Day 12 – Manresa and Montserrat

Today we travelled to the nearby town of Manresa, which is where St. Ignatius of Loyola went to live after visiting Montserrat. St. Ignatius lived in a cave here, where he developed his Spiritual Exercises and Rules of Discernment. These exercises are commonly referred to as the 30 day retreat, which many of us will be making later this summer, so it was of great significance to us to visit the place where this great saint first brought these exercises together.

Today there is a Jesuit church standing on the site, and the cave in which Ignatius lived has been turned into a chapel. We started off watching a short video (in English, thankfully) about the life of Ignatius, and touring their museum. From there, we made our way back to the cave chapel for Mass. It was a beautiful experience celebrating the Eucharist in this humble place where St. Ignatius lived. After mass we spread out to different places to pray a holy hour.

After we left this church, we went to another nearby chapel that was once attached to a hospital. It was here that St. Ignatius spent eight days in ecstasy, in deep contemplative prayer with our Lord.

We then visited the Cathedral of Manresa. There is no bishop of Manresa today; at some point in history this diocese was suppressed or merged with another, and the bishop now has his seat elsewhere. But this cathedral still stands, and we took a tour of the church, including the crypt and some of the side chapels.

We finished off our time in Manresa with lunch at the nearby Jesuit retreat center, then returned to Montserrat for some time of prayer and relaxation. Some men went hiking up the mountain, while others returned to the Basilica for personal prayer. A great end to a great day.


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