500 years after the “cannonball”

Here we go! The Ignatian Year has officially been inaugurated. Last night in Pamplona, Fr. Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, invited all Jesuits and anyone who finds spiritual inspiration from Ignatius, to experience this celebration, which runs from 20 May 2021 to 31 July 2022.

For many months now in all the Jesuit Provinces and Regions round the world, we’ve been preparing to live out this year in different ways. But what links all the projects, publications, videos, and meetings is the theme of “Seeing all things new in Christ”. It’s an invitation to follow Ignatius in an experience of conversion.

It was in Pamplona that Ignatius of Loyola’s adventure took on a whole new direction: he was touched by Christ and saw the world, its people, and his own future, through Christ’s eyes.


At Mass, Archbishop Francisco Pérez González of Pamplona highlighted what feelings of freshness conversion can bring about. In a reading from the first letter of Saint Paul to Timothy, Paul writes about how God’s grace has impacted him and enabled him to move from a life of persecuting the Church to a life based entirely on Christ. Father General emphasized this theme of conversion in his homily:

Like St. Paul, [Ignatius] acknowledges that he was a sinner, a sinner saved by Christ. Moreover, he gives thanks to God for his conversion and his new life. The newness, as for all converts is, above all, Jesus Christ. No more is Ignatius indifferent to whether he lives without Christ or with Him. This is the difference between before and after. The novelty of the Lord is decisive; it is what will decide his future. To be with Him, to know Him, to love Him and to follow Him is what makes him realize that he is no longer the same, and that this newness is worthwhile, that his life is at stake.

Father General Arturo Sosa

The Mass’ first reading was about how the people of Israel needed to undergo a conversion after the destruction of Jerusalem and subsequent exile in Babylon. Hope could only be restored by listening to the word of the prophets, the true word of God, which put forward a conversion to choose the path of life over the path of death.

It is a similar conversion that Christ, in Luke’s Gospel, asks of the people who want to follow him but are reluctant to leave their past behind: “Lord, let me first go and bury my father,” says one of his disciples. To which Jesus replies: “Let the dead bury their dead; you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.” Father Sosa comments:

Applying the Gospel to him, Ignatius did not put his hand to the plough and look back. He understood already from his providential healing in Loyola that his following of Jesus would mean abandoning so many of the material, family or social securities he might have enjoyed, in order to enter fully into the “way of proceeding” of Jesus himself. With poverty of spirit and at times material poverty, he wanted to conform himself to Jesus Christ by adopting the essential characteristics of His life, and not putting conditions, (...) aware as he was of his fragility that the cannon ball in Pamplona revealed to him. This led him to put his trust in God.

Father General Arturo Sosa


With this celebration of the Eucharist and the teaching that comes from it, the Ignatian Year has begun. Why not be a part of it? You can follow the activities and get more information on the website dedicated to the Ignatian Year:

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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