Discernment on the Way

An event that occurred in March 1522, included by Saint Ignatius in his Autobiography (Chap. 2, 15-16), recounted at the end of his life, to show “how blind he still was” (Aut 14) in the issues of God.

[According to the investigation of Fr. Plazaola, sj., it took place here, on this Camino Real (Royal Road), at the fork towards the town of Pedrola].

Íñigo had just started his life as a pilgrim and making the way between Azpeitia-Loiola and Manresa, he met a Muslim. They began to talk about the virginity of Mary. Although the Muslim, like all Muslims, believed that it was before childbirth, he made it difficult for Mary to continue being a virgin after giving birth. Íñigo tried to convince him. The conversation heated up and sensing Íñigo’s aggressive attitude, the Muslim detoured towards Pedrola. The Pilgrim was left wondering if he had not sufficiently defended Mary’s honour, and wondered if he should not “stab him” (Aut 15). He retraced his steps and when he reached the fork, he restrained his anger, leaving it to God, through his mule, to decide on the Muslim’s fate. With the reins loose, the mule did not take the path of the fork, although it was wider, but followed the Royal Road. The decision of the mule saved the life of the Muslim and Íñigo from his own indignation. How much the Pilgrim still had to learn to lay down his weapons and how much road remains for all of us not to exterminate those who do not think or believe like us!

2022, 500 years of the Ignatian Way.

Spain: 16th Century Road Map
Map of the Ignatian Way in the 16th century
Luceni village in the 16th century

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