This month, as a conclusion to the Ignatian Year, I’m trying to think of something mildly useful to say daily about the saint or his spiritual daughters and sons.
Jesuits have been involved in astronomy from the beginning … of the order. They didn’t invent astronomy, but many pushed the frontiers. There is the Vatican Observatory for serious science. Authors have placed Jesuits in fiction of the future, as in here or here. That seems a believable speculation.
Minor planets, a.k.a. asteroids also have Jesuit names now. Here are their locations and orbits as of the summer of 2020:
The numbers are the approximate order of discovery and verification. St Ignatius was obviously the first Jesuit to have one of these small worlds named for him; the numbers get big from there.
From the founder’s autobiography:
Part of that time he would spend in writing, part in prayer. And the greatest consolation he used to receive was to look at the sky and the stars, which he did often and for a long time, because with this he used to feel in himself a great impetus towards serving Our Lord.