Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. A scribe then approached and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father. “But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/ ).
Today the Society of Jesus honors five priests—three saints and two beati—who dedicated their lives to preaching parish missions based on the Spiritual Exercises throughout 17th- and 18th-century Europe, in both urban and rural parishes. They are St. Bernardino Realino (1530-1616), St. John Francis Regis (1597-1640), St. Francis Jerome (1642-1716), Blessed Julian Maunoir (160601683), and Blessed Anthony Baldinucci (1665-1717).
Probably the only one American Catholics might recognize is Regis, since the Jesuit university in Denver, one of 28 American colleges and universities sponsored by the Society, is named after him.
These five Jesuits were essentially itinerant missionaries, much like Our Lord. They also embodied a quality much prized by St. Ignatius, namely, mobility. St. Ignatius’ original vision was that of Jesuits on the move, men who would launch various ministries and then hand them over to others in order to move again where needed. These five priests also serve to remind us of the centrality of the Spiritual Exercises in all Jesuit ministries. The Exercises are truly the soul of every Jesuit’s spiritual formation, as well as of any apostolic undertaking by the Society.
—Fr. Rob Kroll, S.J.
Lord, we want to follow you. But sometimes our courage weakens. Too often we do not listen to your Spirit because we rush from moment to moment. The demands at work, the responsibilities at home can overwhelm our focus on living for you and with you. We ask for your grace to move when you want us to move and to help us to stand firm even if we risk reputation and possessions.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team