On the 20th of May, the “Ignatian Year” will begin. May 20 marks the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius’ conversion — that fateful day when Ignatius the soldier, struck by a cannonball, began his transformation into Ignatius the pilgrim. It will last longer than one year running to the end of July 2022. The centrepiece of the year will be 12th of March 2022 which will be the 400th anniversary of the canonization of St Ignatius with St Francis Xavier, St Teresa of Avila, St Isidore Labrador patron saint of farmers) and St Philip Neri (founder of the Oratorians, the Order to which St John Henry Newman belonged).
The focus for the year is Ignatius as a patient, an ascetic and a pilgrim. The theme of this Ignatian Year is to see all things new in Christ.
Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, says the Year “offers us a great opportunity that, hopefully, we will take full advantage of. We should not let it pass in vain. It is a call to allow the Lord to work on our conversion. We ask for the grace to be renewed by the Lord. We wish to discover a new apostolic enthusiasm inside ourselves, a new life, new ways to follow the Lord.”
It is hoped that the events we hold this year enable our lay and religious companions, especially our young people, to join Jesuits all over the world in sharing more deeply the foundational experiences that have given shape to all our ministries. By July 31, 2022, the feast of Ignatius, we want to have responded to the call of the Holy Spirit to follow Christ with intimacy and enthusiasm as together we build a better world, where the dignity of all people is respected, and we live in a joy-filled harmony with nature.
Here in Australia and beyond we pray that the coming Year releases new energy, new freedom, new initiatives and new love for Christ and our sisters and brothers. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.
Richard Leonard SJ
Australian Coordinator for the Ignatian Year.