Selected Writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius Writes to His Brethren: Fifty Selected Letters and Instructions of St. Ignatius Loyola

with commentary by Joseph N. Tylenda, S.J.

  INTRODUCTION Introduction by Joseph N. Tylenda, S.J.
1 To Fathers Broët and Salmerón On Dealing with Others
2 To Father Simão Rodrigues On Being a Reconciler
3 To Father Giovanni Battista Viola On Obedience
4 To Father Pierre Favre Care in Writing Letters
5 To the Scholastics at Alcalá On Maturing Spiritually
6 To Father Nicolás Bobadilla A Fraternal Correction
7 To Father Claude Jay A Secret Mission of Charity
8 To the Fathers Attending Council of Trent On Dealing with Others
9 To the Fathers and Brothers Studying at Coimbra On Perfection
10 To the Fathers and Brothers at Padua On Feeling the Effects of Poverty
11 To Francisco de Borja, Duke of Gandía On Prayer and Penance
12 To the Fathers Departing for Germany Practical Norms
13 To the Jesuits in Roman Houses On Prompt and Blind Obedience
14 To the Members of the Society Gathered in Rome Ignatius Submits His Resignation
15 To Father Antonio Brandão On Aspects of the Spiritual Life
16 To Father Antonio Araoz On Caring for One's Health
17 To Father Jean Pelletier On Ministering to the Neighbor
18 To Father Claude Jay On the Study of Theology
19 To Father Manuel Godinho On Necessary Temporal Occupations
20 To Father Francisco de Borja On Declining Ecclesiastical Dignities
21 To Those Sent to Minister to Others Principles for Ministry
22 To Father Diego Miró On Dismissing the Disobedient
23 To the Members of the Society in Europe On Patience in Practicing Poverty
24 To Father Diego Miró On Being Confessors to Kings
25 To the Members of the Society in Portugal On Perfect Obedience
26 To the Whole Society Prayers for Germany and England
27 To Hannibal de Coudret On Prudence in Reading
28 To Father Nicholas Goudanus On the Gift of Tears
29 To Father Philip Leernus A Letter of Encouragement
30 To Teutonio da Bragança On Sickness as an Exercise of Virtue
31 To Father Jerónimo Doménech On Preferring the Universal Good of the Society over that of a Particular Province
32 To Father Gaspar Berze On Moderation in Penance
33 To Francesco de Attino On Preserving One's Health for God's Service
34 To Father Peter Canisius On the Society's Duty to Oppose Heresy
35 To the Whole Society On Dealing with Superiors
36 To Father Giovanni Francesco Araldo On Humble Obedience to Superiors' Decisions
37 To Bartolomeo Romano On the Need for Interior Change
38 To Father Ponce Cogordan Norms for Reforming Convents of Nuns
39 To Father Robert Claysson On Avoiding an Overly Ornate Style
40 To Father Alberto Ferrarese On Hearing Women's Confessions
41 To All Superiors of the Society On Speaking the Language of the Country
42 To Father Antonio Soldevila On Humble Amendment
43 To Father Adrian Adriaenssens On Frugality in Meals
44 To Father Lorenzo da Modena On Universal Charity
45 To Brother Giovanni Battista On the Desire to Study
46 To Emerio de Bonis On Preserving Chastity
47 To Father Juan Marín On Scruples
48 To Father Alfonso Román On the Spiritual Value of Contradictions
49 To Father Fulvio Androzzi On the Exercises as an Efficacious Means of Helping Souls
50 To Stefano Casanova On Moderation in Mortification

One Hundred Prayerful Thoughts from St. Ignatius of Loyola

Compiled from his letters and instructions, the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, and the Spiritual Exercises. Edited by Joseph N. Tylenda, S.J.

Introduction to the Selected Letters of St. Ignatius of Loyola

by Joseph N. Tylenda, S.J.

          Much of Saint Ignatius Loyola's spiritual teaching is found in his letters, and these have always been regarded by Jesuits as an important source of their spirituality. Among Ignatius' many letters, those written to his fellow Jesuits have always had a special place, for in these the Jesuit of today not only finds Ignatius' teaching on the spiritual life, but he also meets Ignatius the man, expressing his affection for and interest in those to whom he wrote. None of Ignatius' other writings so ably exhibits the love he bore in his heart for those who chose to walk with him along the path toward Christ than do these letters.

          This present collection contains fifty letters and instructions written to Jesuits. The reader will find included the ever-famous letters on perfection, obedience, and experiencing the effects of poverty. In fact, these are more than letters, they are short treatises on these very subjects. Also included are Ignatius' instructions on how to deal with others, written when the early Jesuits were leaving Rome as papal legates for Ireland, or as papal theologians to attend the Council of Trent, or when they were on their way to establish the Society in Germany. There are also personal letters encouraging his correspondents, exhorting them to care for their health and moderate their penances, or to view their illness as a gift from God. There are likewise letters of reproof, and though Ignatius writes as Father General, he at the same time writes as a father to a son. While correcting his child, he intimates that this correction flows from paternal love.

          These fifty letters are not newly translated, but are a selection and a revision of the letters translated by William J. Young, S.J., and published as Letters of St. Ignatius of Loyola (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1959). The revision was made with constant reference to the twelve volumes of Ignatius' letters in the Monumenta Ignatiana series of the Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu (MHSI) (Madrid, 1903-1911). The introductions and notes were written especially for this edition, and in large measure depend on the introductions that precede Ignatius' letters in the fourth revised edition of Obras Completas de San Ignacio de Loyola (Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1982), edited by Ignacio Iparraguirre, S.I., and Candido de Dalmases, S.I.

          In this present edition each letter is preceded by a short introduction, identifying the letter's recipient and indicating or explaining the occasion for the letter. The letters are given in chronological order and cover the years from September 1541 to July 20, 1566, eleven days before Ignatius' death. Toward the end of each introduction, reference is made to where the letter may be found in the volumes of the Monumenta Ignatiana.