Judith Bouilloc & Sara Ugolotti Based on the writings of Saint Ignatius of Loyola A Journey toward Greater Glory

Under the direction of Romain Lizé, President, Magnificat Editor, Magnificat: Isabelle Galmiche Editors, Ignatius: Vivian Dudro, Thomas Jacobi Translator: Magnificat–Ignatius Proofreader: Kathleen Hollenbeck Layout Designers: Thérèse Jauze, Magali Meunier Production: Thierry Dubus, Audrey Bord To Jean-Baptiste, who dreamed of being a knight and became much more.

Judith Bouilloc & Sara Ugolotti Based on the writings of Saint Ignatius of Loyola A Journey toward Greater Glory KNIGHT’S QUEST

If just one single child profits from my teaching, all my time and my trouble will seem to me well spent. —Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Winner of the Tournament PAGE 9 Questions PAGE 17 Spiritual Exercises PAGE 33 The Knight with a Limp PAGE 25 The Book of Life PAGE 41 For the Greater Glory of God PAGE 49 The Fire of Joy PAGE 65 The Time of Decision PAGE 57 Contents

Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 1 Samuel 17:33 Winner of the Tournament - 1 -

The crash of clashing swords makes the crowd tremble. Two knights are fighting in single combat. From the stands lined with bright, colorful banners, spectators cheer for Rodrigo. The people love him because although he is the shortest knight, he displays phenomenal bravery. Despite his small size, he has already won the archery event and distinguished himself in jousting. And now, his rival, two heads taller, is running out of steam and slowing down. Rodrigo sees his chance: he feigns a thrust and then rushes his opponent, knocking him over and grabbing his weapon. 11

The crowd roars with joy for the winner. Rodrigo helps the other knight back onto his feet, shakes his hand, and brandishes his sword toward the jubilant audience. Yet the loud applause stuns the little knight. He removes his helmet to regain his senses, showing his face for the first time. “That’s wild! This knight has the face of boy,” exclaims a girl in the audience, blowing him kisses. The little knight looks down. It’s true; he is only a boy… Rodrigo’s uncle runs out to the field, putting his hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Bravery has nothing to do with age,” he assures him. “Despite your youth, you have shown courage and skill. These past two days you have defeated experienced warriors. Each one of your arrows hit the mark. No knight could unsettle you during the jousting, and now you have won the sword fight. You are the victor of the tournament!” “It’s your sword!” Rodrigo replies modestly, returning to his uncle the weapon he borrowed the day before. 12

“A purer blade awaits you, along with a bright future.” The old knight does not hide his pride and pushes his squire forward toward the podium— and toward glory.

In your majesty ride forth victoriously for the cause of truth and to defend the right; let your right hand teach you dread deeds! Psalm 45:4 - 2 - Questions

Rodrigo struggles to put one foot in front of the other. Just a few days earlier, he had not hesitated for one second to enter the jousting lists, mounted on his uncle’s horse. Now, he is anxious, dazed. When Rodrigo’s uncle, a knight, became injured before the competition, he asked his young nephew at the last minute to replace him. Lord Alvarez, who organized the contest, authorized the substitution, forgetting to ask his age. Before long, the teenager had won the most prestigious tournament in the kingdom, defeating full knights, even though he is only a squire. What more could a boy want? Yet now, he cannot help feeling strange. With victory behind him, Rodrigo approaches the lord’s podium and bows to his daughter. The young lady, wrapped in a sumptuous dress, hands him a golden cup and a sword made of Toledo steel. She lightly kisses a rose and then holds it out for the champion to take. Rodrigo, looking down, blushes. 19

That evening a feast is given in honor of the winner. The minstrels play ballads, and the two most powerful lords of the kingdom come to talk with Rodrigo. First, Lord Alvarez offers to take him into his service. In exchange for Rodrigo’s commitment, he promises to give him two horses, a suit of silver armor, and a large plot of land. Beyond these treasures, it seems there could be something more. Rodrigo catches a glimpse of the lord’s daughter smiling at him. Then the duke of Cardona, his uncle’s lord, proposes to make him a knight in his court. He offers him a castle and a life of adventure, with many noble causes to fight for. Surprised at how quickly his life is changing, Rodrigo assures both men that he will think about their proposals. The next day, Rodrigo wakes before dawn and asks his master: “What should I do, Uncle? My mind keeps jumping from one dream to another: a castle to protect, wars to fight, adventures across Spain, more tournaments, and more smiles from young ladies. How do I know what is best? A battle is being fought in my head: Should I serve Lord Alvarez or, like you, the duke of Cardona? I asked 20

God for an answer, but so far he has said nothing.” “God respects your freedom, my boy,” his uncle answers. “And so do I. Be patient; the answer will come in due time.” “Maybe we should leave it up to chance? Alvarez heads, Cardona tails?” says Rodrigo, flipping a silver coin into the air. The old knight catches the coin in flight. “Your decision deserves consideration!” he says. “The good is hidden, and sometimes it takes a while to find it. I know a famous knight who can guide you.” “Who is he, Uncle?” the boy asks. “Inigo, from the house of Loyola.” “I’ve heard about Inigo! When Pamplona was surrounded, he defended it with exceptional bravery. Even a cannonball could not kill him. I can’t wait to meet this hero.” Rodrigo immediately starts saddling his horse. His uncle laughs at his eagerness. “Go to the little village of Manresa and look for Inigo along the river Cardoner.” Rodrigo puts his foot in the stirrup and mounts his horse. “I will find him, Uncle!” “God go with you,” whispers the knight as Rodrigo sets off at a gallop. 21

Scripture quotations are from Revised Standard Version of the Bible—Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Edition), copyright © 2006 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Original French edition: Le choix du chevalier © 2023 by Mame, Paris © 2024 by Magnificat, New York . Ignatius Press, San Francisco All rights reserved ISBN Magnificat 978-1-63967-068-0 . ISBN Ignatius Press 978-1-62164-692-1 Printed in November 2024 by Dimograf, Poland Job number MGN 24L004 Printed in compliance with the Consumer Protection Safety Act, 2008

Master Ignatius, I am ready to train hard at your side,” Rodrigo says. To prove he is worthy, the boy performs a complicated maneuver with his sword. Ignatius raises his eyebrows. “Impressive! But, you know, even though I live in a cave, I am not a dragon! You won’t need your sword.” Rodrigo looks the thin soldier up and down. “My uncle told me that you could guide me,” replies the squire, “by teaching me exercises to help me know the will of God.” “Exercises, yes. Spiritual exercises.” “What are spiritual exercises?” “Running and sparring are physical exercises. You know these well. Similarly, prayer and meditation are spiritual exercises. These can help you to seek and find the will of God in your life.” “My uncle never taught me that kind of exercise,” says Rodrigo, putting away his sword. “Well, all right then; I’m ready.” A Journey toward Greater Glory The young squire Rodrigo must choose which lord to serve as a knight. He seeks out the great war hero Inigo of Loyola, who teaches him how to discover the goodness of God and the desire of his own heart. AGES 7 AND UP “