Skip to main content

Loyola, Saint Ignatius (1491–1556)

Loyola, Saint Ignatius (14911556)

Founder of the Society of Jesus, a religious order also known as the Jesuits, and dedicated opponent of the Protestant Reformation. Born in Loyola, near San Sebastian in the Basque region of northwestern Spain, he entered the service of the treasurer of Castile as a teenager. He joined the Spanish army in its fight against the kingdom of Navarre and was severely wounded while defending the city of Pamplona against a siege in 1517. While recovering from his injuries, he dedicated himself to the church and became a solitary devotee of the Virgin Mary. He resolved to establish a religious order that would be organized much like an army, and fight to defend the authority of the pope. He wrote the Spiritual Exercises, a book of meditations, and used this work to proselytize for his new order. Attending the University of Paris, he earned a master's degree in theology and gathered a small group of followers who together proclaimed the founding of the Society of Jesus in the Church of Saint Mary in Paris in 1534. The order won the approval of Pope Paul III and was soon sending its members to build new schools and seminaries throughout Catholic Europe. The Society's goal was to educate the young, carry out missionary activities, and stamp out Protestantism; it was organized according to Loyola's Jesuit Constitution, which commanded complete obedience to the pope.

See Also: Reformation, Catholic

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Loyola, Saint Ignatius (1491–1556)." The Renaissance. . 23 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Loyola, Saint Ignatius (1491–1556)." The Renaissance. . (January 23, 2019).

"Loyola, Saint Ignatius (1491–1556)." The Renaissance. . Retrieved January 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.