12 March is the 400th anniversary of the canonisation of St Ignatius of Loyola and St Francis Xavier. Among the events of the Ignatian Year the General Curia is currently organising, this is certainly the most “festive” moment. And to underline its importance, Pope Francis himself will preside at the Eucharist in the Church of the Gesù in Rome.
Due to sanitary restrictions, invitations have been limited, but everyone will be able to follow the Mass, which will be streamed live in several languages on Ignatius500.global/live.
Fr Arturo Sosa, Superior General, shares this message on the meaning and importance of this anniversary.
“We make this stop on the road of the Ignatian Year to confirm the possibility of a holy life. Remembering, four hundred years later, the recognition by the Church of the holy life of five people as different as Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Jesus, Philip Neri, Isidore the Labourer and Francis Xavier encourages us, without a doubt, to continue along the path of conversion proposed for this year.
This celebration at the beginning of Lent 2022, still feeling the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and pleading for weapons to be silenced in order to open spaces for dialogue leading to reconciliation, justice and peace, aims to help us to deepen our encounter with Jesus Christ. To continue the march together with all the People of God towards the holy life to which the Lord himself invites us and to which we are accompanied by the Virgin Mary and the saints who precede us on the way.”
Over the next few days, articles on our website and on social media will provide information on the process and meaning of the canonizations, on the historical fact that on 12 March 1622, five great figures of the Church were canonized together: Ignatius and Francis Xavier, but also Teresa of Jesus, Philip Neri and Isidore the Labourer. We will also give you a report on the celebration at the Gesù at the beginning of the week of 14 March. Let us continue to celebrate the Ignatian Year together!