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Ignatian Rome: Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura

St. Paul's Outside the Walls

This basilica is one of the Seven Churches which Ignatius the pilgrim walked to in 1523. More importantly, it was the place where Ignatius and the five companions who could meet in Rome--Lainez, Salmeron Broet, Jay, Codure--made their solemn vows on April 22, 1541, Friday of Easter Week.
"When we reached St. Paul's," wrote Ignatius, "all six went to confession, one to another. And it was decided that Inigo [Ignatius] should say Mass in the church, and that all the others should receive the Blessed Sacrament from his hand, making their vows in the following manner: Inigo, saying the Mass, Just before Communion, holding in one hand the paper on which the vow formula was written, turned toward the kneeling companions, and said the words of the vows.
"After saying them, he took Communion, receiving the Body of Christ our Lord. When he had finished consuming (the chalice), he placed the five consecrated hosts on the paten and turned to the companions... Each one took the page of vows into his hand... and said the words aloud. When the first had finished, he received the Body of Christ our Lord. Then, in turn, the second did the same; so too the third, fourth, fifth."
Mass was celebrated at the Altar of the Virgin, where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved. At that time it was up against the right pillar of the triumphal arch over the Confession.
"When Mass was over," Ignatius continued, "after praying before the indulgenced altars, they came together at the high altar, where each one came to Inigo and he went to each. Giving an embrace and the kiss of peace, not without much devotion, feeling and tears, they brought an end to the ceremony of vows and of the beginning of their vocation."
Pedro Ribadeneira, who accompanied them, spoke of the extraordinary devotion of Pietro Codure; "with such vehement divine consolation that he was unable to hold it in, it came bubbling out... He went ahead in Lainez's company across the fields. We heard him filling the heavens with sighs and tears. He cried out to God in such a way we thought he would pass out..."
Also in St. Paul's, probably at the same altar, Ignatius received the vows of Nicholas Bobadilla a few months later. To overcome Bobadilla's holding back, the saintly Ignatius fasted completely for three days.