Antonio Araoz, the nephew of Ignatius’s sister-in-law Magdalena, entered the Society early its history and devoted himself tirelessly to preaching and spreading the order in Spain, where he had been provincial since 1547. His health suffered, though, and after a series of fruitless attempts had been made to get him to moderate his labors, Ignatius sent him the following command under holy obedience. Ignatius notes it is “more pleasing to his Divine Majesty that you behave with moderation in this matter so as to be able to labor in his service over the long haul.” Therefore, Araoz had to change his diet and sleep, per a physician’s orders, and was to abstain from giving sermons for six months.
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May the sovereign grace and eternal love of Christ our Lord be always our protection and help.
I have received reports about how necessary it is for you to attend carefully to your health—and have some personal experience of this also, since I know that although your health is poor, you let yourself be carried away by charity to take on labors and hardships beyond what your health can endure. Judging before God our. Lord that it is more pleasing to his Divine Majesty that you behave with moderation in this matter so as to be able to labor in his service over the long haul, I have decided in our Lord to command you that in all matters of food (diet and mealtimes) and sleep (amount and times of rest), you should follow the judgment of the physician. For the next three months, until September, you are to give no sermons, but instead attend to your health (unless the lord duke or Don Juan think you might be able to preach once in a month without harm to your health). To forestall useless caviling and to let you know that I really mean this in our Lord, I order you in virtue of holy obedience to observe this directive.
I beg God our Lord to give to all of us his abundant grace always to know his most holy will and perfectly to fulfill it.
Rome, June 1, 1551
Original Source (English translation):
Ignatius of Loyola: Letters and Instructions, ed. John W. Padberg, et al. St. Louis, Mo.: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996, “To Antonio Araoz, Rome, June 1, 1551,” pg. 345–346.