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St Ignatius and the Basques

     Yesterday, July 31, was the Feast of St. Ignatius, which allows us to greet Ignacio Palacios on his saint´s day, according to the Spanish custom. Ignacio is a WAISer now teaching economics at Brown University and who last year was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he has now many friends.
     The day was celebrated in a more somber mood in the majestic Azpeitia Cathedral, near Loyola in the Basque provinces, where the saint was born. Many Spanish religious ceremonies, like the Feast of San Fermín, are really sacrilegious, but not St. Ignatius Day. After a colorful procession, the Bishop of San Sebastián addressed the crowd in the cathedral, calling for an end to the violence which is still going on.
     Basque nationalism was originally religious and conservative, but it has been taken over by gangs of violent youths. It is not clear what percentage of them are students, but they display the mentality of the violent students of many Latin American universities.

Ronald Hilton - 08/01/99