There is a patron saint for almost everything you can think of, so it comes as no surprise that there is a patron saint of retreats. Do you know who it is?
Here is a hint: his father fought against the Moors, his brother sailed with Columbus, and he had his leg shattered by a cannonball in war.
Do you know now?
It is St. Ignatius of Loyola!
This does not come as a surprise if you are familiar with the popular retreat structure known as the Spiritual Exercises, which St. Ignatius developed.
This saint went through a conversion while lying in bed, recovering from the cannonball hit. He suddenly had a lot of down time, so he read the only two books that were around the house. One was about the life of Christ and the other was about the lives of the saints. He was touched by grace and decided to focus on growing closer to God, rather than continuing to work on becoming a valiant warrior.
During this time of conversion Ignatius’s intent was to detach himself from the interests of the world and focus more on the will of God. This is the basis of the 30 day retreat known as the Spiritual Exercises (it is also offered in shorter durations now).
Next time you are preparing for a retreat, or on a retreat, pause for a moment to ask for the intercession of St. Ignatius to help you to have a prayerful and grace-filled experience.
To read more about the Spiritual Exercises take a look at our previous article about it Here.