Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola

St. Ignatius Loyola, Feast of

July 31
St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) founded the Society of Jesus, the Roman Catholic religious order whose members are known as Jesuits. Now the largest single religious order in the world, the Jesuits are known for their work in education, which St. Ignatius believed was one of the best ways to help people. In the United States, which currently has more Jesuits than any other country, they train hundreds of thousands of high school, college, and university students every year. St. Ignatius is the patron saint of retreats and those who attend retreats.
The Feast of St. Ignatius is celebrated by Jesuits everywhere, but particularly in the Basque region of Spain where he was born. The largest Basque community in North America, located in Boise, Idaho, holds its annual St. Ignatius Loyola Picnic on the last weekend in July—an event often referred to as the Basque Festival . Every five years (2000, 2005, etc.) Boise's Basque Organization holds Jaialdi ("Big Festival"), the International Basque Cultural Festival, which features Basque music, dancing, food, sports, and more. ( See also Basque Festival, National.) The first Basques settled in the United States in 1865.
CONTACTS:
Basque Museum and Cultural Center
611 Grove St.
Boise, ID 83702
208-343-2671; fax: 208-336-4801
www.basquemuseum.com
SOURCES:
BkDays-1864, vol. II, p. 148
BkHolWrld-1986, Jul 31
DictWrldRel-1989, p. 336
OxYear-1999, p. 312
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