Ad majorem Dei gloriam is the Latin motto of the Society of Jesus. Shown above, a 10-foot bronze sculpture on the Boston College campus portrays St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, as a teacher. Created by Bolivian-born artist Pablo Eduardo, the statue is set atop a five-foot granite pedestal on the Higgins green. (Gary Wayne Gilbert)
July 31 is the feast day of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, who died on that date in 1556.
A Basque courtier and soldier, Inigo de Loyola was gravely wounded during the battle of Pamplona in 1521. During his convalescence, he experienced a profound spiritual conversion that began his lifelong commitment to God and service.
From his personal experience and prayer, he articulated a guide for finding God and self called the Spiritual Exercises that for centuries has enabled individuals to grow in faith and willingness to work for the greater glory of God, the motto of the Society of Jesus.
Under his direction, the Society of Jesus established schools throughout the continent beginning in Messina, Sicily, in 1548. The Jesuits became known as the schoolmasters of Europe, and over time emerged as the largest religious order in the Catholic Church and one of the greatest influences in Western civilization.
True to their heritage, Jesuits remain contemplatives in action who, like their founder, engage critical challenges of the world. Their students and alumni are encouraged to develop their God-given talents and use them in the service of others to help make the world a more just and humane place.
Learn more about St. Ignatius and the University's Jesuit tradition at BC's Jesuit, Catholic website.
University Communications | July 2021