Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier were canonized together on March 12, 1622. Xavier had captured the hearts and minds of the Europeans through his reports on his heroic evangelistic journeys to exotic places in the Far East.
Of the two men he was the one people wanted to see canonized. Ignatius, the stay-at-home, seemed pale by comparison.
How can somebody not be in awe of Xavier? I certainly am. But from the moment I entered the Jesuit order, it was Ignatius who had the real impact upon me, an impact that has only deepened and become more precious to me with the passing years. I cannot honestly say that Ignatius taught me how to pray. My parents did that, and as I grew older they gently moved me beyond mere recitation of words to something deeper. Yet it was Ignatius who took me the next step, and he did it through the Spiritual Exercises.
In the Exercises, Ignatius lays out a variety of ways to pray: meditation, contemplation, self-examination, the use of mantras, and…
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