Son of a poor farmer with seven children, Ignatius grew up in hard rural poverty, working the fields. At age 17, he became very ill, and promised to become a Franciscan if he was spared. When he was cured, his father convinced him to wait. At age 20 Ignatius was almost killed when he lost control of his horse; suddenly the horse stopped, and trotted on quietly. Ignatius was convinced God had saved his life again, and he decided to follow his religious vocation at once. He joined the Capuchin monastery of Saint Benedict at Buoncammino, Italy as a lay brother, taking his vows in 1722.
Worked fifteen years in his house’s weaving shed, then spent forty years as part of a team who went house to house asking food and donations for the friars. People soon realized they received a gift in return from Brother Ignatius as he consoled the sick and the lonely, and cheered children of the street. He made peace between enemies, converted sinners, advised people in trouble.
People noticed Ignatius would skip the house of a rich money-lender, a man who never forgave a debt, and who felt slighted because Ignatius passed his house. He complained to Brother Ignatius’ superior, who knew nothing about the money-lender, and so sent Ignatius to the house. The saint returned with a large sack of food, but when the sack was emptied, blood dripped out. “This is the blood of the poor,” Ignatius softly explained. “That is why I never ask for anything at that house.”
In his old age, he continued to work even after becoming blind. The passion was an important part of his life and it was fitting that he died at 3:00pm in 1781 on May 11th in Cagliari.