The Ignatian Year: May 20, 2021 - July 31, 2022 

The Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa S.J., has called for an “Ignatian Year” to celebrate the life of St Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Jesuits.

The Year opened on May 20th, the 500th anniversary of when Ignatius the soldier was injured by a cannonball in the Battle of Pamplona. The Year will conclude on July 31, 2022, the feast day of St. Ignatius.  The peak of the celebration will fall on March 12, 2022, the 400th anniversary of the canonization of St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier.  Twelve days later, on March 24, it will be 500 years since Ignatius laid down his sword before the Black Madonna at the Santa Maria de Montserrat chapel and chose to give his life to God.  While the Ignatian Year honors the past, we are invited to be future-focused and attend to the Universal Apostolic Preferences.


Posters available for printing from the IAJU
The Ignatian Year website Society of Jesus
How to celebrate the Ignatian Year - May 2021
The Ignatian Year calls us to collaboration - Fr. Sosa
The opportunity of the Ignatian Year – video - Fr. Sosa
Original letter calling for the Ignatian Year - Sept. 2019

Prayer for the Opening of the Ignatian Year

They fired the canon. It exploded. It ripped through the wall of the castle of Pamplona. It shattered the right leg of a leader of the castle’s defenders, Inigo de Loyola. A flying rock injured his left leg. The assault almost killed him, but he survived.

Inigo – Ignatius – had been able to persuade those other defenders to stay with the task the king had entrusted to them. He was ambitious and strong-willed, stubborn. He was brave, and his bravery was contagious. He was a leader.

The French assault army respected this middle-aged nobleman and transported him back to his home castle, some 70 miles to the west. This journey on a litter was extremely painful. But Inigo endured it. His adventuring days, his military days, his courtly days were over. He was going home. His life, and ours, would never be the same.

During his long recovery, Ignatius found God in a new and profound way. He recognized the errors of his sinful past. He had been a true man of the world with ambition for glory and fame, with passion to serve the powers of the day, with an eye for the women he met and impressed. He now turned his energy toward serving God as the saints had done in centuries past. He began to put his journey at the service of others, to lead others to find the consolation of God’s ways as he had found it.

A canon shot. O Lord, when have I felt the shattering of a canon shot, known the agony of a heavy wound? Nothing so dramatic as Ignatius? Still, have I experienced a sudden call, an urgent need to change, to reach out, to speak an uncomfortable truth? When have you broken through my complacency and urged me to move off in a new direction? How have I responded?

Great things came from Ignatius’s shattered leg. He found you, O God, for himself and then gathered others to share his experience. He attracted a band of young men to join his mission of proclaiming Jesus to his world. They preached, they guided souls, they founded schools that changed the shape of education in Europe and later around the world.

Let me know, loving God, where you want me to go. Subtle, quiet perhaps, still you send the cannonballs that surprise and change us and our ways. These cannonballs are works of your love. Ignatius found new life in his near death. Let us find that new life more quietly, more peacefully, but no less deeply as we seek to know your ways.

- Written by Fr. Ed Schmidt, S.J. 

See more Prayers for the Ignatian Year

Featured Resources

Cover of St. Ignatius Loyola publication

St. Ignatius Loyola
This brief biography by George Traub, S.J. and Debra Mooney provides an easy-to-read description of St. Ignatius' life. It is illustrated with original sketches by artist Holly Schapker. It is beautifully printed on cream colored textured paper and measures 4 1/3"x11". Purchase St.Ignatius Loyola brochure for $1.25

Order St. Ignatius Loyola


Cover for St. Francis Xavier brochure

St. Francis Xavier: A Modern View of His Life and Work

In a tri-folding brochure, discover how the life of St. Francis Xavier, a friend of St. Ignatius Loyola and a founding companion of the Society of Jesus, relates to modern living.

More information on St. Francis Xavier


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