Written by Administrator Thursday, 29 July 2010 09:26
|History of the Society of Jesus|
After his conversion, Ignatius spent the next few years wandering around as a pilgrim, devoting himself to prayer and penance, doing menial work in hospitals and, above all, in seeking the will of God. He spent some time in the Holy Land, thinking that this was where God wanted him to be – walking in the footsteps of Jesus on the very land where Jesus trod.
However, he found that his overriding desire was “to help souls.” Eventually he realised that, in order to be able to do this, he would have to get an education. He left the Holy Land and returned home to start elementary education, eventually moving up to university.
After completing his studies in Paris, he gathered about himself some companions, who he trained in his Spiritual Exercises. These Exercises are a programme of prayer and reflection, based on the Gospels, which Ignatius worked out as a result of his own interior experiences and conversion to the service of the Lord.
In 1540, Ignatius, together with his 8 companions, petitioned the Pope in Rome for permission to found a new religious order, with the name 'Societatis Jesu' – 'Companions of Jesus' Permission was duly granted, and thus the Society of Jesus was formed.
the seal of the Society of Jesus
IHS are the first three letters of 'JESUS' in Greek