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The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Elder Mullan


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This is a plan of contemplation to be carried out over about a month. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1419-1556) was the founder of the Jesuits, and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. He published the Spiritual Exercises in 1548. The Exercises were intended for use during a retreat; and are a central part of the first year training of Jesuit novices.

This book has 99 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1914.

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Excerpt from 'The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola'

The Exercises were offered for ecclesiastical censure at Rome. The text submitted was not, however, the one which is here reproduced, but two Latin translations, one in more polished Latin -- since called the Vulgate Version -- and one a literal rendering. The opinions expressed on these versions, as also the formal approval of Paul III, are given here, as applying quite entirely to the text from which the translations were made.

VULGATE VERSION

We have read everything compiled in the volume: it has greatly pleased us and seemed remarkably conducive to the salvation of souls. The Cardinal of Burgos

We grant leave to print the work; it is worthy of all praise and very profitable to the Christian profession. PHILIP, Vicar.

Such holy Exercises cannot but afford the greatest profit to any one who studies them. They should therefore be received with open arms. Fr. Aegidius Foscararius,
Master of the Sacred Palace
We have read these Spiritual Exercises, They greatly please us and we judge them worthy of being received and highly esteemed by all who practise the orthodox faith. The Cardinal of Burgos

We grant leave to print this work; it is worthy of all praise and very profitable to the Christian profession. PHILIP, Vicar.

As the Christian religion cannot long subsist without some spiritual exercises and meditations -- for the Psalmist says: In my meditation a fire flames out -- I think none more appropriate than these, which undoubtedly have had their source in the study of the Scriptures and in long experience. Fr. Aegidius Foscararius,
Master of the Sacred Palace

PAUL III, POPE FOR A PERPETUAL REMEMBRANCE

The cares of the pastoral charge of the whole flock of Christ entrusted to Us and Our devotion to the glory and praise of God impel Us to embrace what helps the salvation of souls and their spiritual profit, and cause Us to hearken to those who petition Us for what can foster and nourish piety in the faithful.

So Our beloved son, Francis de Borgia, Duke of Gandia, has lately brought it to Our notice that Our beloved son Ignatius de Loyola, General of the Society of Jesus, erected by Us in Our beloved City and confirmed by Our Apostolic authority, has compiled certain instructions, or Spiritual Exercises, drawn from Holy Writ and from experience in the spiritual life, and has reduced them to an order which is excellently adapted to move piously the souls of the faithful, and that they are very useful and wholesome for the spiritual consolation and profit of the same. This the said Duke Francis has come to know by report from many places and by clear evidence at Barcelona, Valencia and Gandia.

Hence he has humbly begged Us to cause the aforesaid instructions and Spiritual Exercises to be examined, so that their fruit may be more spread, and more of the faithful may be induced to use them with greater devotion. And he has begged Us, should We find them worthy, to approve and praise them and out of Our Apostolic goodness to make other provision in the premisses.

We, therefore, have caused these instructions and Exercises to be examined, and by the testimony of and report made to Us by Our beloved son John Cardinal Priest of the Title of St. Clement, Bishop of Burgos and Inquisitor, Our venerable Brother Philip, Bishop of Saluciae, and Our Vicar General in things spiritual at Rome, and Our beloved son Aegidius Foscararius, Master of Our Sacred Palace, have found that these Exercises are full of piety and holiness and that they are and will be extremely useful and salutary for the spiritual profit of the faithful.

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