Fighting back Home
6. Taking sword against the local clergy
At times Iñigo returned to visit the family in Loyola. These home visits did not always consist of a few quiet days with the relatives. At night, during Mardi Gras in 1515 he got involved in what were described by the local magistrate as “premeditated and enormous crimes” with his brother Pedro, who was a priest.
They probably attacked the local clergy trying to frighten them into giving Pedro a lucrative benefice. In order to avoid a court case Iñigo fled to Pamplona and asked the local bishop to protect him on the grounds that he was a tonsured cleric. (Many younger sons of wealthy families would seek their fortune in the Church, and as part of this procedure would undergo a preliminary commitment known as tonsure, when a symbolic cutting of the hair was made. This had the happy accident of making them subject to clerical rather than lay justice.)
The bishop imprisoned Iñigo, but he was released by a clerical court despite the protestations of the local magistrate that Iñigo, with his long hair and fancy clothes, was no cleric.
Iñigo returned happily to Arévelo.
A thought to ponder
Like Ignatius, many people in their youth get involved in activities which they are embarrassed to admit in later life. It is healthier to admit faults and failings, apologise and move on, rather than live with guilty secrets.
Maybe there are people among your family or friends who need to be forgiven – perhaps even yourself. Sometimes we find it difficult to forgive our errors of judgement in the past.
Is there anything you need to forgive?
Scripture for the Day
As a way of praying today’s Scripture we suggest Lectio Divina
Leviticus 19: 1-3, 9-18 NRSVACE
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them:
You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
You shall each revere your mother and father, and you shall keep my sabbaths:
I am the Lord your God.
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field,
or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.
You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another.
And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the Lord.
You shall not defraud your neighbour; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a labourer until morning.
You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling-block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
You shall not render an unjust judgement; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbour.
You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbour: I am the Lord.
You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbour, or you will incur guilt yourself.
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.
Music for Today
Make me a channel of your peace – The Dragon School Choir, Oxford.
Purchase music of Make me a Channel of your Peace.
Where Ignatius was baptised
The font is in the parish church of St Sebastian in Azpeitia. This was probably the benefice over which Ignatius and his brother fought the local clergy.
Photo: DWB Ignatian Pilgrimage