May 11

St. Ignatius of Laconi

St. Ignatius of Laconi

When they lived:

St. Ignatius of Laconi, born on December 17, 1701, lived during the late Baroque period in Europe. He entered
eternal life on May 11, 1781.

Where they lived:

St. Ignatius of Laconi spent his entire life in Sardinia, particularly in the town of Laconi. Nestled amidst the
picturesque landscapes of the Mediterranean island, Laconi was the backdrop to his remarkable journey of faith
and devotion.

Notable world events during the time of their life:

  • Enlightenment Era (17th-18th century): As Ignatius grew up, the Enlightenment was sweeping
    across Europe. Intellectual and cultural transformations were underway, challenging traditional beliefs and
    advocating for reason, science, and individualism.
  • Seven Years’ War (1756-1763): Ignatius lived through the tumultuous years of the Seven
    Years’ War, a global conflict involving major powers of Europe and their colonies. This war had significant
    political, economic, and social repercussions worldwide.
  • Industrial Revolution (18th century): While the Industrial Revolution primarily gained
    momentum in Britain, its effects rippled across Europe during Ignatius’s lifetime. Advances in
    manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation transformed societies and economies.
  • American Revolution (1775-1783): The American colonies’ struggle for independence from
    British rule was a pivotal event during Ignatius’s later years. The revolutionary ideas of liberty and
    self-governance resonated far beyond the Atlantic, influencing political discussions worldwide.
  • Mozart and Beethoven: Ignatius’s lifetime overlapped with the lives of two musical giants,
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. Their compositions revolutionized classical music and left
    an indelible mark on cultural history.
  • Halley’s Comet (1758): Halley’s Comet made a prominent appearance in the skies in 1758,
    during Ignatius’s lifetime. This celestial event fascinated people and spurred scientific curiosity.

Their patronage:

St. Ignatius of Laconi is known as the patron saint of agricultural workers, particularly shepherds and farmers.
His life as a humble shepherd before joining the Capuchin Franciscan Order resonates with those who toil in the
fields and care for animals. Ignatius’s journey from rural simplicity to spiritual significance serves as a
reminder that holiness can be found in the most ordinary of lives.

The Call to Duty

At one point, he conquered a serious illness when he was working in the fields at the age of seventeen, and this prompted him to dedicate his life to God; hence, he entered the religious life, though not as a priest.

He, however, did not join the order of Friars Minor Capuchin as soon as he got well because his father convinced him to wait, as the father was anxious since he depended on St. Ignatius to help in the fields.

In 1721, the horse he was riding panicked, and he was almost thrown off, but he called upon the assistance of Francis of Assisi and renewed the vow that he had made during the initial illness. This time his parents gave him the blessing, and he joined the order.

He was admitted to the convent in Cagliari as per his request only after a friend interceded for him because the superiors there were hesitant because of his health. He then made his profession on November 10, 1722.

He attended the spiritual exercises and excelled. From 1722 up until 1737, he worked at the house’s weaving shed, and his duties involved manual work. From 1737 on, he was an alms beggar, and he assumed that role for forty years.

He was later appointed as the quester of alms based on his modest conduct and humility. He maintained good relationships with people as they realized that as he was begging for alms, he was also spiritually giving back to them. Because of the love people had for him, even those who had barely enough for themselves would also give to him.

He was a notable figure just based on how he conducted himself with such meekness, and his life was quite a sermon. He rarely spoke, and when he did, it was with great affection.

He also instructed the children and the uneducated that he came across. He is also said to have been strict and displayed total obedience to his superiors at all costs. Notably, his sister often wrote to him, asking him to visit her, and he had no intention of honoring that, but when his superiors ordered him to, he visited her.

St. Ignatius had a humble demeanor and had huge concern for the poor, and he mingled with all the people he met. He was also generous towards the sick, and he went out to comfort the sick and urge the sinners to convert.

Even though he had poor health and other infirmities, he continued to work, even though it seemed difficult. He lost his eyesight in 1779, but he continued for the benefit of those around him.

His Legacy

St. Ignatius became known as a wonder worker.

St. Ignatius was beatified on June 16, 1940; he was canonized in 1951, and his remains were entered in Cagliari.

There are two miracles attributed to him that occurred after his death.

St. Ignatius is known as the Patron saint of beggars and students.

On May 11, 2014, a statue dedicated to him was unveiled in Sestu.

5 Interesting Facts About St. Ignatius of Laconi

  1. It is claimed that he performed 121 miracles during his life.
  2. His grave became a place where miracles flourished.
  3. St. Ignatius’ body is still incorrupt.
  4. St. Ignatius was born of a difficult pregnancy, such that his mother
    received the intercession of Francis of Assisi
  5. During his childhood, he referred to the church as his home.

Prayer to St. Ignatius of Laconi

O God, who led Saint Ignatius to the height of holiness along paths of humility, innocence, and charity toward others, grant that, by imitating his virtues, we may put charity on earth into practice, in deeds and in truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever Amen.