Society of Jesus

At UCU we are encouraged to live this magis in our ethos, and in the four traits that define it: humanistic sense, identity and personal purpose, entrepreneurial spirit, and world vision.

1. Humanist sense: Ignatius wanted to share his values, convictions, and world vision with others. He was very enthusiastic in everything he did. However, his experience showed him that he needed to be trained, that his beliefs were not enough. That his values, convictions and beliefs needed to engage with the accumulated wisdom of humanity, which was expressed in literature, the arts, philosophy and theology. This dialogue led Ignatius to attend the best universities of his time: Barcelona, Alcalá, Salamanca and Paris. Attending these places helped him develop a comprehensive, sensitive and committed view of his environment. Expanding his horizons allowed him to delve into his convictions, and discover what was the most important and profound and what was secondary. 

2. Identity and personal purpose: Ignaatius began to study as a result of a very profound life change. After being wounded on the battlefield,Ignatius had a conversion experience, in which Christ invited him to follow him and give his best. Ignatius devised a plan to answer this call. First, he wanted to go to Jerusalem and visit the places where Jesus had lived. He set out from his house in Loyola until he reached Jerusalem with this objective. He was called “the pilgrim.” In that journey he lived different experiences. Once in Jerusalem, he was not allowed to stay. He had to recalculate and change plans. That led him to study and travel to different places. This is how he got to know himself and build his path with others.

3. Entrepreneurial spirit: The strong desire to transform the world led Ignatius to take on new challenges and new ways to contribute to the world in which he lived. Thus, Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus, which was a marked change in the understanding of religious life at that time. By sending Jesuits to work in places such as hospitals, prisons, universities, temples and as missionaries in the new world, Ignatius wanted to respond to changes in the way people lived their faith in the 16th century. The magnitude of this challenge led him to create new ways to live out his desire to help others.

4. World view: Once he founded the Society of Jesus, Ignatius was chosen by his colleagues as their highest authority, what we Jesuits call General. Though he was based in Rome, Ignatius did not lose sight of the larger world. Recognizing the diversity of countries, languages, and cultures, he sent the Jesuits to close the gaps in knowledge and discover new possibilities.

Humanistic sense, identity and personal purpose, entrepreneurial spirit, and world vision are the four traits that define the way we want to live at UCU. We are on this journey together and in the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola we find a source of inspiration.

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