|St. Ignatius of Loyola in arms|
Ignatius was born in 1491, near Azpeitia in Guipuscoa, of an ancient line which on one side claimed descent from the Roman conqueror of Spain. In his youth he differed little from other young men of his rank. He followed the profession of arms, and devoted himself, after the fashion of his time, to the service of a noble lady. (Mr. Rose thinks that she was no less a personage than Germaine de Foix, the second wife of Ferdinand of Arragon). In 1521 he was serving with the garrison of Pamplona, the capital of Navarre, which was being held for Charles V. against the partisans of the D'Albret family (which Ferdinand had dispossessed), supported by secret help from the French king. The town was evacuated on the approach of the French, but the citadel still held out, and into this Ignatius retired. A few days afterwards the besiegers delivered an assault. In the course of the struggle Ignatius was wounded. Seldom has a cannon - ball been fired to more effect than that which put an end to the young Spaniard's soldiering on the Whit Monday of 1521—the same year, by the way, in which Luther made his famous declaration the Diet of Worms. Appropriately enough a basilica, which we have figured in this notice, marks the spot where this wound, so far-reaching in its effects, was inflicted. The conquerors treated the young knight with the greatest respect. He was conveyed to a lodging in the town, and when it was evident that he required more careful nursing than could there be supplied, he was taken to his home at the Castle of Loyola. He had not yet given up the world. When the surgeon told him that a painful operation, the sawing off a protruding bone, would be necessary to prevent permanent deformity, he insisted on its being performed.
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