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Credited with being the most influential force in the spread of the Catholic Church throughout the world is Ignatius of Loyola The Society of Jesus the Jesuits remains as a strong influential part of the Catholic Church Who was this man what did he believe and how did he initiate this magnanimous work Ignatius was born Iigo Lopez de Loyola most likely in the year 1491 The precise date is difficult to pinpoint since the baptismal records for his parish in Azpeitia do not begin until the year 1537 Iigos parents Don Beltrn Yaez de Oez y Loyola and Marina Saenz de Lieona y Balda were landlords in Guipzcoa in the mountain regions of Northern Spain near the French border In this Basque region of Spain the men were straightforward in manners and of charitable nature tenacity and devotion to the Catholic faith In 1506 Iigos parents sent him to the home of Juan Velzquez de Cullar the Chief Treasurer for King Ferdinand and Isabella for training as a page Shortly after Iigos father dies in 1507 It is here in the Spanish court that Iigo discovers the popular culture of the day The Spanish Renaissance is flourishing and music and chivalrous novels abound He emulates what he sees and reads He sees the gentlemen of the court wearing fine clothes concerned with their appearance romantic involvements and most importantly becoming distinguished Combined with his heritage of tenacity these traits become the foundation of his character both in his early secular and later religious endeavours To gain his own distinction young Iigo engaged in military expeditions when required to do so He was never a professional soldier yet he managed to rally support to resist a large French invasion force that besieged Pamplona in 1521 The battle took place on May 17 It was a hopeless battle and during the ruckus a cannonball struck Iigos legs The left leg was only a flesh
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