Saint Ignatius of Loyola (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Founder of the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits, Loyola was a dynamic religious leader whose life and writings strongly influenced his times. His religious order has been particularly notable in the field of education.
The youngest son of a family known for its prowess in war, Ignatius was given as an infant into the care of a nearby farm woman. During his childhood and youth, Ignatius was thus divided between his father’s house, Casa Torre, and his foster mother’s home, giving him a view of life from two sides—that of the rulers and that of the ruled. Of Basque descent, the Loyola family shared the characteristics of being deeply religious as well as hot-tempered. Ignatius’ father, Don Beltram, had close connections with the king for services rendered and, in return, received many privileges, both lay and clerical. He had justifiably high aspirations for all of his children.
Ignatius spent his early teens mostly at Casa Torre, taking school lessons from the village priest. At the age of sixteen, he was taken as a page into the house of Juan Velázquez de Cuéllar, a family relative who was treasurer of Castile and royal major domo at the court. In his service, Ignatius learned to sing, dance, and play musical instruments—skills he retained for the remainder of his life. For ten years, he lived as a courtier, traveling with his master and the royal court,...
(The entire section is 1951 words.)
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