Sv. Ignatius of Loyola, Basque (Spain), was born in 1491. He was the thirteenth child in the family. He spent a good part of his youth in the aristocratic and royal courts. An unexpected turn in his life occurred on 21 May 1521. Ignatius was organizing the defense of Pamplona from the attack of the French. A cannonball shattered his knee. He becomes bedbound. And there starts the turning point in his life.
When he felt better, he withdrew into solitude in the town of Manresa. He gradually acquired mystical experiences. He had a vision of the Holy Trinity. He meets Jesus Christ in a new way. Hereveals the mystery of the Church in new light. He noted these several months of experience in book Spiritual exercises.
As a pilgrim he stayed in the Holy Land. He recognized the need for additional education. He finishes his studies in Paris. Through spiritual exercises he gained and educated his first followers. In 1537 he was ordained priest in Venice. Coming Rome, he began a comprehensive apostolic action. Pope Paul III approved the Society of Jesus in 1540, this new monastic community. Its members have a special vow of obedience to the pope to mark them the area of apostolic work and to send them where it is most needed. They were led everywhere by the thought of St. Ignatius: “All for the greater glory of God.”
Ignatius now devoted all of himself to the Society of Jesus, working on the Constitutions oftheOrder, which he wrote with a lot of inspiration and vision, not only of Jesus, but also of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He died in Rome in 1556, at the age of 65. He was canonized in 1622. His body rests in the church Il Gesu. Pilgrims still love to visit Camerette next to the church of St. Ignatius, that is, the room where the saint lived, worked and prayed.
Ignatius has left behind many long lasting works, of which the Society of Jesus is surely the most important, which today has over 20,000 members. He is still present in the Church for his spiritual exercises, which are permanent inspiration and a unique way for those who are seeking God, looking for the real meaning of life and selfless want to put themselves at the service of God’s kingdom.
Ignatius started out as a soldier, but he continued and finished as a great teacher of spiritual life, mystic and unusual Jesus Christ Crucified and Risen enthusiast.
Jesuits in Belgrade
Sv. Ignatius had certainly heard of Belgrade, because his nephew was killed defending the town. Father Bartol Sfondrati from Dubrovnik, who entered the Society of Jesus while St. Ignatius was still alive, came in the eighties of the 16th century to the territory of Serbia. In the early 17th century, the famous father Bartol Kašić found himself in Belgrade. In 1613 a group of Jesuits founded the first grammar school in Belgrade. The superiorof the Community gets the painting of Mary Help of Passau in Bavaria in 1718, which was later named the Virgin of Belgrade. It is still very respectable, especially on every 19th of the month, and 19 of October which is her day.
This painting, like the Jesuits in these troubled times, shared the fate of people in this region. In 1735, three Jesuits died as victims of the plague, serving infected patients. In 1739 two Jesuits died in the fights near Grocka. The Jesuits then left Belgrade along with the picture of the Virgin of Belgrade. The first Jesuit as a National missionary comes to Belgrade only in 1922. In 1929 Jesuit father Zore moves in the purchased house and on 1 January 1931 the parish community, was formed and in December 1933 the new church of St. Peter was blessed. The Virgin of Belgrade returned from exile to Tekije on 19 September 1934, which is especially solemnly celebrated on 6 and 7 October. Since then, the Virgin Belgrade together with the Jesuits remains permanently present in the center of the Old Town.
Church of St. Peter
23 Makedonska Street, Belgrade 11000
Vinko Maslać, SI, pastor
Pero Markovic, SI, parish vicar P. Jacob Jurendić, SI, assistant parish
tel / fax: 011 / 30-30-815
e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com www.svetipetar.com
Service of God
Weekdays: am and 6pm
Sundays and holidays: 7am, 9am (in English), 10am and 6pm