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knelt on the Mount of Olives, and traced the last indelible foot-print of the ascending Redeemer of mankind. At that hallowed spot had ended the weary way of Him who had bowed the heavens, and came down to execute on earth a mission of unutterable and matchless self-denial ; and there was revealed to the prophetic gaze of the future founder of the Order of Jesus, the long line of missionaries who, animated by his example and guided by his instructions, should proclaim that holy Name from the rising to the setting sun. At the mature age of thirty, possessing no language but his own, no science but that of the camp, and no literature beyond the biographies of Saints, he became the self-destined teacher of the future teachers of the world. Hoping against hope, he returned to Barcelona, and there, as the class-fellow of little children, commenced the study of the first rudiments of the Latin tongue.
Of the seven decades of human life, the brightest and the best, in which other men achieve or contend for distinction, was devoted by Ignatius to the studies preparatory to his great undertaking. Grave professors examined him on their pra lections, and, when these were over, he sought the means of subsistence by traversing the Netherlands and Italy as a beggar. Unheeded and despised as he sat at the feet of the learned, or solicited alms of the rich, he was still maturing in the recesses of his bosom designs more. lofty than the highest to which the monarchs of the houses of Valois or of Tudor had ever dared to aspire. In the University of Paris he at length found the means of carrying into effect the cherished purposes of so many years. It was the heroic age of Spain, and the countrymen of Gonsalvo and Cortez lent a willing ear to counsels of daring on any field of adventure, whether secular or spiritual. His companions in study thus became his disciples in religion. Nor were his the commonplace methods of making converts. To the contemplative and the timid, he enjoined hardy exercises of active virtue. To the gay and ardent, he appeared in a spirit still more buoyant than their own. Toa debauchee, whom nothing else could move, he presented himself neck-deep in a pool of frozen water, to teach the more impressively the duty of subduing the carnal appetites. Nay, he even engaged at billiards with a joyous lover of the game, on condition that the defeated player should serve his antagonist for a month ; and the victorious saint enforced the penalty by consigning his adversary to a month of secluded devotion. Others yielded at once and without a struggle to the united influence of his sanctity and genius; and it is remarkable that, from these more docile converts, he selected, with but two exceptions, the original members of his infant order. Having performed the initiatory rite of the “Spiritual Exercises,” they all made a vow on the consecrated Host in the Crypt of St. Denys, to accompany their spiritual father on a mission to Palestine; or, if that should be impracticable, to submit themselves to the Vicar of Christ, to be disposed of as missionaries at his pleasure.
It was in the year 1506 that Francis Xavier, the youngest child of a numerous family, was born in the castle of his ancestors, in the Pyrenees. Robust and active, of a gay humor and ardent spirit, the young mountaineer listened with a throbbing heart to the military legends of his house, and to the inward voice which spoke of days to come, when his illustrious lineage should derive new splendor from his own achievements. But the hearts of his parents yearned over the son of their old age; and the enthusiasm which would have borne him to the pursuit of glory in the camp, was diverted by their counsels to the less hazardous contest for literary eminence at the University of Paris. From the embrace of Aristotle and his commentators, he would, however, have been prematurely withdrawn by the failure of his resources (for the Lords of
Xavier were not wealthy), if a domestic prophetess, his elder sister, had not been inspired to reveal his marvellous career and immortal recompense. For a child destined to have altars raised to his name throughout the Catholic Church, and Masses chanted in his honor till time should be no longer, every sacrifice was wisely made; and he was thus enabled to struggle on at the College of St. Barbara, till he had become qualified to earn his own maintenance as a public teacher of philosophy. His chair was crowded by the studious, and his society courted by the gay, the noble, and the rich. It was courted, also, by one who stood aloof from the thronging multitude ; among them, but not of them. Miserable in dress, but of lofty bearing, at once unimpassioned and intensely earnest, abstemious of speech, yet occasionally uttering, in deep and most melodious tones, words of strange significance, Ignatius Loyola was gradually working over the mind of his young companion a spell which no difference of tastes, of habits, or of age, was of power to subdue. Potent as it was, the charm was long resisted. Hilarity was the native and indispensable element of Francis Xavier, and in his grave monitor he found an exhaustless topic of mirth and raillery. Armed with satire, which was not always playful, the light heart of youth contended, as best it might, against the solemn impressions which he could neither welcome nor avoid. Whether he partook of the frivolities in which he delighted, or in the disquisitions in which he excelled, or traced the windings of the Seine through the forest which then lined its banks, Ignatius was still at hand to discuss with him the charms of society, of learning, or of nature; but, whatever had been the theme, it was still closed by the same awful inquiry, “ What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?” The world which Xavier had sought to gain, was indeed already exhibiting to him its accustomed treachery. It had given him amusements and applause; but with his self-government had stolen from him his pupils and his emoluments. Ignatius recruited both. He became the eulogist of the genius and the eloquence of his friend, and, as he presented to him the scholars attracted by these panegyrics, would repeat them in the presence of the delighted teacher; and then, as his kindling eye attested the sense of conscious and acknowledged merit, , would check the rising exultation by the everrecurring question, “What shall it profit?” Nothing could damp the zeal of Ignatius. There he was, though himself the poorest of the poor,