Exercitia spiritualia [Spiritual Exercises]
Ignatius of Loyola, S.J. (1491-1556)
Date of publication: 1548 (first edition)
St. Ignatius Loyola composed these meditations between 1522-24. In 1546-47, five years after Pope Paul III approved the Jesuits, André des Freux, S.J. translated Ignatius’s original Spanish manuscript into Latin. Paul III approved its publication in 1548. These interior “exercises” aimed at guiding the retreatant into deeply personal experiences. The final “Contemplation to Attain Divine Love” (pictured here) imagines all created things as sun rays sustaining one’s life. Those who made the Exercises were interiorly fortified to travel far abroad with confidence, often alone, into unknown and sometimes hostile lands. They sought divine traces in whatever they encountered.
Lender: Loyola University Chicago Archives & Special Collections