Ignatius Loyola (1491 - 1556), a Basque (Spaniard) and soldier-saint who whilst convalescing after his leg was shattered in a battle against the French, conceived a burning desire to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
In 1540 he founded the Society of Jesus with a group of companions. He contributed greatly to the Church's renewal during the Counter-Reformation and encouraged the founding of schools and universities.
Aloysius Gonzaga (1568 -1591). Heir to the noble family title of Castiglione (North Italy), his father took him on training expeditions to teach him the art of arms.
Aloysius let himself be moulded in a different type of school; in his late teens, he joined the Jesuit novitiate renouncing honour and riches to serve Christ.
He died as a Jesuit student at the age of 23, nursing the plague-stricken.
John Berchmans ( 1599 - 1621), a Belgian, hailed from a family of cobblers. Thanks to a benefactor, he completed his school studies and joined the Jesuits at the age of 17. Continuing higher studies, he was observant to the last detail in his religious and academic commitment. He was still a student, when he died of ill-health at the age of 22. All who knew John loved him because of his sincere piety, practical charity and unfailing cheerfulness.
John de Britto ( 1647 - 1693 ), nick-named the 'Martyr' at the court of Portugal, became a 'Pandara Swami' in Madurai.
He schooled himself to Indian ways, adopted Indian garb and preached the love of God to all levels of Indian society.
His zeal for people brought him the wrath of a local king.
He was executed for his faith at Oriyur, in the district of Ramnad, in Tamil Nadu.