Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/277

This page needs to be proofread.


IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA 263

living. As his patron and protector he selected St. Peter, the un- controllable disciple with a belligerent temperament, Inigo's zest for battle was temporarily dampened by a bloody occurrence of the year 1521. The city of Pamplona was threatened by a French attack. The officers were already prepared to surrender, and only one issued the fiery command, "War to the knife!" He was Ignatius. His advice drowned out the prudence of the others, and the enemy began to storm the fortress. One of the first shots fired during the bombard- ment tore a hole in the wall on which Ignatius was standing. His right leg was mascerated by a second shell, and his left leg was injured when part of the wall collapsed. This happened on May 21.

Pamplona fell. Carried to Loyola on a stretcher, Ignatius endured weeks of pain. His leg was poorly set, so that it grew shorter and had to be reset. Despite his agony, the injured man uttered not a sound, contenting himself with clenching his fists. On St. John's Day hope for his recovery was practically abandoned. Yet the danger passed: ointment, the surgical saw, and a device for stretching his leg saved him. The worst which this man of war had to endure as he lay abed was inactivity. He asked for knightly romances, but all he got was a score of pious books. These he tossed aside in disappointment, preferring to spend three or four hours day-dreaming about the lady of his heart. Yet he was so bored that finally he did pick up the Life of Christ and the Flowers of the Saints. Curiously enough, the content appealed to him deeply. Nevertheless as he read he was still wondering how he could make an impression on his lady fair.

His soul was kept in constant tension by an impulse toward what was great and unusual. It lay there like virgin soil in which the furrows had been newly ploughed and which waited for seed. How would it be, he asked himself , if I did what Francis and Dominic have done? "And therefore, he reflected much and resolved to do a nunv- ber of hard, difficult things." As yet he was driven only by ambition to imitate these men. Only when he had noticed a difference in the after-effects of his dreams, and had seen that his worldly visions left him melancholy while his pious visions cheered him, did he surmise in all this the voice of a higher will: 'This was the first conclusion which he drew in regard to Divine things." Since he had a great desire for adventurous journeys, he decided to travel to the Holy Land,


264