Daily Martyrology for July 31

In Rome, in 1556, St. Ignatius Loyola. He was born of a prominent family in the Basque province of Guipúzcoa. He led a fairly wild life. He became a soldier and was injured in the French siege of Pamplona. During his convalescence he underwent a conversion. He visited Montserrat and spent a year as a hermit at Manresa, during which time he struggled with scruples and wrote the Spiritual Exercises. He and some companions began to study for the priesthood in Spain and then in Paris. From this core of companions emerged the Society of Jesus. Ignatius became head of the Society and lived in Rome. His body is buried in the church of the Gesù.

In 448, at Ravenna, St. Germanus of Auxerre. He studied law and became a public official. In 418 he was chosen as bishop of Auxerre. He went to England in 429 and 445 to counter the teachings of Pelagius. He died in Ravenna while on a mission to the imperial court on behalf of the Bretons.

In 1367, St. John Colombini. He married and became a successful merchant in Siena. When he was fifty, he underwent a conversion inspired by a book of saints’ lives given to him by his wife. He turned his house into a hospice and gave away large amounts of money. Others followed him, and they formed a confraternity known as the “Gesuati.” They developed into a congregation of laymen who lived austerely and were devoted to the care of the sick.

In 1860, St. Justin de Jacobis, bishop. Born in Italy, he joined the Vincentians. He was sent as a missionary to Ethiopia. He was a humble man who worked tirelessly in his mission in the midst of serious political unrest. He established a viable Catholic church of the Ethiopian rite.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.