MAGIS Poland 2016

A Story to Be Told - The History of MAGIS

When returning from a World Youth Day celebration, some Jesuits and students from their school thought about how they might use this opportunity to do something more. In 1997, during the WYD in Paris, the French Jesuits organized a few days’ pilgrimage for Ignatian youth from different countries.

Three years later, the Ignatian youth meeting was repeated during the WYD in Rome, together with the Horizon 2000 pilgrimage.

In 2005, in Cologne (Germany), the project was institutionalized and got its name ‘MAGIS’. Motivated by Ignatian spirituality, a full program with a varied range of experiments followed by a Festival was developed. The idea for “experiments” (latin: experimentum) comes from the formation of Jesuits. When St. Ignatius began his friendship with God, he was inspired to do many things. He travelled a great deal, spent long periods in solitude, entered in deep and serene prayer, served the sick at a hospital, catechized children, spoke about spiritual matters to people he met etc. These situations centered on prayer and reflection clearly helped him grow in faith and his ministry to others. Drawing on his experiences he wanted every Jesuit to discover something similar, so experiments were introduced into the Jesuit formation. This was the inspiration for experiments also in the MAGIS program.

In 2008, in Sydney (Australia), MAGIS adopted the spirit of the meeting in Germany and took another step in consolidating the already existing format.

The MAGIS scenes of 2011 were Loyola and Madrid (Spain), where 3,000 young pilgrims from 50 countries of all five continents participated. With activities in the Sanctuary of Loyola, home of St. Ignatius, the young adults were sent to more than 100 experiments. With the MAGIS in Spain, a definitive step was taken to establish the meeting as a recurrent proposition for Ignatian youth in the world.

In 2013, MAGIS was held in Brazil, three years later (2016) in Poland, and in 2019 in Panama.

For the last couple of years local MAGIS programs have been organized independently of WYD in various parts of the world involving sometimes more than only one Jesuit province, like:

  • MAGIS Western Europe in Ireland (2014),
  • MAGIS Central Europe (Slovakia 2013, Hungary 2014, Poland 2015, Czech Republic 2017, Poland 2018),
  • MAGIS Europe (Lithuania 2019),
  • MAGIS Africa in Zimbabwe and Zambia,
  • MAGIS Asia Pacific.