Ignatian Sword of the Spirit

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“For the word of God is…sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow, as it judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)


The newly-converted Ignatius of Loyola headed to the Benedictine mountain-top shrine of Our Lady at Montserrat where he resolved, with his authentically Catholic and romantic heart, to do an all-night vigil at the foot of the venerated image of the Black Madonna. To her he presented his sword: from then on he would fight for the Kingdom of Christ with the “sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

Ignatians, following in their patron’s footsteps, likewise do an all-night vigil in the presence of their Lord and Savior in the Blessed Sacrament and before the image of Our Lady of Chivalry prior to the decisive moments in their consecration to God.

During these vigils, symbolizing the resolve to fight in spiritual warfare with the “sword of the Spirit”  a sword lies close-by them as they pray. And, on the occasion of their perpetual consecration, each Ignatian receives in perpetuity a sword on which is engraved on one side the biblical verse of Hebrews 4:12 and on the other side another biblical verse of each individual’s choosing.