Saint Ignatius’s life was from 1491-1556. He was born to Beltran de Onaz Loyola and Dona Marina Sanchez de Licona they were married in 1467. Ingnatuis father died when he was sixteen years of age, and there was no record of his mother’s birth or death. It is not known if Saint Ignatius ever saw or knew his mother. The reason for that belief was because he was nursed by a common woman who lived in one of the villages and her name was Maria Garin.
His grandfather, Don Juan Perez de Onaz, was married to Dona Sancha and they had to three children from that union, one of which was Saint Ignatius’s father Beltran, and two daughters. Don Juan Perez de Onaz also had two other children out of wedlock to a woman by the name of Hermosa. The history of his grandfather described him as being the pillar of the Loyola family. His grandfather had the reputation of being a powerful man, and the Loyola name was known as a powerful in their community. Upon the death of Don Juan Perez de Onaz, the power for this family also died. There was no mention of any relatives from his mother’s side of the family.
Saint Ignatius was the youngest of thirteen children. It was said that his oldest brother was thirty six years his senior. There were eight boys including Saint Ignatius and five girls. The oldest brother was Jaun, then there was Martin, Beltran, Ochoa, Hernando, Pedro (the priest), and Saint Ignatius. His sisters were Juaniza, Magdalena, Petronila, Sancha and two siblings born out of wedlock Jaun and Maria. He lived through the death of four of his brothers, and one brother Hernando disappeared in America and he was never seen again.
As we look at the history of St. Ignatius there is such a profound sense of grief and pain. He did not only suffer the loss of his mother, but he had to live with the pain and wonder of not knowing her. How did this young man embrace such pain at the loss of his mother, father, and brothers? As a young person what kind of impact did this compound grief have on him? Was this the hand of God molding and equipping him for what he had planned for his life? As we look at St. Ignatius childhood it was very sad even now to think of a child or a young person enduring that much grief and heartache through most of his youth.
There was no record of his mother’s death, but it was easy to see how Ignatius would develop a relationship with his nurse and her family. He eventually formed a relationship with his nurse’s husband, Martin de Errazti that owned a blacksmith shop. “He watched him stir up the fire, lay the red-hot iron flat on the anvil, hammer it with hard, swift, well-aimed blows until it took the shape of a hoe, a weapon, or a horseshoe. Whatever shape the finished product took depended on the intention of the blacksmith. “Tellechea Ignacio, Jose Idigoras. Ignatius of Loyola The Pilgrim Saint. Chicago, ILL, 1994.pg. 55 While reading this the thought came to mind that the red hot iron was symbolic of the fiery trials and...