Loyola Castle

Scott 867
SPAIN, 1955, Loyola Castle where Ignatius was born, Scott 867.

Arévalo Castle

Scott 3668 
SPAIN, 2009, castle series, and its FDI cancel, Scott 3668

In 1506 when he was 15, Ignatius was sent by his father to be a page in the household of Juan Velasquez de Cuellar, one of King Ferdinand's provincial governors and his treasurer general, at his castle in Arévalo. The castle of Arévalo stands near the junction of the Arevalillo and Adaja rivers which originally worked as a defense and natural moat. This stone and brick construction was built in the 15th century by Alvaro de Zuñiga y Guzmán, who was given the title of Duke of Arévalo by King Henry IV. At the death of the Duke, the castle passed on to the Catholic Queen and King who turned it into a prison until the 17th century. With the wars of Succession and Independence, the castle was in ruins and became a graveyard until the 20th century. Here Ignatius stayed until 1516 being trained like others of his age and class to be a good soldier, horseman and courtier. This training in the soldierly virtues probably exerted some influence on the society he founded.

Gálvez catalog, 71 Gálvez catalog, 71 
SPAIN, 1937, a charity stamp showing the castle was issued the second year of the Spanish Civil War, Gálvez catalog, 71.
The normal stamp is on the right side of the pair; a 5 is missing on the left stamp;
perforations are missing at the bottom of the single.
SPAIN, 1951 a special cancel for the 5th centenary of Isabella the Catholic featuring Arévalo Castle


Scott 2562 Scott 2562
SPAIN, 1988, Scott 2562

After Castile annexed Navarre in 1521, there was an attempt on the part of Francis I of France to retake Pamplona. He sent an army of 12,000 against the town, whose garrison numbered 200. The governor was ready to surrender, but inspired by Ignatius the town garrison of 200 withdrew into the Santiago fortress on the southern flank of the town. It was still under construction and could not hold out long against the French artillery. On the 20th of May, 1521, Ignatius was seriously wounded. This Spanish stamp shows the floor plans of the present citadel which replaced Ignatius's inadequate defenses and was begun 50 years after the fateful battle.

Montserrat Monastery

 Scott  509 Scott 850 Scott 512
SPAIN, 1931, the 500th anniversary of the abbey, a view from below, Scott 509 and 512
and between them SPAIN, 1956, Scott 850

After his year of convalescence at Loyola castle, Ignatius set out and crossed the north of Spain to Montserrat Abbey, there to confess his sins, and to dedicate himself to God by an all-night vigil of arms in front of the statue of Our Lady of Montserrat. The abbey and the statue since have been very meaningful to Jesuits.

Scott C68 Scott C69

Scott C70 Scott C71 Scott C72
SPAIN, 1931, the 500th anniversary of the abbey, an aerial view of the Monastery, Scott C68-72

Scott 292 Scott 295a 
MONTSERRAT, 1973, a stamp showing the monastery and its souvenir sheet
for the tercentenary of Columbus' discovery of this Leeward Island, Scott 292 and 295a
SPAIN, 2000, the 500th anniversary of the Montserrat Printing Press, showing the monastery

Spanish, 1947, commemorating the First Philatelic Congress at Manresa
and a cinderella with a denomination of 200 pts
both featuring the monastery of Montserrat

SPAIN, cinderellas of the monastery

Our Lady of Montserrat

Scott  506 Scott 508
Scott 507 Scott 511 Scott 513
SPAIN, 1931, the 500th anniversary of the abbey, Our Lady of Montserrat, Scott 506-508, 511, 513

SPAIN, 1981, souvenir show sheet marking Our Lady's patronage of Cataluña
reprising Scott 511 from fifty years earlier

Scott C92 Scott C93 Scott C94

Scott C95 Scott C96 Scitt 589
SPAIN, 1938, surcharged stamps, Scott C92-96, 589

Scott 849 Scott 807 Scott 851
SPAIN, 1956, both the statue and the jagged mountains, Scott 849 and 851
and between them SPAIN, 1954, Scott 807

Scott 1445a
VENEZUELA, 1991, the 5th centenary of the birth of St. Ignatius, Scott 1445d

SPAIN, 1947, a cinderella for the Enthronement of Our Lady in 1947 on her feast day April. 27,
considered the first move toward civil reconciliation after the war.
SPAIN, 1956, cinderellas for the 75th anniversary of the Black Madonna being proclaimed patron saint of Catalonia by Pope Leo XIII.

SPAIN, 1961 the Diamond Jubilee of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Montserrat
marked by a special philatelic exposition and cancel


Spanish, 1947, three cinderellas commemorating the same First Philatelic Congress at Manresa
featuring the retreat house and the interior of the cave at Manresa

Two cinderellas, one issued by the Charity Secretariat of the Railway Brotherhood of St. Ignatius Loyola,
and a Canadian one marking the 25th anniversary of Villa Manrèse, are
based on a drawing, Ignatius Writing the Spiritual Exercises at Manresa, by Fr. Francisco de Paula Morell SJ, as is the one below.

Spanish, for the Ignatian centenary these four cinderellas show four scenes of the Holy Cave at Manresa
Fr. Morell's painting of Ignatius, the entrance to the church, the cave, the sanctuary facing the river.
The set of four vignettes was printed by Heraclio Fournier, SA, in Vitoria, the Basque Country, Spain in each of the four colors shown.

Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona

Scott 2351 
SPAIN, 1983, Scott 2351, featuring the Church of Nuestra Señora del Mar (Our Lady of the Sea) in Barcelona, Spain where Ignatius used to beg.
SPAIN, 1983, special cancel for the 6th centennial of the church

University of Alcala

Scott 1360 Scott 2777
SPAIN, 1966, University of Alcalá de Henares, Scott 1360
SPAIN, 1994, for the 7th centenary of the University of Alcalá de Henares, Scott 2777

Scott 3130L 
SPAIN, 2001, Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Scott 3130L, with a special show cancel (below)
3130L was used imprinted on a postal card, with an "A" value

At 33 years of age and determined to study for the priesthood, Ignatius went back to school. He started studying Latin grammar with young boys in Barcelona, and after two years moved the University of Alcala. Ignatius would gather people to explain the Gospels and teach them how to pray. He was quickly arrested by the Inquisition and thrown into jail for 42 days. He was warned not to teach others, and so quickly moved on to the University of Salamanca.

University of Salamanca and St. Stephen's Monastery

Scott 626  Scott 745  Scott 3375
SPAIN, 1936, 1946, and 2005, Scott 626, 745, 3375

 Scott C282 
1953, special cancel for the anniversary of the University
, 1955, the 7th centenary of the University, Scott C282

Scott 2185f Scott 3147
1999, millennium sheetlet, Scott 2185f
2002, World Youth Philatelic Exposition, note the university seal in the background, Scott 3147

SPAIN, 2016, an issue celebrating the 800th centenary of the University of Salamanca, and its FDI cancel

Ignatius with a few companions went to the University of Salamanca in the summer of 1527. He confessed there to a friar of the Monastery of St. Stephen, and some ten days later was invited by his confessor to dinner at the monastery. There he was questioned about his teaching by the subprior and a couple of others, who then locked him in the monastery for three days and went off and arranged to have him jailed and tried by the Inquisition. Ignatius said he continued to speak to the other monks, some of whom came to agree and sympathize with him. He was eventually acquitted, but decided to move on to the University Paris.

SPAIN, 1979, postal card with a cachet showing the Dominican Convento de San Esteban in Salamanca, Edfil 120

SPAIN, 2010, three personalized stamps and a special cancel for the 4th centenary of the Dominican Church of San Esteban
showing the church, the cloister, and the main altar and altarpiece.
While this was not the church that St. Ignatius knew, it was built in the same place as the smaller church and convent of his day.

The College of St. Barbara, Paris

Scott 983 imperf Scott 983
FRANCE, 1960, 5th centenary of the College of Saint Barbara
Ignatius' college at the University of Paris, Scott 983 and its FDI cancel

The College of Saint Barbara at the University of Paris is where St. Ignatius lived and studied with his roommates Peter Faber and Francis Xavier from 1528 to 1535. More

Montmartre, Paris

FRANCE, 2010, the hill of Montmartre is seen in the upper right corner of this mini-sheet.

After receiving their degrees from the University of Paris, Ignatius and his first companions went up the hill of Montmartre on the 15th of August 1534, to a crypt beneath the Church of Saint Denis, now Saint Pierre de Montmartre. It is lesser-known than the other church on Montmartre, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica built in the 19th century immediately to the south. Historically, however, Saint Pierre, the oldest church in Paris, has the greater claim to fame. Here the vows were taken that led to the founding of the Society of Jesus. Peter Faber, the only priest among them, celebrated Mass and the first companions took their vows together. Other stamps and postal stationary also show the basilica and the hill, though none that I have found show Saint Pierre, e.g.: Cambodia in 1990, France in 2002, Guinea in 2008.

The Hermitage of the Magdalene, Azpeitia (Guipúscoa)

SPAIN, 2010 special cancel for an Ignatian Philatelic Exposition, held in the Sanctuary at Loyola, 22 July -1 August

This special show cancel shows the Hermitage of the Magdalene in Azpeitia. St. Ignatius returned there from April to July 1535 to recover his health in his native land at the advice of doctors in Paris. He preached there and taught catechism, and lived during this time at the Hospital of Mary Magdalene in front of the hermitage, not wanting to accept the invitation of his sister-in-law, María Magdalena Araoz, to stay at the family castle. In early May of 2014, the old hospital was reestablished by the Society of Jesus, and at the dedication Mass Fr. Juan José Etxeberria, provincial of the Loyola Province, declared that "we see Ignatius living in the hospital. He begged for food and alms at the doors of his relatives and neighbors. He brought the proceeds back to the hostel, to feed and clothe the poor and sick. He also dedicated himself to preaching and teaching, and he invited people to reform their lives. This is a brief summary of the apostolic charisma which would lead to the Society of Jesus."

Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

Scott 1303

FRANCE, 1971, Scott 1303
GUINEA BISSAU, 2003, the basilica is on the souvenir sheet and the last stamp of the mini-sheet of 6

The Basilica of Our Lady della Salute in Venice was built on the foundations of an old hospital. Ignatius and most of his first companions were ordained priests in the church attached to this hospital on the feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24, 1537.

Saint Mary Major, Rome

Scott 130
VATICAN CITY, 1949, St. Mary Major, Scott 130

VATICAN CITY, 1950, the four basilicas, St. Mary Major the third from the top, Scott

Scott 565 Scott 566 Scott 567


VATICAN CITY, 1975, mosaics from St. Mary Major: Christ, Peter and Paul, Scott 565-67
VATICAN CITY, 1992, mosaics from St. Mary Major: Annunciation, Nativity, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation, Scott 912-915

Scott 919 Scott 1139 
VATICAN CITY, 1993 and 2000, Scott 919 and 1139
The last, imperforate stamp, is available only from stamp machines

After his ordination, Ignatius waited 18 months to celebrate his first mass, which took place on Christmas Day 1538, in the Chapel of the Manger in Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome.

San Pietro in Montorio, Rome

Scott 1035  Scott 1810
ITALY, 1971, Scott 1035
SPAIN, 1974, Scott 1810

In April 1541, St. Ignatius of Loyola was elected superior general of the Society of Jesus. He asked that the election be repeated, and was again elected. His confessor, Fr. Teodosio da Lodi OFM, lived in the monastery adjacent to this church of San Pietro in Montorio (St. Peter the Apostle on the Golden Hill), and St. Ignatius came here for three days of prayer and meditation. After receiving advice from his confessor he decided to accept the result of a third election, and was duly elected on April 19. The tempietto or little temple was build by Bramante, the first Renaissance building in Rome, at the commission of the Spanish monarchs. It is believed to be the site where the Apostle Peter was crucified. Ignatius often said Mass here, perhaps because of his devotion to St. Peter.

Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, Rome

Scott 129 Scott 452
VATICAN CITY, 1949, 1966, the interior of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Scott 129, 452

VATICAN CITY, 1950, the four basilicas, St. Paul the second from the top, Scott

 Scott 568 Scott 569
VATICAN CITY,1975, mosaics of Peter and Paul inside St. Paul, Scott 568-69

 Scott 920 Scott 1140  
VATICAN CITY, 1993 and 2000, the exterior of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Scott 920 and 1140
The last, imperforate stamp, is available only from stamp machines

ITALY, 2000, celebrating the Jubilee Year, featuring the holy door of the basilica, Scott 2326

Following his election as superior general on April 20, 1541, Ignatius and his companions made a pilgrimage to the seven churches of Rome and on April 22 pronounced their vows in accordance with the Bull of Approval of the Society at the Basilica of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls.