CNA Staff, Oct 7, 2020 / 09:30 am
Pope Francis said he hoped to visit Spain to mark the 500th anniversary of the conversion of St. Ignatius of Loyola in an interview published Wednesday.
The pope told the Spanish edition of the monthly magazine Il Mio Papa that he hoped to travel to Manresa, in central Catalonia, where the founder of the Jesuit order arrived in 1522 seeking to pray and do penance.
"I believe that the conversion of St. Ignatius is also an encounter of the heart and can invite us to reflect on our personal conversion, to ask for the gift of conversion to love and serve more in the way of Jesus Christ," said Francis, the first member of the Jesuits to be elected pope, in the interview released Oct. 7.
Ignatius' military career came to an abrupt end in 1521 when a cannonball injured his right leg while he was defending the city of Pamplona. He experienced a spiritual awakening while recovering from surgery. When he could walk again, he decided to embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.