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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Death of a Saint


C. de Mallery (1571–1645)
Plate 13 Death of St Ignatius of Loyola
Engraving
30 x 40 cm
Pedro de Ribadeneyra (1526-1611) Vita beati patris Ignatii Loyolae religionis Societatis Iesu fundatoris ad viuum expressa ex ea quam 1610



Adrianus Collaert (c.1560-1618) 
Plate 14 Funeral of St Ignatius of Loyola
Engraving
30 x 40 cm
Pedro de Ribadeneyra 1526-1611 Vita beati patris Ignatii Loyolae religionis Societatis Iesu fundatoris ad viuum expressa ex ea quam 1610


St Ignatius of Loyola died early on the morning of 31st July 1556 in Rome

The death was not expected despite the fact that he had been in ill health but he had been expected to make a full recovery

He was 65

The body was embalmed and then  put in priest`s vestments and then  put on a bier

The funeral mass commenced after the 5 o`clock  evening vespers on 1st August

The Mass was in the Maria della Strada Church where the body was buried

In 1568 the Church was demolished to make way for  Il Gesù where he now rests


In a lengthy report on the death and burial  to the superiors of the order, St Ignatius` secretary, Father  Juan de Polanco SJ described the funeral:
"The burial of his blessed body was deferred till after vespers on Saturday, and although he was never moved from the place where he expired, there was a great concourse of devout and pious persons. Some kissed his hands, and some his feet, and some touched them with their chaplets, many of our Fathers did the same. 
We had great difficulty in preventing those who wished to take away pieces of his berretta, his clothes, strings, night-caps, or other articles; we gave nothing to any person whatsoever, or suffered such things to be carried away, knowing whence they were procured.  
Some artists came to take portraits of him, which he had never allowed whilst living, though frequently requested.  
In the largest chapel of our church, on the Gospel side, a tomb has been excavated, and there we have placed the body in a coffin, and said the office for the dead in the customary manner. The tomb has been covered with a large slab which can be removed when necessary, and here the body will remain till it is determined what else ought to be done." 
(quoted in Mariani, The life of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits , Volume II, translated 1848)

Pedro de Ribadeneira  (1 November 1527 – 10 September or 22 September 1611) was one of the early Jesuits and admitted to the order by St Ignatius himself in 1540

He moved up the ranks quickly and took on many positions of responsibility

Amongst his works is the official Life of St Ignatius which went through several editions in 1572 and 1587

There are distinct changes as the cult and iconography of the saint matured

The work above published in 1610 was to commemorate the beatification of St Ignatius

The finest artists and engravers of Antwerp were engaged in the work


See also Pollen and Thompson Saint Ignatius Loyola (1913)