Ignatius of Loyola was a soldier who spent a lot of time gambling, loving on the ladies, and all the stuff dudes do when they’ve been out drinking. He was the kind of guy who wouldn’t take foolishness from anyone and was one of many saints who came into Christianity by force.
He was in a battle against the French that looked so bleak, his own soldiers wanted to surrender as they could see no way out. Ignatius refused. “He’s got a plan right?” they asked. Nope, he was the kind that wanted to go out fighting. Before the battle was over, he was rewarded with a cannon ball between the legs. (I’ll give you a second to wince at the thought of that pain.) The ball tore up his legs, and he had to be carried back to town for treatment.
The doctors, not having the luxury of x-ray and all the glorious technology we have today, had to break his legs a second, and then a third time, to set them. A piece of bone was left sticking out in the end which the genius doctors had to saw off. They were terrible at their jobs! Remember that this is the 1500s, there are no modern painkillers, this dude was pretty metal.
When the doctors “finished”, one of Ignatius’s legs was shorter than the other. “Maybe you shouldn’t have cut me off!” screams the missing bone piece. The doctors decided to use weights to try and fix that problem. At this point, Ignatius decided to find something to read to distract himself from watching the stupid doctors playing with his legs. A serious lack of novels meant that he was forced to read books on Christianity.
He actually thought what he read was really fun to read, and founded his very own fan base known as the Society of Jesus (that’s right, the Jesuits.). While he may be best known as the founder of the Jesuits, and the patron Saint of soldier, education, and educators, there’s a lot more to Ignatius than the holy guy with the bad limp. It’s hard to find someone tougher than him this side of Heaven.
Written by: B.W. Frech
Image credit:By Marikevanroon20 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons