December 25th 1537 - Ignatius' First Mass in Rome
It was the desire of Ignatius to say his First Mass in the Holy Land in the birth grotto of Bethlehem. He had to resign it. For the shipping traffic from Venice to Palestine did not happen because of the military conflicts with Turkey. It came to an open war, so that also for the year 1538 there was no chance. Hence Ignatius said his First Mass only on Christmas 1537 in Rome, in the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore at the crib of the Jesus child, with large devotion and comfort.
At the beginning of the year 1538 Ignatius called all companions to Rome. Now they wanted to place themselves at the pope's disposal, as it was fixed already in Montmartre. After Easter, in April 1538, all companions were together in Rome again.
Only Diego de Hozes had died in Padua. At that time Ignatius was just in Montecassino to give Dr. Pedro Ortiz a 40-days retreat. There he got notice from Hozes' death in a vision. Jean Codure got not tired to look at the dead Hozes because he seemed to him like an angel. During those months Ignatius gave retreats to several important and suitable persons, so also to the Spanish physician Iņigo López who, as family doctor, remained in a friendly manner connected with the Order, to Lattanzo Tolomei (from the circle of Vittoria Colonna and Michelangelo), and to Cardinal Gasparo Contarini.
At first the companions lived restrained in a country house at the slope of the Pincio, then since June 1538 at the Ponte Sisto, and since October 1st in a roomy vacant house which belonged to a patrician named Frangipani, near the Torre del Merangolo, at that time the most distinguished quarter of the city. Here the consultations took place which led then to the establishment of the Order.