The St. Ignatius of Loyola Monument is a 2015 commissioned work of Ateneo de Iloilo/Santa Maria Catholic School, through its president, Father Joseph Haw. Situated right at the forefront of the main campus of the school in the heart of the Atria Complex at Mandurriao, Iloilo City, the work is a gigantic piece made of cold-cast marble simulated to look like bronze, a new sculpture medium comprised of resin and marble, which, when combined with some other chemicals turn hard as stone and almost indestructible. The kneeling figure of St. Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus, measures 9 feet in height, 10 feet in length and 6 feet in width. Unless otherwise proven, this could very well be the biggest sculpture of St. Ignatius in any medium in the whole world.
The figure kneels on a four-layered pedestal, built in good proportion to the size of the sculpture. The pedestal and sculpture measures about 18 feet in height.
St. Ignatius, depicted here as a knight of the region of Navarre, Spain, is shown at that very important turning point of his life when he decided, while convalescing after being wounded at the battle of Pamplona, Spain, to abandon his sinful and profligate life and devote it thereafter to serve his God in emulation of the saints, specifically, St. Francis of Assisi. It is one of the most celebrated images of Christendom, of a sinful knight surrendering his sword and all other military accouterments to the Lady, the Black Madonna of Montserrat, now also one of the most popular and venerated religious icons of Spain.
Unlike some other statue of the Saint on the same theme, where he is generally shown as a kneeling balding old man , dressed in a priest,s garment as he offers his sword to the Black Madonna, this statue shows him as a virile young man. But based on my research, to which Father Haw agreed completely, this is the most historically-correct image of the Saint depicting this moment, since when it happened, in 1521, Ignatius was only 30 years old.
On the left and right sides of the pedestal respectively there are two relief panels depicting highlights on the life of the Saint. They both measure 4 x 9 feet. Like the main sculpture, these two relief panels were made of cold-cast marble, but simulated to look like bronze with a dark brown patina.
The sculpture was executed with great technical help from Harry Mark Gonzales, my former apprentice and now full-time partner in all my sculptural commissions, whom I expressly asked to study and master new media and modern techniques in sculpture. We were aided by two technical assistants, Juan Erecre and Alvin Perez Blancaflor.
The statue was finished in just a period of two months, of course with a lot of overtime work, just so we could beat the deadline which was a very important date for the school,
It was unveiled, amidst a big religious celebration in the school, on July 25, 2015.