Born Francis Ignatius Vincent, the second of seven children born to poor Sardinian farmers, Saint Ignatius was named after Saint Francis, following a difficult labor which his mother attributed the eventual success to the Saint’s intercession. From an early age, Ignatius desired to join the religious life, praying devoutly each day, and oftentimes—as young as age 7-- waiting at the church doors in the morning for them to be unlocked. Similarly, he was a model worker, toiling tirelessly in the fields despite his young age, earning more than his share for the struggling family. His father, unable to lose the income his young son generated, repeatedly refused to allow him to enter the monastery.
"And I used to work with my hands, and I [still] desire to work; and I firmly wish that all my brothers give themselves to honest work. Let those who do not know how [to work] learn, not from desire of receiving wages for their work but as an example and in order to avoid idleness. And when we are not paid for our work, let us have recourse to the table of the Lord, seeking alms from door to door."
"Take this offering for yourselves right now; give it to me sometime in the future when I ask you for it."
Never having been educated himself, Saint Ignatius was illiterate, and his words far from polished or eloquent. He recognized his limitations, and constantly directed any praise or recognition from himself to the Lord, where all good things originate. He was referred to by the people as “the holy friar,” “the apostle of the streets, “ and “Padre Santo.” He was welcome in nearly every home in the town. He remained conscious of his own human weakness and shortcoming, however, despite these holy titles. Saint Ignatius focused on his need of God's pardon and mercy, and modeled this faith to all those he came in contact with. To those who came to him for comfort, he would advise, "Trust God."
”This is the blood of the poor," Ignatius softly explained. "That is why I never ask for anything at that house."
Saint Ignatius also practiced a strong devotion to Our Blessed Mother, praying daily for her intercession. He attributed many miraculous events in his simple life to her grace and assistance, including the miraculous recovery of the friary keys which had been lost down a deep well. Saint Ignatius knelt by the well, recited three Hail Marys, lowered his bucket, and upon drawing water, found the keys in his bucket!
Lord God, You led Saint Ignatius along the way of humility, innocence, and fraternal charity to the heights of sanctity. Help us to imitate his virtues and to practice charity on earth in word and deed. Amen.
Inspired by the origins and spiritual history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days. Today's psalm reminds us while we may be surrounded by those who insult and persecute us, the protection of the Lord remains constant.
Today’s Psalm: 17: Prayer against Persecutors
4 As for the deeds of men—
by the word of your lips
I have kept myself
from the ways of the violent.
5 My steps have held to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.
6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me;
give ear to me and hear my prayer.
7 Show the wonder of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the wicked who assail me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me. (Psalm 17: 4-9)
Day 131 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Humility; Obedience; Self-Denial; Charity
Requested Intentions: Recovery of a sick brother-in-law (K); Favor from the Lord in restoration of a life (K); End to Schizophrenia (A); For financial recovery and successful marriage (A); For restoration of a marriage (K); For financial security and housing for a son (B).
Psalm: Psalm: 17: Prayer against Persecutors