Explore the Essential Documents


The Portal’s Essential Document collection offers free access to English translations of some of the most important primary sources in Jesuit history. The selected documents include letters and addresses from the Fathers General–dating back to Ignatius of Loyola–selected decrees and addresses from the General Congregations, and bulls, remarks, and other statements that pontiffs have made to or about the Society of Jesus.


Additional documents will be added in installments. Contributors to this ever-growing collection include Jesuit Sources, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, and the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. To learn how you can contribute to the Essential Documents collection, please contact the Portal’s editors (jesuitportal@bc.edu).


Through the Portal, you can search the full contents of the entire Essential Documents collection


Through the chart below, you can browse the collection or filter results by title, author, year, series, or contributor. For example, below search ‘Decree’ to only see the decrees issued by the general congregations. Or search ‘Poverty’ (or ‘Chastity’ or ‘Obedience’) to only see documents with that term in the title.