Our Ignatian Medallion of Mission, made of solid bronze, is 3 inches in diameter and hangs beautifully on the wall. Familiar to Jesuits and students at Jesuit institutions, the letters IHS on this sunburst Ignatian pendant are the first three letters of Jesus in Greek: ΙΗΣ (Jesu” in Greek: ΙΗΣΟΥΣ or Ιησους). Go forth and set the world on fire! is a fitting motto for those formed in the Jesuit tradition who have become women and men with and for others.
An Ideal Gift for Graduates of Jesuit Schools
This solid bronze, heirloom-quality Ignatian symbol of mission represents the core spiritual, theological and educational values of the Jesuit tradition. Our Ignatian medallion is a beautiful, high-quality gift for students graduating from any Jesuit high school or Jesuit university. Creator Mundi also offers special pricing for non-profit institutions (including schools), so call us if you wish to place a quantity order for the Ignatian Medallion of Mission.
An “Ignatian” Exhortation: Go forth and set the world on fire!
This exhortation (or “missioning command”) has been traditionally attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola. In fact, this exhortation in English or in Latin (Ite! Inflammate omnia!) can be found in many Jesuit writings and at many Jesuit institutions, including the Jesuit headquarters in Rome (notice the fire extinguisher in the background!):
According to tradition, St. Ignatius said these words to St. Francis Xavier as he missioned him to evangelize across the globe, even to the Far East. While St. Ignatius may or may not have actually said these words, they do capture his sentiments and fiery mission spirit well:
Circumstantial evidence suggests that Olivier Mannaerts, one of the last surviving Jesuits to have known Ignatius personally, credited him with a saying that was popular among the Jesuits of Father Mannaerts’s own time. – Fr. Bart Geger, SJ – https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2017/04/06/set-world-fire-sorry-st-ignatius-never-said-or-these-other-famous-jesuit-quotes
“Set the world on fire” is indeed a curious expression. Fire consumes and destroys, and the world is already inflamed with hatred, resentment, greed, lust, and other passions that consume individuals and entire societies. But fire purifies too! In the Bible, flames burn up the weeds and the refiner’s fire purifies gold. And of course there are the tongues of fire – the power of the Holy Spirit – that that descend upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. Surely St. Ignatius must have had this image in mind when he told his Jesuits to “set the world on fire”. He wanted everyone to be set afire with passion and zeal, and – empowered by the Holy Spirit – to labor for the Kingdom of God through the service of faith and the promotion of justice.
Ite, inflammate omnia!—Go forth, and set the world on fire! This was the admonition that Saint Ignatius of Loyola gave to followers he sent out on mission to a Europe torn by religious strife and to the far-flung peoples and nations of Asia. He wanted the passion and zeal for the Kingdom of God–God’s own fiery love for the world–enkindled in heart and soul. There is no more fitting admonition for Jesuits professing their first or final vows, or those being ordained to the diaconate or priesthood, nor are there more powerful words for the eager and idealistic young women and men studying at and graduating from Jesuit high schools and universities. Go forth, and set the world on fire! Go forth, and use the knowledge, the skills, the sharply honed intellect, the finely-tuned conscience, the theological acumen and the spiritual depth you’ve acquired; become women and men with and for others, be with them where they are and be for them by enkindling in them the fire of the Holy Spirit, the fire of God’s love for a broken and suffering world.
The fire of the Holy Spirit was on the mind of the great Jesuit paleontologist Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin when he wrote:
The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.
— “The Evolution of Chastity,” in Toward the Future, 1936, XI, 86-87