Saint Ignatius Loyola lived in Manresa from March 1522 until February 1523. Manresa wants to bring to light the presence of Saint Ignatius in the town. For that reason, they published several interesting pamphlets presenting the most significant Ignatian places.
They also marked these places throughout the town:
The Saint Lucia’s Hospital was known as the hospital of the poor. It was the first place where Saint Ignatius stayed, when he arrived from Montserrat. The Saint was fed among the poor and he helped the hospital nurses to take care of the sick. This way he was putting into practice the vows of poverty and help to one’s neighbour.
A local lore tells that Saint Ignatius, while singing in the hospital’s chapel, suffered a spiritual abduction that left him motionless on the ground, for eight days and eight nights. It seems that it was during this time when he received the guidelines for creating the society of Jesus.
The Saint Lucia’s Hospital was demolished during the Spanish civil war and at present only the Rapte Chapel recalls this miracle.
Saint Lucia’s Chapel and the lovely girl from the museum who opened this chapel for me and explained the meaning of this place:
In the cave protected by this building, Saint Ignatius was inspired to write his Spiritual Exercises, For this reason Manresa is considered the physical and spiritual birthplace of the Society of Jesus.
The cave is beautifully decorated outside and inside.
In the centre there is an altarpiece with an alabaster relief, made by Joan Grau, which shows Saint Ignatius writing the Spiritual Exercises in Manresa.