Death of Ignatius of Loyola: Unraveling the Mystery

Ignatius of Loyola, the esteemed founder of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, passed away on July 31, 1556, in Rome, Papal States. His death has been the subject of speculation and debate, with differing theories regarding the cause of his demise. This article aims to delve into the available resources and shed light on the circumstances surrounding the death of Ignatius of Loyola.

Cause of Death

There has been ongoing discussion regarding the cause of Ignatius of Loyola’s death. Traditionally, it was believed that he succumbed to a cholangioportal venous fistula. However, recent research challenges this notion and proposes an alternative explanation. According to a study published in Surgery in 1996 by L.D. Rosenman, there is evidence to suggest that Ignatius may have actually suffered from hyperparathyroidism, which ultimately led to his demise. This new perspective opens up new avenues for understanding the health complications Ignatius faced in his final days.

Date of Death

Ignatius of Loyola’s death occurred on July 31, 1556. This significant event took place in Rome, within the Papal States, where Ignatius had spent the latter part of his life and directed the work of the Society of Jesus.

Age at Death

At the time of his passing, Ignatius of Loyola was 64 years old. Throughout his life, he had made substantial contributions to the religious landscape and left a lasting legacy through his founding of the Society of Jesus.

Founder of the Society of Jesus

Ignatius of Loyola, alongside his companions, played a pivotal role in establishing the Society of Jesus in 1540. This religious order, also known as the Jesuits, was founded with a vow of obedience to Pope Paul III. Ignatius, a former soldier who had experienced injuries in battle, devoted himself to the service of Christ and dedicated his life to the mission of spreading the faith.

In conclusion, the death of Ignatius of Loyola remains a subject of intrigue and scholarly inquiry. While earlier beliefs pointed to a cholangioportal venous fistula as the cause, recent research suggests that hyperparathyroidism may have been the underlying condition. Ignatius passed away on July 31, 1556, at the age of 64, leaving behind a profound legacy as the founder of the Society of Jesus. Through a comprehensive examination of available resources, we continue to unravel the mystery surrounding the circumstances of his death.

Sources:

  1. Rosenman, L.D. “Facts and fiction: the death of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.” Surgery, vol. 119, no. 1, 1996, pp. 56-60. doi: 10.1016/s0039-6060(96)80214-5. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8560387/
  2. “Ignatius of Loyola.” Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignatius_of_Loyola
  3. Cavendish, Richard. “Death of St Ignatius Loyola.” History Today, vol. 56, no. 7, 2006. Available at: https://www.historytoday.com/archive/death-st-ignatius-loyola

FAQs

What is the debated cause of Ignatius of Loyola’s death?

There is ongoing debate about the cause of Ignatius of Loyola’s death. While it was previously believed to be a cholangioportal venous fistula, recent research suggests that he may have suffered from hyperparathyroidism, which ultimately led to his demise.

When did Ignatius of Loyola pass away?

Ignatius of Loyola died on July 31, 1556.

How old was Ignatius of Loyola at the time of his death?

Ignatius of Loyola was 64 years old when he passed away.

What is Ignatius of Loyola known for?



Ignatius of Loyola is best known for being the founder of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. He established this religious order in 1540.

What was the mission of the Society of Jesus?

The Society of Jesus, founded by Ignatius of Loyola, was dedicated to the service of Christ and the propagation of the faith. The Jesuits played a significant role as missionaries and educators, spreading Catholicism across the world.

Where did Ignatius of Loyola spend the latter part of his life?

Ignatius of Loyola spent the latter part of his life in Rome, Papal States. He directed the work of the Society of Jesus from his base at the church of Santa Maria della Strada.

What was the significance of Ignatius of Loyola’s vow of obedience to Pope Paul III?

Ignatius of Loyola and his companions took a vow of obedience to Pope Paul III when they founded the Society of Jesus. This vow ensured their commitment to carrying out the Pope’s instructions for the good of souls and the propagation of the faith.

How did Ignatius of Loyola’s death impact the Society of Jesus?



At the time of Ignatius of Loyola’s death, the Society of Jesus had grown significantly, with a membership of over a thousand. Despite his passing, his legacy and vision continued to shape the work of the Jesuits, who played a crucial role in the Catholic Church’s mission.