1491: The year 1491 saw the birth of two people whose lives have shaped history: Henry Tudor , later Henry VIII, and Inigo Lopez, later St. Ignatius of Loyola. They were born months apart. It is interested to have a brief look at their time-lines:
How Timelines cross each other: Henry Tudor and Inigo Lopez, later Henry VIII and (Saint) Ignatius of Loyola.
1491: Henry Tudor, later King Henry VIII, was born in Greenwich, Kent.
1491: Inigo Lopez was born in Loyola, in Spain. Later known as Ignatius of Loyola, and later Saint.
Athenry 1524: Three hundred and sixty Dominicans gather in Athenry for a Chapter Meeting: their hosts were Miler and Honoria de Bermingham. Nobody suspected the ‘sunami’ that was coming down the road for Ireland in terms of the Henry VIII and his Reformation.
1524: Barcelona: Inigo begins studies in Barcelona.
1527: Henry begins to pursue ‘the King’s great matter’, the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and seeking a divorce from her.
1531: Henry VIII became ‘head of the Church in England and Wales as far as the word of God allows.’
1531: The English Church submits to Henry as its Head. Henry breaks with Rome.
1533: Anne Boleyn was pregnant, and Henry married her in January. She was crowned Queen on May 31st, 1533. Elizabeth is born in September.
1533: An Act of Parliament forbids all appeals to Rome on any matters: The Act in Restraint of Appeals.
1534: The Pope refuses Henry’s claims for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
1534: Cart-loads of Observant Friars were drawn through the streets of London and hanged, drawn and quartered. Days later, a group of Carthusian Friars suffered the same death, as a warning to the public. Henry would brook no disobedience to his claims and his marriage to Anne Boleyn.
1534: Henry VIII has Parliament proclaim him Supreme Head of the Church in England: the Act of Supremacy. Parliament also passes the Treasons Act, forbidding any person to write or speak against the King’s claims.
1534: Ignatius and his six companions (only one of them a priest) take their first vows, solemn vows for their life-long work. One of these was Francis Xavier..
1537: Silken Thomas(Fitzgerald) and his five uncles were hanged drawn and quartered at Tyburn, for rebellion against the King, on February 3rd. This a warning to the rebellious Irish.
1537: The Irish Parliament declares Henry as Supreme Head of the Church in Ireland
1538: Companions (Ignatius and others) all gather in Rome
1540: Society of Jesus approved.
1540, July 28th: Henry marries Katherine Howard, his fifth wife.
1542: February 13th: Henry executes his wife Katherine Howard; she is buried at St. Peter ad Vincula.
1546: Luther dies.
1547: 27th January: Henry summons his confessor and takes Holy Communion.
1547: 28th January: Henry dies at Whitehall Palace, aged 55. The new king, Edward VI (aged 9) pardons all prisoners in the Tower, including the Duke of Norfolk, due to execution the next day.
1556: July 31st, Ignatius dies in Rome.
The motto adopted by Ignatius and his Companions: ’AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM’ – ”FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD’.
We give thanks today for the work of Jesuits through the years, and for Pope Francis, himself a Jesuit, and the first Jesuit to become Pope.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
(Notes by Séamus Devitt C.Ss.R.)