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What is Ignatian Spirituality?

St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) was gravely wounded in a battle against the French in 1521. While recovering, Ignatius daydreamed about the lives of the saints and the life he led before his injury. When reflecting on the saints and the inclusion of God in their lives, he felt energy and peace. When reflecting on his life of attention-seeking, he felt hollow and unsatisfied.

From this insight arose the basis of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, the preeminent book on Ignatian Spirituality that has transformed the lives of many people over the centuries.


There are four characteristics of Ignatian spirituality which have their origin in the Spiritual Exercises:

  1. A vision of God who is alive and active in the world and one’s life.

  2. A realization that all men and women are created in the image of God and are destined for eternal life.

  3. An essential for living a life of faith is to be reflective on one’s experiences.

  4. Christ invites women and men to follow him by reaching out to those on the margins of society.


Taken from Faith at Marquette

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