Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ignatius the Pilgrim Statue Explained

I've been asked why I'm so taken with the statue of Ignatius which stands in the garden at the Guelph Retreat Center (photographs in the two posts below).

Ignatius often referred to himself as a pilgrim. A soldier who experienced a profound conversion during his recuperation from a battle injury, he traveled a great deal in the next several years as he sought to discern God's direction for his life. No doubt he would have preferred the great mission adventures for which his colleague Francis Xavier is famed, but he spent the final portion of his life in Rome, writing the constitutions and letters which formed the documentary backbone of the Society of Jesus. Thus the word "pilgrim" ultimately had for Ignatius the same metaphorical connotation of journey that it does for all Christians.

Replicas of this particular statue are scattered around the world.
Here's a description from the plaque at Creighton University (which might be identical to the description of the almost identical statue at Guelph, but I'm not sure), with a good explanation of why I like it so much:

“St. Ignatius Loyola, the first Jesuit, leans into the winds blowing from the ends of the earth, manifestations of God’s power and the wonder of the Incarnation. The letter in his hand symbolizes the need that all humans need to communicate with one another and to discover Christ in each other. Adventurous, yet reflective, St. Ignatius meets God’s challenges as the contemplative in action finding God in all creation.”

5 comments:

Lisa :-] said...

I have a comment completely unrelated to this post (sorry...)--I just noticed your pelicans! Wondered if you had borrowed a picture I had posted awhile back. ;) I was just at the beach watching those guys this past Sunday...

Gannet Girl said...

Noooo....Lisa.....the pelicans are from St. Augustine. I have had them up as a header before.

Daisy said...

very cool, GG. I figured there had to be a story behind the figure. I liked the statue pic before but I like even more now, too. Thank you for the explanation.

Mich

Beach Walkin said...

I like the way the he appears to be leaning into God's call. Leaning in... is the only way to go on God's path.

Stratoz said...

10 days