Little Bits of History

May 20

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 20, 2017

1521: The Battle of Pampeluna takes place. The battle was a part of the Italian War of 1521-26 and is sometimes called the Four Years War. France (with the help of Swiss mercenaries) and Venice were up against the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, England, and the Papal States. Charles V was elected as Holy Roman Emperor with backing from Pope Leo X as a means of repressing Martin Luther. The French-Navarrese expedition tried to reconquer Navarre, unsuccessfully and the Pope, Emperor, and Henry VIII signed an agreement against France and took up, once again, fighting in the Italian Peninsula and northeast France.

Pampeluna, also known as Pamplona, is in northern Spain, close to the French border. It is the capital city of Navarre, which was at this time in history, the Kingdom of Navarre. The small kingdom was sandwiched between Castile and Aragon with France to the north and with small pockets of English ruled lands around it. The French backed the Navarrese as they took up arms against the invading Spanish (both Castile and Aragon). On this day, Inigo Lopez de Loyola, was seriously injured when a Navarrese cannonball shattered his legs. The soldier so impressed the opposition with his bravery, tradition says they carried him all the way back to his hometown, Loyola.

The injuries required a long recovery time and during his imposed bed rest, he began meditations. This in turn, helped him turn his life around and he left the world of warriors and began his life as a priest. The man from Castile is known to us today as Ignatius of Loyola. He was born in 1491, the youngest of 13 children. His mother died soon after his birth. As a boy, he became a page in the service of a relative, the treasurer of the kingdom of Castile. He became enchanted by the stories of El Cid and joined the army at age 17. He was known as flamboyant young man, womanizer, and violent. With age, he became more diplomatic and came into the service of the Duke of Najera. After his injury, he returned home, underwent several surgeries to “fix” his legs (no anesthesia at the time) and eventually recovered, although one leg was shorter and he always walked with a limp.

As he recovered, he decided to redirect his life to the service of God and hoped to convert infidels in the Holy Land. A year later, when he could walk again, he went to a Benedictine monastery and had a vision. He hung up his sword and began to seriously study. He gathered together with six companions who worked together to form the Society of Jesus, aka the Jesuits. Their dedication to evangelism and apostolic ministry is legendary with founding of schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries around the globe. They are known for their intellectual research as well as piety and service. Ignatius of Loyola died in Rome in 1556 at the age of 64. He was beatified in 1609 and canonized a saint in 1622.

One rare and exceptional deed is worth far more than a thousand commonplace ones.

It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey.

Teach us to give and not to count the cost.

Be slow to speak, and only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meaning, leanings, and wishes of those who do speak. Thus you will better know when to speak and when to be silent. – all from Ignatius of Loyola

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