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WILMETTE, Ill. – One high school in the northern suburbs marked a special anniversary to teach lessons of history and hope amid the war in Ukraine.

The founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola was elevated to sainthood on this date in 1622. On Friday, Loyola Academy, named for the saint, honored the 400th anniversary with balloons, cupcakes and cookies.

“400 years ago, Ignatius had a ‘cannonball moment,'” said incoming president Fr. Greg Ostdiek. “It’s where he grew up and it’s where he returned to during his cannonball moment as we refer to it. He was a soldier; he was injured in battle.”

Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish soldier in the 1500s, whose leg was injured by a cannonball in battle. When he recovered, he surrendered his sword at the statue of the Black Madonna.

“He decides to follow this new path in life and follow up on this initial conversion experience, so he lays down his sword famously lays down his sword and goes off on a new mission in life,” Ostdiek said.

The story of St. Ignatius of Loyola is especially relevant today amid the war in Ukraine, according to Fr. Ostdiek.

“It’s absolutely relevant, Ignatius, and modern events bear that out,” Ostdiek said. ” Ignatius a man of the sword determining that the sword is not the answer.”

On Friday as they were celebrating the anniversary, the Loyola community also wore blue and yellow bracelets to raise money for Ukraine.

““People are literally taking cannonballs right now in Ukraine. That is a hard thing, but we can be filled with hope for that as well that our society will learn a better way to do things,” Ostdiek said.

On Saturday, Pope Francis will celebrate a special mass in Rome to mark the anniversary and to offer prayers for Ukraine.