English   Español   Français

Ignatian Rome: Ospedale di San Giacomo degli Spagnoli

Spanish Hospital of St. James

Location: Corso del Rinascimento; Piazza Navona
The present Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart was formerly entitled St. James. The hospital was in the adjoining building. On the lintels of several doorways can still be seen the shell that was the symbol of Saint James of Compostella.
It was doubtless in this hospital that Ignatius lodged when he came to Rome as a pilgrim March 29 to April 13 or 14, 1523. For in addition to serving as a hospital for the sick among the Spanish colony in Rome, it also had 22 beds for poor Spanish pilgrims. From the end of March to the beginning of May 1537, the companions of Ignatius lodged here, at first only the Spaniards, later all of the group. The rules of the Hospital forbade leaving bread or meat on the bed lest the rats chew the blankets.
One night Simon Rodriguez was awakened by Xavier shouting in his sleep: "More, more, more!" Dreaming that he had to suffer great hardship and persecution for the service of God, the future apostle of the Indies offered to suffer even more