establishment of the Kovno Governorate in 1843, the gymnasium was transferred from Kražiai to Kaunas; the campus in Kražiai fell into ruins. Only the former student dormitory survives to this day; the building was extensively renovated in 2008 and houses the Cultural Center of M. K. Sarbievijus, Kražiai Region Museum, the library and art collection of Charlotte Narkiewicz-Laine; the first teacher, Jonas Kochas, was sent from the Collegium Hosianum in Royal Prussia. Among the first teachers was poet Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski who taught syntax. Other notable teachers included historian Albert Wijuk Kojałowicz who taught rhetoric, Žygimantas Liauksminas, college's rector, future Bishop Motiejus Valančius. Notable students included writers Dionizas Poška and Simonas Stanevičius, folklorists Liudvikas Adomas Jucevičius, explorers Jan Prosper Witkiewicz, brothers Antanas and Jonas Juška
Catherine the Great
Catherine II known as Catherine the Great, born Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, was Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, the country's longest-ruling female leader. She came to power following a coup d'état which she organized—resulting in her husband, Peter III, being overthrown. Under her reign, Russia was revitalized; that said, she was a usurper of the Russian throne because her son, Paul I, should have been the Tsar following Peter III’s death. In her accession to power and her rule of the empire, Catherine relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by successful generals such as Alexander Suvorov and Pyotr Rumyantsev, admirals such as Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo–Turkish wars, Russia colonised the territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas.
In the west, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine's former lover, king Stanisław August Poniatowski, was partitioned, with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share. In the east, Russia started establishing Russian America. Catherine reformed the administration of Russian guberniyas, many new cities and towns were founded on her orders. An admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine continued to modernise Russia along Western European lines. However, military conscription and the economy continued to depend on serfdom, the increasing demands of the state and private landowners led to increased levels of reliance on serfs; this was one of the chief reasons behind several rebellions, including the large-scale Pugachev's Rebellion of cossacks and peasants. Catherine decided to have herself inoculated against smallpox by Thomas Dimsdale. While this was considered a controversial method at the time, she succeeded, her son Pavel was inoculated as well. Catherine sought to have inoculations throughout her empire stating: "My objective was, through my example, to save from death the multitude of my subjects who, not knowing the value of this technique, frightened of it, were left in danger."
By 1800 2 million inoculations were administered in the Russian Empire. The period of Catherine the Great's rule, the Catherinian Era, is considered the Golden Age of Russia; the Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility, issued during the short reign of Peter III and confirmed by Catherine, freed Russian nobles from compulsory military or state service. Construction of many mansions of the nobility, in the classical style endorsed by the Empress, changed the face of the country, she enthusiastically supported the ideals of the Enlightenment and is regarded as an enlightened despot. As a patron of the arts she presided over the age of the Russian Enlightenment, a period when the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens, the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Europe, was established. Catherine was born in Stettin, Kingdom of Prussia as Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, her father, Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, belonged to the ruling German family of Anhalt, but held the rank of a Prussian general in his capacity as governor of the city of Stettin.
Two of her first cousins became Kings of Sweden: Gustav III and Charles XIII. In accordance with the custom prevailing in the ruling dynasties of Germany, she received her education chiefly from a French governess and from tutors. Catherine was known by the nickname Fike, her childhood was quite uneventful. She once wrote to her correspondent Baron Grimm: "I see nothing of interest in it." Although Catherine was born a princess, her family had little money. Catherine's rise to power was supported by her mother's wealthy relatives who were both wealthy nobles and royal relations; the choice of Sophie as wife of her second cousin, the prospective tsar Peter of Holstein-Gottorp, resulted from some amount of diplomatic management in which Count Lestocq, Peter's aunt Elizabeth and Frederick II of Prussia took part. Lestocq and Frederick wanted to strengthen the friendship between Prussia and Russia to weaken Austria's influence and ruin the Russian chancellor Bestuzhev, on whom Empress Elizabeth relied, who acted as a known partisan of Russo-Austrian co-operation.
Catherine first met Peter III at the age of 10. Based on her writings, she found, she disliked his fondness for alcohol at such a young age. Peter still played with toy soldiers. Catherine wrote that she stayed at one end of the castle, Peter at the other; the diplomatic intrigue failed due to the intervention of Sophie's mother, Johanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp. Historical accounts portray Johanna as a abusive woman who loved gossip and court intrigues, her hunger for fame centred on her daughter's prospects of becoming empress of Russia, but she infuriated Empress Elizabeth, who banned her from the country for spying for King Frederick of Prussia. The Empress Elizabeth knew the family well: she had intended to marry Princess Johanna's brother Charles Augustus, who had died of smallpox in 1727 before the wedding could take place. In spite of Johanna's interference, Empress Elizabeth took a strong liking to the daughter, who, o
Ignatius of Loyola
Saint Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish Basque Catholic priest and theologian, who co-founded the religious order called the Society of Jesus and became its first Superior General at Paris in 1541. The Jesuit order served the Pope as missionaries, they were bound by a vow of special obedience to the sovereign pontiff in regard to the missions, they therefore emerged as an important force during the time of the Counter-Reformation. Ignatius is remembered as a talented spiritual director, he recorded his method in a celebrated treatise called the Spiritual Exercises, a simple set of meditations and other mental exercises, first published in 1548. Ignatius was beatified in 1609, canonized, receiving the title of Saint on 12 March 1622, his feast day is celebrated on 31 July. He is the patron saint of the Basque provinces of Gipuzkoa and Biscay as well as the Society of Jesus, was declared patron saint of all spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922. Ignatius is a foremost patron saint of soldiers.
Íñigo López de Loyola was born in the municipality of Azpeitia at the castle of Loyola in today's Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain. He was baptized Íñigo, after St. Enecus Abbot of Oña, a Basque medieval, affectionate name meaning "My little one", it is not clear when he began using the Latin name "Ignatius" instead of his baptismal name "Íñigo". It seems he did not intend to change his name, but rather adopted a name which he believed was a simple variant of his own, for use in France and Italy where it was better understood.Íñigo was the youngest of thirteen children. His mother died soon after his birth, he was brought up by María de Garín, the local blacksmith's wife. Íñigo adopted the surname "de Loyola" in reference to the Basque village of Loyola where he was born. As a boy Íñigo became a page in the service of a relative, Juan Velázquez de Cuéllar, treasurer of the kingdom of Castile; as a young man Íñigo had a great love for military exercises as well as a tremendous desire for fame. He framed his life around the stories of El Cid, the knights of Camelot, the Song of Roland.
He joined the army at seventeen, according to one biographer, he strutted about "with his cape slinging open to reveal his tight-fitting hose and boots. According to another he was "a fancy dresser, an expert dancer, a womanizer, sensitive to insult, a rough punkish swordsman who used his privileged status to escape prosecution for violent crimes committed with his priest brother at carnival time." Upon encountering a Moor who denied the divinity of Jesus, he challenged him to a duel to the death, ran him through with his sword. He dueled many other men as well. In 1509, at the age of 18, Íñigo took up arms for 2nd Duke of Nájera, his diplomacy and leadership qualities earned him the title "servant of the court", which made him useful to the Duke. Under the Duke's leadership, Íñigo participated in many battles without injury, but at the Battle of Pamplona in 1521 he was gravely injured when a French-Navarrese expedition force stormed the fortress of Pamplona on 20 May 1521. A cannonball hit him in the legs, fracturing the left in multiple places.
Íñigo was returned to his father's castle in Loyola, where, in an era that knew nothing of anesthetics, he underwent several surgical operations to repair his legs, having the bones set and rebroken. In the end these operations left one leg shorter than the other: Íñigo would limp for the rest of his life, his military career was over. While recovering from surgery, Íñigo underwent a spiritual conversion which led to his experiencing a call to religious life. Hospitals in those days were run by religious orders, the reading material available to bedridden patients tended to be selected from scripture or devotional literature; this is how Íñigo came to read a series of religious texts on the life of Jesus and on the lives of the saints, since the "romances of chivalry" he loved to read were not available to him in the castle. The religious work which most struck him was the De Vita Christi of Ludolph of Saxony; this book would influence his whole life, inspiring him to devote himself to God and follow the example of Francis of Assisi and other great monks.
It inspired his method of meditation, since Ludolph proposes that the reader place himself mentally at the scene of the Gospel story, visualising the crib at the Nativity, etc. This type of meditation, known as Simple Contemplation, was the basis for the method that St. Ignatius would promote in his Spiritual Exercises. Aside from dreaming about imitating the saints in his readings, Íñigo was still wandering off in his mind about what "he would do in service to his king and in honor of the royal lady he was in love with". Cautiously he came to realize the after-effect of both kinds of his dreams, he experienced a desolation and dissatisfaction when the romantic heroism dream was over, the saintly dream ended with much joy and peace. It was the first time. After he had recovered sufficiently to walk again, Íñigo resolved to begin a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to "kiss the earth where our Lord had walked", to do stricter penances, he thought that his plan was confirmed by a vision of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus he experienced one night, which resulted in much consolation to him.
In March 1522, he visited the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat. There, he examined his past sins, gave his fine clothes to the poor he met, wore a "garment o