August 22, 2016 — The last feature film about St. Ignatius of Loyola was a black and white, Spanish language film released in the 1940s. In response to the lack of contemporary material on the founder of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit Communications Foundation in the Philippines produced “Ignacio de Loyola,” to be released in North American theatres on Friday, Aug. 26.
Written with the help of Jesuit consultants who offered their expertise on Ignatian spirituality, history and art, and filmed at historical sites in Spain, “Ignacio de Loyola” depicts the conversion of Ignatius from soldier to saint.
Told from the perspective of a young priest who had once been tasked with defending Ignacio before the Spanish Inquisition, “Ignacio de Loyola” follows the story of the young and ambitious Iñigo Lopez de Loyola whose desire for a prosperous military career is stunted when he is injured in the Battle of Pamplona. During his recovery, Iñigo experiences a conversion and retires his sword to follow God. He makes a pilgrimage from his home to Montserrat where he resides in solitude in the caves outside of Manresa. After a month of seclusion, Iñigo emerges as Ignatius and sets out to “set the world on fire.”
The film also illustrates how the saint learned from his errors and trials and incorporated them into the formation of the Spiritual Exercises — a series of prayers, reflections and mediations used to deepen one’s relationship with God.
(L to R) Jesuit Father Nono Alfonso, Executive Producer, Jesuit Communications Foundation; Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, Editor in Chief, La Civiltà Cattolica; Jesuit Father Mark Raper, JCAP President; Andreas Muñoz who plays Ignacio; Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General; Paolo Dy, Film Director
A special screening of the film was held at the Filmoteca Vaticana in Vatican City on June 14. Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, was among those in attendance.
The film will be released on Aug. 26 in select theatres in Canada, the United States, Papua New Guinea and Guam; for the theater list for the international release of the film, click here.