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Today we are in Azpeitia, the mountain valley where the Loyola family made their home and Íñigo de Loyola was born. We visited the room where Ignatius recovered from his injuries and experienced God’s grace. We were invited to pray in the room now called the Chapel of Conversion. Our photo depicts some of us in front of a woodcarving depicting a scene from Ignatius’ life which had significance for us.

Ignatius returned home only once after he left Loyola in 1521. As the story goes, Ignatius was studying at the University of Paris in 1535 and was running into obstacles with the Church as he shared his Spiritual Exercises with others. He was also experiencing ill health. Ignatius decides to head home to his roots, but in a different way. He spends 3 months in Azpeitia serving in the hospice for the poor and sick. This did not sit well with his family who wished that he would resume his rightful place in the family home.

Yet as our guide explained, Ignatius was trying to make amends. She related how Ignatius was not well liked by the local villagers because of his past arrogance, misdeeds and abuse of his power. Now it was Ignatius’ desire to be in right relationship with God and others. Our God is a God of second chances: there is always an opportunity to “see all things new in Christ”.

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