"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)




In July 1521, a 29-year-old Basque knight, named Iñigo was brought home to recuperate after his watershed cannonball experience in the battle of Pamplona. The wounds on his lower limbs led to the first long lockdown in his life, about nine months, during which he read a life of Christ and a book on the lives of the saints, the only reading matter the Loyola castle afforded. He also killed time by recalling tales of martial valour and by day-dreaming about a great lady who captured his heart. Later when he was out of mortal danger, his attention was centred on the saints. This profoundly moved and attracted him that soon after he had barely recovered he resolved to do something about his many sins. To fulfil this he must embark on a journey towards spiritual awakening, this time as Ignatius (Ignacio), the man who followed the holy austerities of the saints, e.g. Francis of Assisi and Dominic, that God sent as his first spiritual guides.

The following whole community online pilgrimage is conceived from my personal desire as a Jesuit to walk with this pilgrim saint by reliving his spiritual journey. He referred to himself as 'the pilgrim' in his autobiography. There is an old proverb that says 'all journeys begin from a single step'. To faithfully relive any journey, we must consider how the first crucial step came about, i.e. its before, during and after. In a letter circulated to the entire Society of Jesus on 27th September 2019, Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, 31st General Superior, declared an Ignatian Year from 20th May 2021, the 500th anniversary (Quincentenary) of Ignatius’ injury during the battle of Pamplona, to 31st July 2022, the solemn feast of Saint Ignatius which is also the 400th year (Quadricentennial) of his sainthood.

This Ignatian Isolation Pilgrimage dovetails with the 14-month Ignatian Year experience. Not only does it precede and supersede the May 20, 1521 watershed event but also it breathes new life into it through the present-day pilgrims. Fr. Sosa writes, “It is my desire that at the heart of this Ignatian Year we would hear the Lord calling us, and we would allow him to work our conversion inspired by the personal experience of Ignatius.”

This journey is not aimed at history or chronology, e.g. sequential time. The ancient Greeks called this chronos (χρόνος). But there is another sense to time which they call kairos (καιρός) which pertains to the right, critical or opportune moment in a person's life.

A particular week is called a kairos week which is more than just referring to the seven days of the week. It is subjectively adaptable to every individual's pace along the journey. This approach is one of dynamism and spontaneity, which Ignatius inscribed as a 'way of proceeding' in his spiritual guide book called the 'Spiritual Exercises'. The Ignatian Isolation Pilgrimage will run across several months or as long as it will reflect the life journey of this great and holy man of God.

Fr. JM Manzano, SJ (Sacred Heart Novitiate Retreat House and Seminar Center, Quezon City, Philippines)

PART I: Pre-Conversion

Week 1: Given To Worldly Honors And Vanities
Week 2: Securing One's Ambitions And Dreams
Week 3: Romantic Chivalry

PART II: Convalescence

Week 1: Brewing Tensions At The Citadel
Week 2: Battle Of Pamplona
Week 3: Treatment In Pamplona
Week 4: First Days Of Recovery In Loyola Castle
Week 5: Life And Death Experience
Week 6: Dealing With One's Deformity
Week 7: Day-dreaming About A Lady
Week 8: Living In The Past
Week 9: Enforced Lockdown Takes A Heavy Toll
Week 10: Boredom And Helplessness
Week 11: Life Of Christ And The Saints
Week 12: Recovery Of Physical Health
Week 12: Recovery Of Spiritual Health

PART III: Spiritual Awakening

Week 1: New Eyes
Week 2: Saintly Life
Week 3: Spiritual Chivalry

PART IV: Conversion

Week 1: Metanoia
Week 2: Alone And On Foot
Week 3: Spiritual Audacity And Determination

PART V: Ignatius The Pilgrim

Week 1: Sinner
Week 2: Montserrat
Week 3: Manresa

PART VI: Finding God in All Things

Week 1: Barcelona
Week 2: Holy Land
Week 3: Out of Jerusalem
Week 4: Paris

PART VII: Ignatius the Mystic

Week 1:
Week 2:
Week 3:

PART VIII: The First Companions

Week 1:
Week 2:
Week 3:

PART IX: The Society of Jesus

Week 1:
Week 2:
Week 3: