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Personal Writings


Publisher writes

One of the key figures in Christian history, St. Ignatius of Loyola (c. 1491-1556) was a passionate and unique spiritual thinker and visionary. The works gathered here provide a first-hand, personal introduction to this remarkable character: a man who turned away from the Spanish nobility to create the revolutionary Jesuit Order, inspired by the desire to help people follow Christ. His Reminiscences describe his early life, his religious conversion following near-paralysis in battle, and his spiritual and physical ordeals as he struggled to assist those in need, including plague, persecution and imprisonment. The Spiritual Exercises offer guidelines to those seeking the will of God, and the Spiritual Diary shows Ignatius in daily mystical contact with God during a personal struggle. The Letters collected here provide an insight into Ignatius' ceaseless campaign to assist those seeking enlightenment and to direct the young Society of Jesus.

Author Information

St.Ignatius of Loyola, (translated by Joseph A. Munitiz, Philip Endean)

Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) was trained as a page at the court of Castile. Wounded at the siege of Pamplona in 1521, he underwent a deep conversion, eventually travelling to Jerusalem and beginning to study. He attracted like-minded students and in 1534 they took vows and formed the 'Society of Jesus', popularly known as the Jesuits. From 1540 he was elected Superior General and lived in Rome, organising the astonishing spread of the Jesuits. He was canonized in 1622. Joseph A. Munitiz is Master of Campion Hall, Oxford. Philip Endean lectures in theology at Heythrop College, University of London. He is General Editor of The Way, a journal of contemporary Christian spirituality, sponsored by the Jesuits.

Judges' and contributors' comments

Alec Ryrie: The fruits of years of both of inner turmoil and of reflection on it, by one of the most daring and visionary spiritual leaders of the 16th century. The result is a short, sinewy book, which demands not to be read but to be put into practice. Ignatius’ insight is rigorous discipline and a creative imagination can work together in prayer to profound effect, and he lays out how it can be done in precise and practical terms. The bold and sometimes unorthodox spirituality that results has informed the Jesuits (not least the current pope) down to the present, but it’s also had many Anglican admirers from the 17th century onwards, as English writers rediscovered the medieval mystics whose work Ignatius had digested so that everyone could share it.

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