This feast day of St Ignatius has been an auspicious day for many Jesuits and 'Jesuit works' down the years. As we join Jesuit communities and friends around the world in celebrating lets look at some of those key moments. The greatest legacy of Ignatius is arguably his Spiritual Exercises, so it seems fitting that today in 1548, 8 years before his death the Pope Paul III approved and recommended the Exercises after decades of suspicion. The papal relations were not so smooth in July 31st in 1769, as the storm clouds grew before the Suppression. Today, Fr General Ricci, went to the Vatican, to offer his congratulations to Pope Clement IV on his election and was refused admittance . Regarding the World Wide Society, today in 1927 the Pontifical Biblical Institute opened a branch in Jerusalem. In 1941 a new Ratio Studiorum was promulgated.
In Africa in 1976 today saw the Eastern Africa Region established incorporating the countries of Sudan, Ethiopia,
Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya, naming Polycarp Toppo as the first Regional Superior. Ten years later in 1986 the Independent Region of East Africa is raised to the status of a Provincel. Today in 1988 sees a consolidation in Europe with the English and French Assistancies combined to form the Assistancy of Western Europe. The German Assistancy becomes the Central European Assistancy and the American Assistancy becomes the Assistancy of the USA. In other structural movers, today marks the anniversary of the California Province (1909) and also the New England Province (1926) and the separation of the New York and Maryland provinces (1943).
The feast of St Ignatius also marks curious coincidences involving key Jesuits and their works. Henri de Lubac was ordered to give up his chair of Theology in Leon (1950). Today in 1771 Anthony Kohlman was born, a crucial Jesuit in the establishment of Georgetown. Thomas Weld was to give the English Jesuits the land for Stonyhurst in 1809 and Farm St Church in London was to open in 1849. Finally it was today in 1931 that Fr General Ledochowski was to release an instruction on the use of radios in our houses, saying that all recreational use is to be absolutely avoided, including classical concerts.
Happy Feast !