On 500th Anniversary of the Conversion of St. Ignatius, Pope Francis says, "... this year is truly an inspiration to go out into the world, help souls, seeing all the new things in Christ." FULL TEXT
VIDEO MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL PRAYER
"PILGRIMS WITH IGNATIUS" ON THE OCCASION OF THE IGNATIUS YEAR
I am happy to join you in this prayer for the Ignatian Year, the celebration of the conversion of St Ignatius. I hope that all those who are inspired by Ignatius, by Ignatian spirituality, can truly live this year as an experience of conversion.
In Pamplona, 500 years ago, all of Ignatius's worldly dreams were shattered in an instant. The cannonball that wounded him changed the course of his life, and the course of the world. Seemingly small things can be important. That cannonball also meant that Ignatius failed in the dreams he had for his life. But God had a bigger dream for him. God's dream for Ignatius did not center on Ignatius. It was about helping souls . It was a dream of redemption, a dream of going out into the whole world, accompanied by Jesus, humble and poor.
Conversion is a daily matter. It is rarely once and for all. Ignatius's conversion began in Pamplona, but did not end there. He was converted throughout his life, day after day. And this means that throughout his life he put Christ at the center. And he did it through discernment. Discernment does not consist in always succeeding from the beginning, but in navigating and having a compass to be able to undertake the path that has many curves and bends, but always letting ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit, who leads us to the encounter with the Lord .
In this pilgrimage on earth we meet others, as Ignatius did in his life. These others are signs that help us stay on course and invite us to convert again each time. They are brothers, they are situations, and God also speaks to us through them. We listen to others. Let's read the situations. We are road signs for others, even us, showing the path of God. Conversion is always done in dialogue, in dialogue with God, in dialogue with others, in dialogue with the world.
I pray that all those inspired by Ignatian spirituality will be able to make this journey together as an Ignatian family. And I pray that many others will come to discover the richness of this spirituality that God gave to Ignatius.
I cordially bless you, so that this year is truly an inspiration to go out into the world, help souls, seeing all the new things in Christ . And also an inspiration to let us help. Nobody is saved alone: either we save ourselves in the community or we don't save ourselves. No one points the way to the other. Only Jesus showed us the way. We help each other find and follow this path mutually.
And bless us Almighty God, in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.