St. Ignatius Steps on Luther; Mary Throws Luther out of Heaven

by Steve Ray on December 26, 2013

250px-Santo_Inácio_-_RomaTwo great Jesuit churches stand near each other in Rome. One is the Church of St. Ignatius and the other the Church of Gesu (Jesus). Both are imposing and majestic and reflect the glory of the Jesuits in their heyday. 

The one to the left is called the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. In Italian it is Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio. It was built in the 17th century, back when the Jesuits knew who they were and what their commission and charism was (though there are still a few like that today, e.g., Fr. Joseph Fessio and Fr. Mitch Pacwa and the deceased Fr. John Hardon).

IMG_3601

In the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola there is a huge statue of St. Ignatius standing tall looking up to heaven. In his hand is the open Bible.

Beneath him is Martin Luther with a closed Bible. St. Ignatius has his foot on Luther’s neck and Luther is biting the back of his own hand.

Click IMG_3603 for a short video clip.

This would probably not go over very well today. In fact the sign under the statue only says “A Statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola” but fails to explain the original purpose and meaning of the statue and who is under St. Ignatius’ foot.

I bought their booklet explaining all the statues and art in the church and it fails to show this statue or to explain it.

It is fully recognized that we are in a new era today, and do not attack today’s Protestants for the schism caused by Luther and we refer to them as our “separated brethren.” However, the things taught by Protestants that are contrary to the teaching of the Church are still heresies and their separation from the Catholic Church and the Roman Pontiff is still an unfortunate schism.

But we still need to realize that when the “Reformation” took place the rebels were heretics and caused a schism in the Church and the saints and theologians did not hesitate to say so. We need to quit being politically correct and overly ecumenically sensitive and start calling heresy heresy and schism schism when they raise their ugly heads up in our current time.

Mary casting Luther and Huss from heaven

In the Church of Gesus is another of my favorite statues. It is called The Triumph of Faith over Heresy and was designed during the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Heresy was not considered a naughty word back in the day when battles were fought for the truth of the Catholic faith. It is a word that should maybe be resurrected in our time.

When you see the sculpture today no one comments on what it means, nor will you find a placard explaining its meaning. Here is a paragraph from theSacred-Destinations website: 

To the right of the altar sits Pietro Le Gros’ sculpture entitled The Triumph of Faith over Heresy.  This sculpture depicts Mary casting Martin Luther and his precursor, Jan Huss, out of heaven.  An attendant angel (lower left) rips their translations of the Bible and their writings to shreds.  The militant nature of the Jesuits and their mission to spread the faith and reassert the power of the church is clear in this dramatic work.  A companion sculpture entitled The Triumph of Faith over Idolatry” by Jean-Baptiste Theodon further cements the message of the Jesuits.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dragonfly November 19, 2010 at 9:01 PM

“But we still need to realize that when the “Reformation” took place the rebels were heretics and caused a schism in the Church and the saints and theologians did not hesitate to say so. We need to quit being politically correct and overly ecumenically sensitive and start calling heresy heresy and schism schism when they raise their ugly heads up in our current time.”

## Full marks for that. It badly needs to be said. The Deformers – that is what they were, so that is what they deserve to be called – hated the Mass with a passion; they were never tired of denouncing it as idolatry & blasphemy. They hated the priesthood, they frequently lied about the Church, they exaggerated real scandals, misrepresented what the Church taught, they falsified quotations from the Fathers, and were neither heroes nor Saints. Calvinism has a long and ugly history of treason & rebellion – not that this is often mentioned.

Jim March 15, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I know you won’t let this stay up either. But I like how you silence the other view point. Just like the Romanists of old. You can’t have me burned at the stake here in America. I have history Scripture and Most important God on my side. I wear your name of Heretic as a badge of honor. Martin Luther did to.

STEVE RAY HERE: Why not leave it up? Proves my point and is good for its comedic value.

Thomas Schuessler December 29, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Steve: Punishing heretics and fighting wars over doctrine is wrong. The message of the Gospel of John (which you have written about) is sacrificial love. The first “heretics” were beautiful communities of Jewish followers of Jesus who wanted to stay Jews, and then down through the ages these chosen people of God have suffered greatly at the hands of Christians. They should get rid of that horrible statue.

Mike December 29, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Jim I’m guessing the irony of your “burned at the stake” comment escapes even you. Yes, your comment is comedic, considering it’s actually your Puritan protestant forefathers in Salem with the history of burning people at the stake… But the horrendous damage Luther inflicted is not so comedic. It’s a tragedy we may never understand this side of eternity.

Bill912 December 29, 2013 at 4:29 PM

“But I like how you silence the other point of view.”

How does Steve do that?

Bill912 December 29, 2013 at 4:37 PM

“Punishing heretics and fighting wars over doctrine is wrong”. Says who?

“The message of the Gospel of John…is sacrificial love.” That’s one of its messages. So is standing up for Truth.

“The first ‘heretics’ were beautiful communities of Jewish followers of Jesus who wanted to stay Jews…” Like Mary, all the Apostles, Paul, Mark, etc. What made them “heretics”?

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