March 25th 1522 - Manresa
In the evening of March 25th 1522 Iņigo walked across the old Cardoner Bridge up to the Almshouse Santa Lucia, to rest a few days and to write sentences from Cisneros' booklet into his loved quarto volume. Those few days became nearly eleven months.
Soon the pilgrim was allowed to move into a small cell in the monastery of the Dominicans. He begged his meals at the doors. The patients in the hospital and the children on the roads became his friends. Sometimes he wandered to the Montserrat or to St Paul, a hermitage of the Cistercians, or to the small church of Our Lady in Viladordis. But he liked best to flee into one of the rock caves at the Cardoner. There he prayed up to seven hours daily.
Iņigo had his great mystic illuminations in Manresa. His spirit got a great clarity, and he meant that he had become a completely different man. He was overwhelmed by the discovery that Jesus Christ is also today still there, that his kingdom also today is still fighting in the church, and that the fight of the spirits will go on through all times and within all hearts. His booklet about the Spiritual Exercises was growing. Father Nadal wrote later about that time: 'There the Lord gave him the deepest knowledge of, and an lively feeling for the divine mysteries and the church.' In that time Iņigo discovered also his so much loved booklet about the discipleship of Christ from Thomas of Kempis († 1471).
His severe way of life in Manresa weakened his health. Twice he became critically ill. Pious women, among them Agnes Pascual, nursed him till he was sound again. On February 18th 1523 he left Manresa to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In Barcelona he had to wait for twenty days for a ship opportunity to Italy. During that time he got to know a distinguished lady, Isabel Roser, who provided for him like a mother. She became his greatest benefactress in Barcelona, Paris and Venice. Later she caused the General of the Order bitter hours. After five days of stormy voyage his ship reached the small port Gaeta, somewhat north of Naples. In the year 1503 Spain had conquered that border fortress.