The Ignatian Year 2006
By Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J., adjunct associate professor of theology, Fordham University
The Jesuit Jubilee Year 2006 celebrates the lives of the first three members of the Society of Jesus: St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier and Blessed Peter Faber. This year marks the 450th anniversary of the death of Ignatius Loyola (July 31, 1556), founder of the Jesuits, and the 500th anniversary of the births of Peter Faber (April 7, 1506) and Francis Xavier (April 13, 1506).
These essays present highlights of Ignatius, the worldly mystic whose vision was concretized in the Society of Jesus; of Peter, the gentle theologian with an ecumenical heart; and of Francis, the globe-trotting apostle, who became God’s ambassador to the Indies and Japan. They depended totally on God’s power to work in them and to carry out His purpose beyond all their hopes and dreams.
“Three Companions of Jesus,” from the hand of George Drance, S.J., artist-in-residence and teacher of acting at Fordham. From left to right: St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier and Blessed Peter Faber.
|"[They started off] on their long trip to Venice in a festive mood; and joy gave such wings to their feet that they hardly felt the road beneath them. All were wearing the long, shabby cassock of Parisian scholars tucked up in their belts for easier walking. They had broad-brimmed hats covering their heads and rosaries hung openly about their necks. At their sides, they carried leather wallets suspended from their shoulders by leather straps. These contained their Bible, breviary, and personal writings. Long pilgrims' staves completed their accouterments."
—Georg Schurhammer, S.J., from Francis Xavier: His Life, His Times, translated by M. Joseph Costelloe, S.J.
Ignatius Loyola: God’s Work of Art
In 1526, the College of Sainte-Barbe was one of fifty separate colleges at the University of Paris. Peter Faber and Francis Xavier, both 20 years old, shared a room with Juan de la Peña, a young teacher there. When Ignatius Loyola moved in with them, they could not have been overjoyed. Almost twice their age, he had recently come under suspicion for preaching certain spiritual exercises and was even ridiculed for it. His activities were later cleared by judges of the Inquisition. To make matters worse, he needed tutoring in philosophy. Juan and Francis kept him at bay. But Peter was willing to help him understand Aristotle, and Ignatius was willing to help the shy young man understand his soul. Four years later, Ignatius won over Peter and, later, Francis, to a religious mission as yet undefined.
Crisis and Conversion
How did this Basque courtier-soldier find his way to the University of Paris? The story is familiar. A leg wound sustained in battle in 1521 and a long convalescence shattered his idyllic dream of a glorious military career. What if he joined the army of Christ? He made his way to the celebrated Montserrat, an 11th-century pilgrim site. There at the Benedictine monastery, before a statue of the Black Madonna, Ignatius transformed the ancient ceremony for the making of a knight into the "new soldier of Christ."1
In pilgrim’s garb and in keeping with the chivalric code, Ignatius kept an all-night vigil. On March 24, 1522, he placed his sword before the Mother of God, stood, knelt, sang and prayed with other pilgrims.2
Then Ignatius withdrew from the world.
On retreat for almost a year at Manresa, he engaged in the ultimate combat, the battle within.3
In the solitude of a cave, he experienced terror and fear. There was no escape from self, no flight into distraction. Gradually chaos was transformed into calm, darkness into light and despair into hope. During a period of consolation, God showered on him several graces, which Ignatius names in his Autobiography.4
He underwent a remarkable change of heart. While studying at Barcelona, Alcalá and Salamanca, he also became something of a street preacher. Wherever he went, he proclaimed the great love of God that he had experienced at Manresa. His winning personality affected others in a profound way. By 1525, he was making his way to the University of Paris. The rest, as they say, is history.
From prayer to vision
It is no wonder that Ignatius called Manresa "his primitive church." It was there that his world vision was born and took shape.5
If grace builds on nature, then Ignatius was its finest example. A man of courtly refinement, he was a born organizer with vision, imaginative yet practical. The Spiritual Exercises
, for example, are methodically arranged as one’s personal immersion in salvation history with a view to action.6
Not surprisingly, they are punctuated with medieval and military images, such as Christ the King and the noblesse oblige
of a knight; the two kingdoms, God’s and Satan’s; and the desire to give greater glory to the Divine Majesty. These meditations are all means to interior freedom and service to others.
The Holy Trinity
Ignatius valued the role of religious experience, whether at the heights of contemplative prayer or at the sight of trinitarian love poured out on creation. He was at a loss for words to describe his mystical experience of the Holy Trinity, except that he "saw" it under three musical keys. He saw creation as "charged with the grandeur of God,"7
with man and woman as the king and queen of creation and who wear the divine image and likeness.8
The world is good, very good.
Ignatius was a man of action, a man on a mission. In the Incarnation, Jesus Christ is the bridge between matter and spirit. He is the one who shows the way to eternal life. The Christ of the Eucharist is also the Christ "play[ing] in ten thousand places, lovely in eyes not His through the features of men’s faces."9
Love matures through the training of the mind and will. As a deliberate choice for others, it is life-giving and redemptive. But love cannot function without the senses, however spiritual it is. We love like persons, not like pure spirits.10
We must be at work loving God into the world, for to unite ourselves with others is to unite all to God.
God’s Greater Glory, the Magis
For Ignatius, the word glory carries special meaning, as does the magis, the more. Glory is the unity of God’s beauty, holiness and love. The magis, doing all for God’s greater glory, means not just an apostolic restlessness.11
Faced with two goods, pleasing and giving glory to God, which will I choose? I will choose what I think will please God more. The maxim, "for the greater glory of God" (ad maiorem Dei gloriam
, abbreviated A.M.D.G.) responds to those who ask, why not do all for the greatest glory of God ?
The Circular Movement
Like the Jews of old, Ignatius believed that God is not simply the creator of the world or a mere presence in it. God is at work in the world, saving every man and woman in the ups and downs of life, in "the sacrament of the present moment." It is the same Jesus of the Gospels and of the Spiritual Exercises
who sees every event as coming down from his Father and who integrates his life intoevery event. He does all things to please his Father, even when it leads to the cross. Jesus Christ descended to become human, so that all things might ascend, transformed into the likeness of God.
The Ignatian worldview may be summed up as ordered and whole. Fordham’s family, people of different faith traditions and those at varying levels of faith, can find that the Spiritual Exercises
can help them serve as affective and effective leaders in society. This Ignatian Year urges us to help our suffering world, "all ablaze with God springing up everywhere."12
Peter Faber: The Quiet Companion 1
High in the Savoy Alps lies the hamlet of Villaret, where Peter Faber (Pierre Favre) was born in 1506. He might have remained in this farming village all his life, except for his love of learning, which convinced his parents that he should study beyond the basics. In 1525, Peter attended the College of Sainte-Barbe, one of many separate colleges at the University of Paris. After earning a bachelor of arts degree and a licentiate degree, he began theological studies. As for the direction of his life, he could not decide.
At the University of Paris, Peter shared a room with Francis Xavier, Juan de la Peña, a young teacher there, and Ignatius Loyola, a former soldier almost twice their age. While Peter tutored Ignatius in philosophy, Ignatius helped Peter understand his soul. The young man had a calm, gentle exterior, but his inner life was filled with turmoil. Mood swings brought elation one day, and depression the next. Gradually, through daily prayer and other spiritual exercises, Peter acquired a self-knowledge that helped him cope with his melancholic temperament. Balance was needed to judge situations objectively.
As for Ignatius, his own conversion at Manresa evoked a desire to serve the church. Peter was the first to join him in a mission, as yet unspecified. In 1540, Pope Paul III officially established the Company of Jesus to engage in a mobile apostolate.
Peter’s Mission to Germany
In the 16th century, Europe was in the throes of religious upheaval. The Catholic Church, in need of renewal and reform, was slow to heed calls for change from among its ranks. Some refused to wait and separated themselves from Rome. In the 1520s, the loudest and most decisive protests against the church’s worldliness sounded from Martin Luther and his followers in Germany. When Pope Paul III called on the newly formed Company of Jesus to retrieve lands rapidly being lost to Protestant teachings, Peter was one of the first chosen for this mission.
In 1541, Peter set out on an itinerant ministry that sent him crisscrossing Europe. For the next five years, he ministered in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Germany, where he spent much of this time because the need there was greatest. Cardinal Morone, the country’s papal legate, would use him as a theological adviser.
Soon after his arrival in Speyer in 1542, Peter sized up the situation as bleak. Catholics were fast converting to Lutheranism. The scheduled debates between the Reformers and the Catholics revealed the strength of the Lutheran side. They had what Catholic theologians lacked: a united front, better organization, and simplicity of message. To make matters worse, politicians from both sides had stakes in the outcome of the debates. Peter had walked onto the stage of a morality play already in progress, and its denouement, he realized, might result in Germany’s mass exodus from the church. He was at the point of despairing and wanted to abandon his post in the Rhineland.2
For Peter, the talks were doomed from the start. He was convinced that mere learning, intellectual arguments, and heated debates would fail to convert anyone. Personal holiness was what the church needed before all else. Holiness of life would persuade more surely than words.
Peter went to the heart of the matter. He prayed for himself and for those he would serve. He prayed as he traveled from one city to another that his ministry would bear fruit. The debates in which he participated with the Reformers Melancthon and Bucer came to naught,3
but instead of condemning them, he "wrapped them in a mantle of prayer," as he wrote in his spiritual journal, the Memoriale
In the face of futility, Peter dedicated himself to three aspects of apostolic work: the ministry of the word, the ministry of interiority and the ministry of charity.5
He preached and lectured, gave the Spiritual Exercises
and heard confessions late into the night. In the works of charity, Peter’s affability came alive. He easily established rapport with others, one person at a time, which often began with a chance meeting. If an individual had left the church or if a person needed encouragement to persevere in the faith, Peter listened respectfully and responded pastorally. Perhaps this
meeting would return this
person to the church. In answer to a query from a fellow Jesuit, Diego Laynez, about dealing with heretics, his reply anticipates the irenic spirit of Vatican II. He writes "of regarding them with love and of winning their good will so that they will love us and readily confide in us,” and “of avoiding points of discussion that may give rise to argument.”6
At a time when religious tolerance was nonexistent, his attitude is all the more remarkable.
All Is Prayer
Peter was engaged in a round of activities, but we know few details about his interior life. Yet his “small deeds,” as he called them, do reveal a life of deep prayer. His union with God is not separated from action:
The more one is united with [God], the more abundant blessing will God give to lowly works which come from him and are done according to his will. Do not admire, therefore, the quality or size of a work which is visible, but rather the quality and size of the power from which it proceeds. Prefer to be full of grace and to perform small deeds greatly, rather than to fail to grow spiritually and to perform great deeds weakly. The smallest deeds done with a great blessing of grace last longer and bear more fruit than the greatest deeds performed with only a little grace.7
Peter took delight in daily praising and thanking God for favors received from pious thoughts and from his ministry. He recorded intense moments in prayer, a fact born out by his keen awareness of the Trinity present and at work in his life. Daily, he asked for God’s spirit. There were times when he received the gift of tears.
|The chapel on the Favre homestead in Villaret
Nevertheless,Peter’s natural tendency to mood swings persisted and even intensified because of the hopeless situation in Germany.8
Worse, he brooded over his brooding, and depression immobilized him.9
Helpless to do anything at these times, prayer was his only refuge, where he begged for guidance, for light to see what God wanted of him. His entries in the Memoriale
read like prayer because they were written in prayer. Peter brought all to prayer and brought prayer to all. To the very end, he thought that his mission to Germany had failed. To the very end, he remained faithful.
On August 1, 1546, tired and worn out, Peter became ill and died in Rome en route to the Council of Trent, where he was to serve as a theological adviser with three of his companions.10
He was 40 years of age. Today he is honored in Villaret as a local saint, and a small chapel stands on the Favre homestead.11
In 1607, the Bishop of Geneva, Francis de Sales consecrated this chapel, and in The Introduction to the Devout Life
, he praised the saintly Pierre Favre.12
On April 22, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Society of Jesus and their colleagues on the occasion of the Ignatian Year. He too spoke fondly of Peter as "a modest man, sensible, of profound interior life and given to strong rapport of friendship with all kinds of people, attracting in his time manyyoung people to the Company."13
Among them was St. Peter Canisius.
The life of Peter Faber puts a human face on the Ignatian way to God, for he is close to us in our human condition. We can feel with him as he copes with adversity. He is not afraid to admit his doubts and struggles, his vulnerability and depression. We admire his quiet gift of affecting one person at a time. Laynez spoke well when he described Peter as "the eldest brother of us all."14
“Francis, This Is Your Mission.”
As a youth, he had planned for a secure future in his native country. Instead, he died an itinerant preacher far from home. Francis Xavier became the greatest missionary in history, second only to St. Paul. His story evokes as much marvel today as it did in the 16th century.
For the Greater Glory of God
Francis was born on April 7, 1506 in Javier, Navarre, in the Basque region of Spain. Schooled in a religious environment at the Xavier castle, he excelled as an athlete. High-jumping was his specialty.1
In 1525, he enrolled at the College of Sainte-Barbe, one of 50 colleges at the University of Paris. Francis the extrovert cut a handsome figure in his stylish clothes, and his personality won him friends. He lived with a certain panache—wine, women and song. His bon vivant attitude matched that of his chums, who were more attracted to the nightlife of the Latin Quarter than they were to their studies.2
At the college, Francis roomed with Juan de la Peña, an instructor, Peter Faber, the gentle Savoyard, and a middle-aged fellow Basque, Ignatius Loyola, a former soldier, reputed to be a religious oddity. Francis and Peter became friends, but Francis avoided Ignatius and even scoffed at him in public. Ignatius loaned Francis money even as he warned him about his excesses.3
In 1530, with licentiate degree in hand, Francis took a teaching post at the College of Beauvais at the University of Paris. Ignatius, intent on pursuing a religious project, had already won over Peter. During the latter’s home visit, Ignatius broke through Francis’ façade and gained a second recruit and a friend. Francis went through the Spiritual Exercises
and emerged from them on fire with apostolic zeal.
Nine years later, in March 1539, King John III of Portugal requested that two of Ignatius’ small group be sent as missionaries to the Portuguese colony of Goa. Simon Rodriguez and Nicholas Bobadilla, both Portuguese, were slated for the mission, but when the latter fell ill, there was no one else to send except Francis. He had overworked himself in Venice, Vicenza and Bologna and was, at this time, recuperating from burn-out, "so pale and wasted that he seemed no longer to be a living man but a walking corpse."4
Ignatius called in his secretary and broke the news to him: "Francis, you already know that at the bidding of His Holiness, two of ours must go to India, and that Bobadilla was chosen as one of these. He cannot travel because of his illness, and the ambassador cannot wait until he is well. This is your enterprise." Francis responded, "Good enough! I am ready!"5
With these words, Francis Xavier’s life was forever changed. He hastily darned some clothing, received the pope’s blessing, bade farewell to his companions and left Rome the next day never again to return.6
He took with him his breviary, a copy of the Spiritual Exercises
, and a treatise by the Croatian writer, Marko Maruli, De institutione bene vivendi per exempli sanctorum
During a nine-month wait for a boat to leave Lisbon for Goa, Francis ministered to prisoners of the Inquisition, taught catechism, and heard confessions. On his 34th birthday, in 1541, he sailed for Goa, India. He cared for those on board and mentioned in a letter to Rome: "I was seasick for two months. … They bled me for the seventh time today.”8
It was an inauspicious beginning to a new chapter of his life.
The ship arrived in Goa in May 1542. Appalled at the religious conditions among the Portugese, he made the well-run hospital there the center of his activities. He initiated a simple but solid course of instruction based on a small book of devotions, Garden of the Soul
by João de Barros. In his letters to Rome, he wrote about his visits to prisons, caring for the sick and dying, preaching, giving religious instruction, and his dealings with individuals. He also asked for news about his brother Jesuits.9
The Pearl Fishery Coast
When, in 1542, Francis arrived at the Cormorin region at the southern tip of India, 30,000 people lived in fishing villages along the coastline. About two-thirds of them were nominal Christians but had received no formal religious education; the remaining villagers were Paravas, one of the lowest of the Hindu castes.10
The first thing Francis did was to learn the rudiments of Tamil. Under his supervision, two companions, Micer Paul and Brother Francisco Mansihas,11
translated the basic Christian prayers, and he memorized them by rote.12
Francis had no ear for foreign languages, but when he preached, it didn’t matter. The sheer force of his personality made up for this disadvantage. In fact, when preaching, crucifix in hand, Francis could address a group of people who collectively spoke about 30 dialects and be understood without a translator. This gift, however, did not apply apart from his preaching.
Francis set up a daily schedule that he followed everywhere.13
After reciting his morning prayer, reading the breviary and saying Mass, he attended to baptisms or funerals of children and adults. Soon Christians and Paravas begged him to visit them and pray over the sick. Miraculous cures had been attributed to him, and word spread fast. In private letters to Ignatius, Francis wrote about the gift of tongues and miracles.14
He came to be known as "the Holy Father," and the Brahmans generally feared and disliked him, although Francis taught and baptized one of them.
Francis taught the people to sing the Catholic truths and would often dramatizea lesson.15
At midmorning, he went up and down the streets ringing a little bell and called the children and others to instruction. He sang the lessons in rhyme to fix the instruction in their memories.16
The melodies chosen, whether from his childhood or from the indigenous ragas, were easy to sing. He returned to each point and explained it. Here was a born educator.
While his servant prepared his meal, Francis again prayed and, after dinner, took a rest. Early in the evening, he met with those who wished to speak with him. At the end of his work day, "he withdrew to a lonely spot and prayed for a long time, as the sea murmured and the splendor of the star-strewn heavens unfolded over the crowns of the lofty palms."17
Francis ate what little his stomach could endure. Among the poor fishers, there was no meat, no bread, no grape wine. The staples were rice, fish and milk. He slept little "on the bare earth or a wooden frame fitted with a coconut-fiber net and a hard pillow without sheets or covering."18
Sometimes he relaxed with the natives.
Once a week the adults would gather for two hours of worship and instruction. Women came on Saturday, men on Sunday.19
Before he left a village after a month or so, he left the community a copy of his catechism, which was written on palm leaves. He told a leader to copy out the prayers, and he appointed another leader to assemble the people on Sundays.20
When he returned to the village, he would examine the children on how much they knew.21
He grew to love these people, and they, him. They followed him everywhere.22
Francis wrote back home that 10,000 people were baptized at Travancore.23
Electrified by the news, King John III redoubled his support of the Jesuits at the University of Coimbra and arranged for 12 of them to be sent to India in 1546.24
One Jesuit remarked to Ignatius that Francis "was doing as much by letter as he was by his preaching."25
After spending two years on the fishery coast, Francis traveled from one island to another, Malacca, Molucca, Moro and others, between 1544 and 1548. He catechized the people there as he did along the fishery coast, and he undertook some administrative work. He assessed opportunities for missionary activity and wrote home asking for more priests. "Out here, people flock into the Church in such numbers that my arms are often almost paralyzed with baptizing, and my voice gives out completely through repeating endlessly" prayers in their tongue.26
He taught the natives, counseled European merchants, sailors and colonists, settled disputes.27
More help did come, and the Jesuits opened schools throughout the Portugese-owned region. While in India, Francis catechized a Japanese man named Anjiro who sparked in Francis the desire to sail for Japan.
Francis arrived in Japan in April 1549 at a time of civil unrest. When dignitaries he visited strongly resisted his direct appeal to preach Christianity there, his vision began to fade. Japanese culture valued subtlety, refinement, honor and reason. With sudden clarity, Francis realized that his approach with them had to change. Doing an about-face, he put on fine clothes, attended tea ceremonies, brought gifts, even chiming clocks, to dignitaries, and conversed indirectly about faith. Adaptation was the key that opened the door for his new ministry, and Francis found someone to translate the Christian scriptures into Japanese. He grew to love the Japanese people, and he worked in Japan for two years, winning approximately 2,000 converts. He wrote back to Rome: "They are the best race yet discovered, and I think that among non-Christians, their match will not easily be found. Admirable in their social relationships, they have an astonishing sense of honour and esteem it above all other things."28
Toward the end of 1551, Francis returned to Malacca, where he was appointed provincial of India.
The Plan to Enter China
Francis had heard that the Chinese, on whom the Japanese were culturally dependent, were eager for western knowledge. Here was another opportunity to do more. Conversion of this ancient people might persuade the Japanese to follow suit.29
He returned to Goa until the end of February 1552 to make immediate plans for his next mission. During the last week in August 1552, Francis reached the island of Sancian off the mainland of China. He tried to arrange entry into the country, but on November 21, 1552, a fever gripped him. On December 3, he died on the island at the age of 46. After two months, his body was found to be incorrupt and fresh.30
It was taken to Goa and there enshrined in the Church of the Good Jesus. In 1622, Francis and Ignatius were canonized: two Basques, two kindred souls. In 1927, with St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Francis was proclaimed patron of all missions.
Letters to His Brother Jesuits
Francis lived a solitary life in the midst of crowds. He longed for companionship, and correspondending with his brother Jesuits brought him much joy. His letters describe his work. He asks for details about their lives and activities and seeks their advice. At times, the letters describe difficulties, but they are concerned for the needs of his ministry. He writes repeatedly for more help. Above all, he wants them to know how deeply he cares for them:
|I beseech you, dearest brothers, to write to me in long detail about all of our Company. In this world I have no hope of ever seeing you again, except through a glass darkly through the medium of your letters. Do not deny me this favour. … In God’s name and for His glory, tell me fully and clearly what ought to be my method of approach to the pagans and the Moors of the country to which I am now going, how I must proceed in order to convert them to His holy faith.31
My recreation out here, dearest Brothers, is to think of you constantly, recalling the time when by God’s good mercy I came to know you and have your intimacy.32
Let me tell you what I have done so that I may never forget you. For my own great comfort and that I may have you constantly in mind, I have cut from your letters to me your names written in your own hand, and these I always carry about with me, together with the vow of profession which I made, to be my solace and refreshment.33
Francis’ high-spirited character was felt in difficult situations. His fiery temperament had few nuances. He could be merciless with the Portugese in Goa for their immoral behavior, with intransigent and lazy authorities, and with his own assistants. Nothing less than total commitment to the mission would do. He had no patience with heresy and was eager to convert non-Christians. He disliked the Brahman caste. In Francis, the Spanish temperament of 16th-century Europe found expression.
The Power of One
The high-jumping of Francis the youth was superseded by higher feats: travelingthousands of miles to the Indies and Japan to bring the Catholic faith there, all in 10 years. Then there were the reports of miracles and the gift of tongues.34
As a youth, Francis enjoyed immense popularity; on the missions, his captivating personality and holiness energized the faith he preached. The historian Theodore Maynard observed that "it was impossible to talk with Francis and not be conscious of his charm. It was also impossible to talk with Francisand without knowing that he was a man of God."35
On one occasion, a Portugese dignitary revealed that, on experiencing the power that Francis exuded, he knew for the first time what it meant to be aChristian.36
As a youth, Francis’ zest for life brought him a hair’s breath away from getting into trouble; on the missions, his joi de vivre
spelled zeal for souls.
In the end, Francis, the handsome, debonair hidalgo
was transformed into a beautiful person because he loved so much. With eloquentia perfecta
, James Brodrick, S.J., summarized the man and the saint:
|He had riches to spend on men with an almost divine extravagance, and there grew in him a beauty of holiness, often a terrible beauty, more thrilling than the pastels of sunrise and sunset, or the pomp of the stars, or the mountain glory, or the loveliest of men's masterpieces. Where art stops short, unable to say anything more, there the grandeur of the saint begins.37
The "lumpiest dough Ignatius had ever kneaded" had been stretched.38
It took on an exquisite sheen.
Epilogue: The Good News of the Ignatian Way
The word glory appears almost 400 times in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, and the word is central to Jesuit identity. The word glory unites God’s love and holiness, beauty, truth and goodness. God’s glory permeates all creation—nature, man and woman—until it reaches its apex in Jesus Christ. He summons us to return glory to God by responding with a faith made active through love.
God’s glory shone in Ignatius Loyola. On the banks of the River Cardoner at Manresa, he experienced God’s glory in a revelation of the Trinity. Such mysticism conveys “the notion of having been touched from the outside and from above."1
Ignatius brought this remarkable gift of the Spiritual Exercises
to others, a dynamic gift that formed men and women into God’s disciples on fire for the sake of the mission. The gift offers itself for the asking.
Peter and Francis brought the gift of the Spiritual Exercises
to their own mission, though they adapted its spirit accordingly. Peter manifested the supreme type of Christian prayer, the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. His courage to deal with apparent tragedy in Germany was in fact a great heroism. Francis’ inner flame was like the restlessness of St. Paul; there was always more to do “in ten thousand places.” Here is the power of one!
This Jubilee Year is a celebration of the Ignatian genealogy: God called Ignatius and gave him a vision to serve others; Ignatius called Peter, Francis and others for the mission; and, through the Spiritual Exercises
, he called you and me, and challenged us to accept the great mission of service and to share the Ignatian vision with others.
The graces that permeate the Spiritual Exercises
are outlined as follows:
1. All things are gift.
2. All things are sacred because God lives within all created things, in inanimate and vegetative things, in sentient and intelligent beings.
3. All things are within God’s providence. God is providentially at work in all things. The Divine Artist makes us into his works of art as a potter shapes clay to make a thing of beauty.
4. God’s glory is made visible in Christ through the Incarnation. This encounter with him necessarily takes place in our humanness. It is in our humanness and nowhere else that our salvation is realized. It is in the world of time and space, and nowhere else, that God’s great work is accomplished.
5. All things come from God and return to God. An early Christian dictum summarizes Ignatius’ vision: God condescended to become a human being that we might ascend to God in the divine likeness. This is what it means to become “God’s works of art” (Eph. 2:10).
Ignatius: God’s Work of Art
1. Pedro Leturia, Iñigo de Loyola (Syracuse: Le Moyne College Press, 1949), 95.
2. James Brodrick, S.J., St. Ignatius Loyola: The Pilgrim Years, 1491-1538 (New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1956), 86.
3. Ignatius remained at Manresa from March 1522 to February 1523.
4. Autobiography in Ignatius of Loyola in The Classics of Western Spirituality, edited by George E. Ganss, S.J., with the collaboration of Parmananda R. Divarkar, S.J., Edward Malatesta, S.J., and Matin E. Palmer, S.J., preface by John W. Padberg, S.J. (New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1991), 79-80, #28-30.
5. Saint, Site, and Sacred Strategy, edited by Thomas M. Lucas, S.J. (Vatican City: The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1990), 20.
6. Five separate but related documents make up Ignatius’ spiritual legacy: his Spiritual Exercises, which are forever linked with the Manresan graces, his Autobiography, his Spiritual Journal, the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, and his Letters, numbering almost 7,000.
7. Gerard Manley Hopkins, “God’s Grandeur,” A Hopkins Reader, edited with an introduction by John Pick (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1975), 24.
8. “The Contemplation for Obtaining Love,” #234 in The Spiritual Exercises
9. Gerard Manley Hopkins, “As kingfishers catch fire,” A Hopkins Reader, 67.
10. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence, translated with an introduction by John Beevers (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1975), 24.
11. All public enterprises strive to do better than the good.
12. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Letters to Léontine Zanta, introduction by Robert Garric and Henri de Lubac, translated by Bernard Wall (New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, 1968; French, 1965), 41.
Peter Faber: The Quiet Companion
1. The title of Mary Purcell’s book is The Quiet Companion: Peter Favre, S.J., 1506-1546 (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1970, 198 pages).
2. Brian O’Leary, S.J., Pierre Favre and Discernment (Oxford: Way Publications, 2006; first publication as The Way Supplement 35, 1979), 49, Memoriale, 329.
3. Purcell, The Quiet Companion, 132.
4. Purcell, The Quiet Companion, 176.
5. Brian O’Leary, S.J., “Pierre Favre ‘The Eldest Brother of Us All,’” unpublished manuscript of a talk given to the Irish Province of the Jesuits, May 28, 2006.
6. Purcell, The Quiet Companion, 163.
7. O’Leary, S.J., Pierre Favre and Discernment, 49-50, Memoriale, 423.
8. O’Leary, S.J., Pierre Favre and Discernment, 49.
9. O’Leary, S.J., Pierre Favre and Discernment, 101, Memoriale, 241.
10. These were Claude Jay, Diego Laynez and Alfonso Salmerón.
11. When in 1622, Ignatius and Francis Xavier were canonized, the Jesuits did not ask that Peter be elevated as well. He was beatified in 1872. His feast day is celebrated on August 2.
12. St. Francis de Sales, The Introduction to the Devout Life, edited and translated by Allan Ross (Westminster, Md.: The Newman Press, 1953), Chapter XVI, “That We Should Honor and Invoke the Saints,” 99. St. Francis de Sales died in 1622 and was canonized in 1665.
13. Pope Benedict XVI, “A Precious Spiritual Legacy That Not Be Lost,” April 22, 2006.
14. O’Leary, S.J., “Pierre Favre ‘The Eldest Brother of Us All.’”
Francis: This Is Your Mission
1. James Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier (New York: The Wicklow Press, 1952), 33.
2. Francis managed to bypass Greek and did the minimum of philosophy. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 33.
3. George Schurhammer, Francis Xavier, His Life, His Time, four volumes, translated by M. Joseph Costelloe, S.J., Volume one, Europe, 150-154 (Rome: The Jesuit Historical Institute, 1971), Schurhammer, I: 159-60. His sister Magdalena had to persuade the family to support his high lifestyle. I: 175.
4. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 64.
5. Schurhammer, Francis Xavier, I: 554.
6. In 1539, the group received only verbal approval from Pope Paul III.
7. Schurhammer, Francis Xavier, I: 556, n. 149. He used this for spiritual reading. The Venice edition is dated 1506. It is a prose work with themes of religious instruction, morality and theology. It remains next to his crucifix in Madrid. See Theodore Maynard, The Odyssey of Francis Xavier (London, New York, Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co., 1936), 68 and n. 1.
8. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 101, 103.
9. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 118.
10. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 131-32.
11. Micer, a diocesan priest, became a Jesuit, and Brother Francisco was a volunteer. William V. Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus (St. Louis: The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1972), 29-31.
12. The Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Doxology, the Confiteor. Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus, 31.
13. As he walked up and down the coastline in the blazing sun, wild animals were always a threat to his safety.
14. Henry James Coleridge, The Life and Letters of St. Francis Xavier, two volumes (London: Burns and Oates, 1872) I: 170. The Jesuits often communicated more personally through the hijuela, “the primary meaning of which is little daughter, but it has a dozen secondary meanings, one of them being a piece of cloth for widening a garment. The early Jesuits imposed a private meaning on it, namely, a separate sheet enclosed with an ordinary letter, containing information not meant for the general eye.” See Brodrick, Saint Francis Xavier, 79, n. 2.
15. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 120-21, quoted from a narrative by Manuel Teixeira, S.J., an eyewitness to Francis’ pedagogy.
16. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 120-21, quoted from a narrative by Manuel Teixeira, S.J., an eyewitness to Francis’ pedagogy.
17. Schurhammer, Francis Xavier, II: 339.
18. Schurhammer, Francis Xavier, II: 339.
19. Schurhammer, Francis Xavier, II: 335-39.
20. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 208.
21. Schurhammer, Francis Xavier, II: 339.
22. Maynard, The Odyssey of Francis Xavier, 122.
23. Schurhammer, Francis Xavier, II: 462-72.
24. Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus, 33.
25. Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus, 33.
26. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 158, 160-61.
27. Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus, 32.
28. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 361.
29. Schurhammer, Francis Xavier, IV: 312.
30. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 533.
31. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 128-29; 79, 343,for example.
32. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 155.
33. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 261.
34. Francis paved the way for Matteo Ricci’s mission to China 50 years later. Curiously, Matteo Ricci was born in 1552, the year Francis died.
35. Maynard, The Odyssey of Francis Xavier, 70.
36. Maynard, The Odyssey of Francis Xavier, 70, quoting from L. Cros, Sainte François de Xavier, sa vie et sa letters, two volumes (Paris, 1890), I: 161.
37. Brodrick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier, 114.
38. Schurhammer, Francis Xavier, I: 43.
1. Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, Vol. I: Seeing the Form (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1961), 246.