Mission and Identity

St. Ignatius Loyola Statue

Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) founded the Society of Jesus and served as its first Superior General. Soon, the Jesuits were starting schools in Europe and becoming educators. Today, it is the largest world-wide network of schools, colleges and universities. Jesuit education is known for academic excellence. The goal is the same as it was in the earliest years: to educate each student intellectually, morally, and spiritually to be a "man or woman for others," especially the poor and marginalized, and to "find God in all things."

With the left hand holding a book and the right hand slightly raised, the statue portrays the teaching mission of St. Ignatius and the Society. Gifted to the University by Bernard '49 and Jean Ann Downey and their twelve children (all attended Xavier), the family humorously refers to it as 'St. Ignatius on the Move.'


Quick Facts

Art Studio:  Demetz Art Studio (Ortisei, Italy)
Dedicated December 19, 2001
Medium:  Bronze
Height:   7'0"
Location:  St. Ignatius Steps

Learn more about Ignatius Loyola.

Additional Notes:

  • Ordered alongside the  St. Francis of Assisi statue
  • Donated by Bernard ('49) and Jean Ann Downey and their children
  • Originally located on the Academic Mall in front of Logan, the statue was moved to the St. Ignatius Steps between Hoff Quad and the Academic Mall

Plaque Inscription:

Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

Gift of Bernard L. (XU '49)
Jean Ann Downey
Their Children
December 2001

Mystic, Educator, Founder