Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Ignatius, bishop of Antioch. Traditional iconography depicts him holding a heart, which is inscribed with the golden letters “IHS.”
Iñigo got to know the martyr bishop during his convalescence in Loyola while reading the lives of the Saints. One legend about this bishop that Iñigo was bound to have come across would have been when Ignatius of Antioch was being tortured and his torturers asked him “Why do you constantly repeat the name of Jesus?” Ignatius answered: “I have this name written on my heart and therefore cannot stop invoking it.” After his death, the torturers tore out his heart to see whether this was true and lo and behold, they found the three golden letters on his heart. This miracle apparently brought many pagans to faith in Christ.
Pedro Ribadeneira recounts of Ignatius of Loyola: “He carried a great flame of love for the name of Jesus in his heart, after the manner of the glorified martyr bishop Ignatius of Antioch, whom our Father desired to follow more in deeds than in name.”
The change of the name from Iñigo to Ignatius during his time in Paris was not only the Latinization of his name, but also a symbol, that he wanted to follow the example of this saint. Hugo Rahner SJ
Francis Borgia wrote 1564 on the feast of Ignatius of Antioch: “Today, after celebrating the Holy sacrifice, I asked that the sign IHS will be imprinted on my heart.”
And Father General Arturo said after his election: “We are the Society of Jesus – with the emphasis on Jesus…” Vatican Radio
Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love
of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.