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Ignatius on Obedience (1550)

In the summer of 1550, Ignatius offered a brief set of directions to his fellow Jesuits. He implores them to be “blind and prompt” in their obedience, prepared to leave any occupation on the instant, all for “God’s greater praise and the greater spiritual progress of all of us.” The instructions were sent by Juan

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Exposcit Debitum (1550)

More commonly known by its Latin name (Exposcit Debitum), the papal approval of the Formula of 1550 has articulated the purposes of the Society of Jesus since it issuance by Pope Julius III. The formula was based on the Five Chapters of 1539 and of the Formula of 1540. For more on the history, content,

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Ignatius on Prayer (1548)

Early in 1548, Francis Borgia, duke of Gandía, made his profession in the Society of Jesus, but he did so in secret since he was not yet able to renounce his dukedom. Still, Borgia indulged his penchant for long hours of prayer and rigorous penance to the extent that he damaged his health. Ignatius himself

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Ignatius on Poverty (1547)

A college in Padua was insufficiently supported by its founder, Andrea Lippomani. Lippomani had hosted Jesuit scholastics in Padua as early as 1542. The Venetian government, though, stalled negotiations to transfer Lippomani’s bequest to the Society intended to support a college in the city, doing so despite a bull by Pope Paul III in support

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Ignatius on Perfection (1547)

Ignatius addressed this “Letter of Perfection” to the flourishing scholasticate at Coimbra, in Portugal. Though the scholasticate prospered with vocations and zeal, the latter was at times quite indiscreet. Concerned observers felt that Simão Rodrigues, the Portuguese provincial, was too compliant in allowing the scholastics to become “fools for Christ,” in such manifestations as self-flagellation and

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