St. Ignatius was born October 23, 1491 of a noble family in Spain. As a young adult he lead a far from saintly life, vainly dreaming of personal honor and fame. He became a knight and at the age of 30 he was badly wounded while leading soldiers in battle. During his recovery, he began to read a life of Christ and a book on the lives of saints, the only reading material available to him at the time. After healing and much reflection, he set out to imitate the life of the saints in order to do penance for his sins. For 11 months St. Ignatius prayed in a cave in Manresa where he received a vision that permitted him “to see God in all things.” This vision lead him to write the Spiritual Exercises that contain this very goal. The Spiritual Exercises are a set of Christian prayers and meditations that are carried out over 30 days in solitude and silence. More commonly, they are given as a retreat in daily life over the course of many months guided by a spiritual advisor.