A postage stamp for the Ignatian Year? Yes, indeed!
On 25 May, the Vatican Postal Service issued a postage stamp to mark the beginning of the Ignatian Year. It is not every day that a project of the Society of Jesus receives this type of publicity with such a universal dimension. The original work represented is a painting by the Andalusian artist Raúl Berzosa, born in 1979, who has produced numerous works on different themes, especially portraits, human figures and maritime scenes. He is best known for his works featuring confraternities, those pious associations of laypeople that are widespread throughout Spain but especially in Andalusia.
For the Vatican Postal Service, Raúl Berdoza has chosen to show Ignatius' spiritual encounter, on his convalescent bed, with St. Peter - a direct link with the pope and the Vatican. In its explanatory note for the release, the Vatican Postal Service emphasises that the occasion is specifically the 5th centenary of Ignatius' conversion. The note recalls the event of the battle of Pamplona, Ignatius' injury, his being carried to the family home in Loyola and his readings of the life of Christ and the lives of the saints that would guide his new vocation. It concludes with an explicit reference to Ignatian spirituality: "This experience would become the foundation of the discernment of spirits and the principle of the Spiritual Exercises, which he composed.”
addition to the stamp itself, an issue day seal was produced, with the
inscription "5th centenary of the conversion of St Ignatius of
Loyola". 102,000 copies of this stamp, with a unit value of €1.15, were
On 31 July 2022, just a few days ago, Fr Arturo Sosa, the General of the Society of Jesus, led the Society to celebrate the conclusion of the Ignatian Year in Loyola.
On Sunday 31 July, Fr Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Jesuits, brought to a close the Ignatian Year, with which the Society of Jesus commemorated the 500th anniversary of the conversion of Ignatius of Loyola. Fr Sosa did so by inviting his listeners to “commit themselves generously to the service of others, with total dedication”.
On 31 July 2022, we celebrate the feast of St Ignatius. Loyola is the place where it all began for this man: he was transformed by the grace of a call from the Lord. Loyola is also the place where Jesuits, and the whole Ignatian family, brought the«Ignatian Year» to a close.
The renewal of the consecration of the Society of Jesus to the Heart of Jesus challenges us to reflect on the relevance of this devotion in our lives.
This consecration will not only conclude the Ignatian Year, but continue to foster the current of grace which has been flowing in people’s hearts since May 2021. Father General chose this consecration of the Society to the Sacred Heart. For Jesuits, it unites word and symbol in a special way.
Fr. Arturo Sosa begins his explanation of how the Society of Jesus’ mission is not just a concern for Jesuits by drawing on the material of the book’s eleventh and final chapter, which he wrote for the Ignatian Year.