Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Paul GiblinEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_345

Saint Ignatius

In 1534 Ignatius of Loyola gathered a small group of university graduates in Paris and gave them the Spiritual Exercises. The Exercises came out of Ignatius’ ongoing conversion experiences especially while recuperating from a cannonball wound and on pilgrimage in Montserrat and Manresa, Spain. The Exercises call the retreatant to focus interiorly and accept God’s action in one’s life; they also help one to focus one’s life direction. Ignatius and his “companions in Christ” made vows of chastity and poverty and were filled with a missionary desire to imitate the life of Christ, to preach the Gospels, and to serve the poor. In 1540 the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, was formally approved by Pope Paul III, and Ignatius was elected its first general.

The Jesuit charism is that of “contemplation in action,” grounded in disciplined prayer practice and service to those in need. Jesuits are called to “find God in all things,” to live generously, and to serve “for the greater...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loyola UniversityChicagoUSA