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^* CAMBRIDGE, MASS. 02138 

In Their Own Words 

Ignatius, Xavier, Favre 

and Our Way of Proceeding 

Peter Schineller, S.J. 

38/1 SPRING 2006 


The Seminar is composed of a number of Jesuits appointed from their provinces in the 
United States. 

It concerns itself with topics pertaining to the spiritual doctrine and practice of 
Jesuits, especially United States Jesuits, and communicates the results to the members of 
the provinces through its publication, STUDIES IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF JESUITS. This is 
done in the spirit of Vatican El's recommendation that religious institutes recapture the 
original inspiration of their founders and adapt it to the circumstances of modern times. 
The Seminar welcomes reactions or comments in regard to the material that it publishes. 

The Seminar focuses its direct attention on the life and work of the Jesuits of 
the United States. The issues treated may be common also to Jesuits of other regions, to 
other priests, religious, and laity, to both men and women. Hence, the journal, while 
meant especially for American Jesuits, is not exclusively for them. Others who may find 
it helpful are cordially welcome to make use of it. 


James W. Bernauer, S.J., teaches philosophy at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass. 

Richard A. Blake, S.J., is chairman of the Seminar and editor of STUDIES; he teaches 
film studies at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass. (2002). 

Kevin Burke, S.J., teaches systematic theology at Weston Jesuit School of Theology, 
Cambridge, Mass. (2003). 

T. Frank Kennedy, S.J., teaches music and is director of the Jesuit Institute at Bos- 
ton College, Chestnut Hill, Mass. (2004). 

Gerald L. McKevitt, S.J., teaches history at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Cal. 

Dennis L. McNamara, S.J., teaches sociology at Georgetown University, Washing- 
ton, D.C. (2005) 

William E. Reiser, S.J., teaches theology at the College of the Holy Cross, Worces- 
ter, Mass. (2004). 

Philip J. Rosato, S.J., teaches theology at St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Thomas L Schubeck, S.J., teaches social ethics at John Carroll University, Univer- 
sity Heights, Ohio (2004). 

Dennis C. Smolarski, S.J., teaches mathematics and computer science at Santa Clara 
University, Santa Clara, Cal. (2003). 

The opinions expressed in STUDIES are those of the individual authors thereof. 
Parentheses designate year of entry as a Seminar member. 

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In Their Own Words 

Ignatius, Xavier, Favre 
and Our Way of Proceeding 

Peter Schineller, S.J. 

Weston Jesuit 

School of Theology 


99 Brattle St. 

Cambridge, MA 02138 


38/1 • SPRING 2006 

The first word . . . 

Sex. There it is, right before your eyes. Someday the gremlins of 
Silicone Valley may be able to implant a microchip in the page to measure 
reader reactions to the text. Until that time comes, we are left with specu- 
lation. Those three letters provoke strong reactions. Some may be angry, 
thinking this is a crude set-up for some inappropriate joke that has no 
place in a journal such as this. Others may be puzzled that this has any- 
thing to do with "the spiritual doctrine and practice of Jesuits" or "the life 
and work of American Jesuits," as the inside front cover defines our pur- 
pose. At the very least, this tiny word undoubtedly makes many of us 

We are in good company. This Jesuit tradition starts with St. Igna- 
tius, who shoehorned only one brief paragraph on the topic into the Con- 
stitutions (no. 547) under the heading of "Obedience." It's worth quoting 
in full: "What pertains to the vow of chastity requires no interpretation, 
since it is evident how perfectly it should be preserved, by endeavoring to 
imitate the purity of the angels in cleanliness of body and mind. There- 
fore, with this presupposed, we shall now treat of holy obedience." One 
can almost hear his proverbial sigh of relief at having gotten that messy bit 
of business out of the way. After GC 34, we overcame this long-standing 
reticence by providing a fuller treatment in Complementary Norms, nos. 

Old mind-sets linger, however. Many of us remember the renovation 
readings in the refectory, when we were given a list of topics appropriate 
for conversation. These included prayer, the lives of saints, and the virtues 
and their opposites, except of course chastity. Over the years, I've managed 
to hang on to my old "Instruction Book for Novices," revised in 1955. 
One major section is entitled "The Practice of Obedience and Poverty in 
the Novitiate." This citation is instructive in what it says and what it fails 
to say. In introducing this chapter, the author writes: "... since obedience 
and poverty, with chastity, form the matter of the three vows of religion 
and constitute the essence of that state, the novices should expect that 
these three great virtues will be the subjects of the principal instructions 
given them. . . . And for this reason, during our probation we are carefully 
exercised in religious obedience and poverty" (p. 36). He follows with 
sections on poverty and obedience. Period. Another sigh of relief. 

By today's standards, it was a strange world. With few exceptions, 
most us entered directly out of high school or college as products of strict, 
matrifocal Catholic homes and parochial schools. We were altar boys and 


socialists. An enlightened student counselor might have issued Gerald 
Kelly's pamphlet, Modem Youth and Chastity, and the "Question Box" 
evening of the senior retreat might have offered some information about 
sex, but for the most part, we didn't talk about or even think about such 
things for fear of providing a "near occasion of sin." To tell the truth, 
moral theology didn't help very much. It provided some guidelines for 
hearing confessions, but on the whole it tended to reduce sexuality to 
plumbing or a philosophic discussion of the nature of love. Issues con- 
nected with homosexuality got little attention. In fact, I can't remember a 
single class or conference about it. President Clinton had his "don't ask, 
don't tell" policy for the military; our policy was "don't even think about it." 

Here's a test. How many years had you advanced in the course 
before you finally realized the reason for all this novitiate fuss about "par- 
ticular friendships," "numquam duo" (never two alone at recreation), and 
"regula nullius tangendi" (the rule of touch that kept us from playing 
touch football or basketball — because of contact under the boards)? We 
even had "sacred silence" while we changed during our afternoon dips in 
the swimming pond. The thought of homosexuality never crossed my 
mind, and I find it hard to believe that I was that much more oblivious 
than everyone else. 

It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that this ironclad code of 
silence — or denial — led to institutionalized ignorance and arrested develop- 
ment in clerical circles. And we have paid a terrible price for it. 

How the times have changed! Now we can't avoid the topic, despite 
our abiding discomfort in dealing with it. The sex-abuse scandal has made 
clerical celibacy a staple of the headlines, editorial pages, and talk shows. 
The reaction of church and civil authorities has been strong, and one 
might ask if in some situations overly strong in dealing with the gray areas. 
Because of our longstanding aversion to open discussion, the issue took 
most of us by surprise. We lack the vocabulary and concepts for engaging 
comfortably in the discourse that has been forced upon us. 

It's been humiliating. Over the past few years, dioceses and religious 
congregations have sponsored compulsory workshops on sexuality. No 
attendance, no faculties. After many years in ministry, we've had to sign 
affidavits authorizing background checks with state registries of sex offend- 
ers. Some provinces have issued documents on "standards of conduct," 
with an accompanying letter to be signed and returned, verifying that 
individuals have read the materials and would abide by the norms set 
forth. The standards themselves are so obvious that it's embarrassing to 
see them in print, just as it is uncomfortable, and if the truth be told a bit 
irritating, to have a panel of professionals explain in detail what is appro- 
priate and inappropriate behavior in dealing with minors. Sadly, after what 
has happened, all this is in fact not only reasonable but necessary, but it is 
still very sad. 


A trifling comparison might be helpful. In several informal conversa- 
tions, I've learned that many faculty colleagues now include in their syllabi 
a section on norms of conduct and etiquette: No cellphones in class, no 
private conversations, no eating, no plagiarism or buying papers from the 
Internet; come on time; don't monopolize or mutilate reserve books; cut- 
ting classes and failing to hand in papers will have a negative impact on 
the grade. These points should be obvious to college-age students, but to 
some, they're not. I thought that including these items was a personal 
quirk of mine, but I have company. It's necessary, but as I think of it, a 
bit sad. 

I've been trying to sort out my own emotions during all of this 
recent discussion of celibacy. More important is the impact it's having on 
Jesuit life and the ministry. My conclusions vary with each new revelation 
and press release, but here are a few points that might match your experi- 
ence, and might not. 

First and obviously, I'm angry. Less obvious is the question of who 
to be angry with. Several notorious pedophiles and ephebophiles have been 
identified as convicted felons, and I'm angry with the shame they brought 
on the Church and the priesthood. Yet at the same time, I think most 
Jesuits have some sense of the dark workings of the human psyche. We've 
all known alcoholics, smokers, and overeaters who engage in self-destruc- 
tive behavior despite their repeated resolutions to change. I've known of 
some sex offenders whose self-hatred has pushed them to consider suicide; 
others who think of themselves simply as loving persons misunderstood by 
society at large. No, I'm not naive. Some may be simply evil. Whether 
they suffer from delusion or compulsion, their psychic state has to influ- 
ence our feelings toward them. 

Church authorities provide another obvious target. As we look back 
at the situation, so many of them seem to have mishandled the situation 
from the start to finish, from failing to remove dangerous priests from 
ministry to their attempts to shift the blame to opportunistic lawyers and 
what they too readily labeled a hostile press. There is blame enough for all 
to share. After the initial outrage, I've become a bit more benign in their 
regard. Given the contradictory signals they seem to have been receiving 
from experts, taking the most convenient advice must have seemed a 
reasonable course of action. Their judgment was, as we now know, in 
many cases tragically flawed. The three terrible miscalculations came to- 
gether in a perfect storm of catastrophe: the overarching desire to avoid 
public scandal; the belief that abusers could change their behavior after a 
"strong talking-to," a retreat at the seminary and a fresh start in a new 
setting; and finally a failure to recognize the devastating impact on the 
victims of abuse. Some church leaders may have been cynical; some may 
have maintained a posture of denial and hoped the problem would simply 
go away. But on the whole, charity leads me to want to believe that most 

of the problems stem from poor judgment. Again, we're back to that cleri- 
cal discomfort in dealing with sexual matters. Since we avoided the topic 
so effectively for so long, how could we expect our leaders to be able to 
sort out conflicting data from lawyers, psychologists, moralists, social 
workers, educators, parents, and who knows who else? Those who failed to 
ask for advice stand doubly culpable. 

Most of all, I'm angry with myself and with the clerical state, with 
our blindness and denial, with our misguided loyalty and our failure to 
understand. How could we, individually and collectively, have missed what 
was going on around us and failed to stop it? Having said that, I wonder 
about the consequences of a different understanding of corporate responsi- 
bility. Here are two issues worth thinking about. 

In addition to trying to understand the unfocussed anger, I find an 
equally difficult time with an undefined atmosphere of suspicion that has 
developed over the last few years. This has hit our homosexual brothers 
hardest, but it strikes all of us to some degree. The distinction between 
homosexuality and criminal or sinful behavior remains very fuzzy in some 
minds, and this must be a terrible burden for gay Jesuits to bear. Are they 
suspected of something for simply being what they are as God created 
them? Since we have shied away from this issue for so long, it's difficult to 
engage the topic with wisdom, understanding, and compassion now. We 
bring a lot of baggage to the table, not all of it a source of pride. 

This atmosphere, I would suggest, may be eroding our "unity of 
minds and hearts." Do we wonder who is and who isn't gay? Is it impor- 
tant that we know? Why? We long believed that the texture of commu- 
nity life is enriched by individual friendships and groups of friends. Has 
this notion of "companionship in the Lord" changed? Are relationships as 
easy as they once were? Does a lifelong friendship between two Jesuits 
raise questions? When does a group of friends become regarded as an 
exclusive clique? Why should it matter? 

The same kind of vague suspicion can have a corrosive effect on our 
ministries as well. Clearly, we have to be careful, very careful of our con- 
tacts with lay people. After the events of the past few years, we know that 
we have to be aware of appearances as well as actualities. Keeping our 
distance helps us avoid problems, but it also limits the good we can do. A 
parent today would be quite justified in wanting details about their son's 
or daughter's connection to a Jesuit. Who can blame them? Perhaps we 
exaggerate the problem in our own minds and draw back. This vague 
suspicion can have an impact on community life as well. On occasion, 
some may wonder whether another Jesuit's relationship to a student or 
parishioner has crossed that indefinable boundary. Is it all in our imagina- 
tion? Should we say anything, just to be sure? It's not a very healthy 
environment for fostering trust. Do we want to live this way? 


Finally, we live now with an abiding sense of fear. Here's a concrete 
example of what I mean. Last November the Congregation for Catholic 
Education issued an instruction entitled "Concerning the Criteria for the 
Discernment of Vocations with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Ten- 
dencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and Holy Orders." 
Although I'm no expert in ecclesiastical nuance, the document struck me 
as balanced on the whole. In any other time, it would have been taken as a 
restatement of familiar norms, but in the present atmosphere it struck 
others as a statement that opened the way for discriminating against gay 
applicants and devaluing the ministry of many gay, celibate priests. Cou- 
pled with the current round of visitations to seminaries, it deepened the 
sense of the Church as an inhospitable environment for homosexual peo- 
ple. The document and the seminary visitations may lead to constructive 
outcomes, but in the present climate of fear, we wonder how it might be 
used by some to further their own agenda. We're simply afraid of what it 
might lead to. 

Fear touches all of us in some degree. Who of us has not raked over 
the past, trying to recall any incident, however innocent, that might be 
resurrected years later as an allegation of impropriety? Can anything we 
say or do in the present possibly be misconstrued? Priests were once above 
suspicion; now after the scandals, we are obvious targets. And if the allega- 
tion comes, will the judicial processes work justly on our behalf or will we 
become a demonstration model for "zero tolerance." And if the allegation 
is proved groundless and we are restored to our previous ministry, how can 
we ever restore our reputations? 

My guess is that many American Jesuits share some of these dark 
thoughts. My hope is that we might break through our long black wall of 
silence. Now that the shock has passed and we have been forced to con- 
front issues of sexuality in the public forum, we might reflect a bit on what 
the experience has meant to our Jesuit life together. 

Richard A. Blake, S.J. 





I. Ignatius 4 

Life in the Spirit 4 

A Deep Personal Love for Jesus, 4 

Contemplative in Action, 6 
Union of Minds and Hearts 8 

An Apostolic Body in the Church, 8 
Mission 10 

In Solidarity with Those Most in Need, 10 

Partnership with Others, 11 

Called to Learned Ministry, 12 

Men Sent, Always Available for New Missions, 13 

Ever Searching for the Magis, 14 

II. Francis Xavier 15 

Life in the Spirit 15 

Union of Minds and Hearts 17 

An Apostolic Body in the Church, 18 
Mission 21 

In Solidarity with Those Most in Need, 21 

Partnership with Others, 23 

Called to Learned Ministry, 23 

Men Sent, Always Available for New Missions, 25 

Ever Searching for the Magis, 26 

III. Peter Favre 28 

Life in the Spirit 28 

A Deep Personal Love for Jesus Christ, 28 

Contemplative in Action, 30 

Apostolic Prayer and Spirituality, 34 
Union of Minds and Hearts 35 

An Apostolic Body in the Church, 36 
Mission 38 

In Solidarity with Those Most in Need, 39 

Partnership with Others, 40 

Called to Learned Ministry, 41 

Ever Searching for the Magis, 43 

Conclusion 43 


Peter Schineller, S.J., was superior of the Nigeria 
Ghana Region when he was elected to General Con- 
gregation 34 as a representative of the New York 
Province. At the congregation he served as president 
of the commission charged with drafting Decree 26, 
"Characteristics of Our Way of Proceeding." After 
completing his doctorate at the University of Chicago, 
where he specialized in the thought of Karl Rahner, 
he taught systematic theology at the Jesuit School of 
Theology in Chicago. When it dosed, he went to the 
Catholic Institute of West Africa in Port Harcourt, 
Nigeria. After his term as regional superior, he re- 
mained in Nigeria, heading Gaudium et Spes, the 
pastoral institute in Abuja. Currently, he is president 
of Loyola Jesuit College in Abuja. His previous contri- 
butions to STUDIES are Newer Approaches to Christology 
and the Spiritual Exercises (12, nos. 4 and 5 [September 
and November 1980]) and Pilgrim Journey of Ignatius 
(31, no. 4 [September 1999]). 

In Their Own Words 

Ignatius, Xavier, Favre, and Our Way of Proceeding 

During the Jubilee Year the writings of St. Ignatius, St. 
Francis Xavier, and Blessed Peter Favre assume a special 
significance for Jesuits. Arranged according to the themes 
outlined in the decree "Our Way of Proceeding," this collec- 
tion of original texts, situated in their historical settings, 
provides a valuable resource for personal reflection and 
public presentations during this year of celebration. 


In the introduction to his most enlightening book on Peter Favre, 
William Bangert, writer of the widely circulated History of the 
Society of Jesus, begins: "Jerome Nadal — the promoter of the 
Constitutions — had the practice at Communion at Mass of praying 
for the grace to imitate Ignatius, Peter Favre, and Francis Xavier/' 1 In 
Nadal's own words, we read that he prayed to Christ to "be given 
the grace of resembling Fr. Ignatius, Fr. Favre and Fr. Xavier. Within, 
I seemed to hear Christ telling me that he was giving me this 
grace." 2 

These are the three Jesuits that we celebrate in this jubilee 
year of grace. The year began on December 3, 2005, and ends one 
year later. We recall the five hundredth anniversary of the birth of 
St. Francis Xavier, April 7, 1506; the anniversary of the birth of 

William V. Bangert, S.J., To the Other Towns: A Life of Peter Favre, First 
Companion of St. Ignatius (Westminster, Md. 1959), vii. 

2 William V. Bangert, S.J., Jerome Nadal, S.J., 1507-1580: Tracking the First 
Generation of Jesuits (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1992), 200. 

2 <0> Peter Schineller, S.J. 

Blessed Peter Favre, born six days after Xavier, on April 13, 1506; and 
the 450th anniversary of the death of St. Ignatius, July 31, 1556. 

What did these men say, write, and accomplish that is signifi- 
cant, revelatory, and challenging for our way of life, our way of 
proceeding, as we celebrate the jubilee in this twenty-first century? I 
have selected three key areas of Jesuit apostolic life, namely, our life 
in the Spirit, our life in community, and our mission. What can we 
learn from these first Jesuits about our life in the spirit, about our 
union of minds and hearts, and our apostolic life? What were the 
graces given to the three men we celebrate, the graces that they 
exemplified, the graces that Nadal saw in them and wished to 

My goal here is to look from the past to the present and 
future, with the help of these three First Companions. The lens or 
horizon is that of the eight characteristics of our way of proceeding 
presented in decree 26 of the Thirty-Fourth General Congregation. 
Father General Kolvenbach has said that this decree, "Characteristics 
of Our Way of Proceeding/' is his favorite. 3 It has been used for 
province renewals, in prayer services, and in retreats. Individual 
Jesuits, Jesuit communities, and Jesuit apostolates might well evalu- 
ate how they stand up in the light of these characteristics. These are 
the eight characteristics that provide most of the subheadings as we 
look at these Jesuits we celebrate this year: 

1. Deep personal love for Jesus Christ 

2. Contemplatives in action 

3. An apostolic body in the Church 

4. In solidarity with those most in need 

5. Partnership with others 

6. Called to learned ministry 

7. Men sent, always available for new missions 

8. Ever searching for the more, the magis 

Rather than review the overall lives and ministries of the three men, 
I will merely select vignettes from their lives and writings that 
illustrate their way of proceeding. 

See for example an interview with him in National Jesuit News, November 
1998, p. 12. 

In Their Own Words -0- 3 

We know the historical background of their relationship. Favre 
and Xavier were students at the University of Paris, studying and 
living together for almost four years, from 1525 on, until Ignatius 
arrived there in 1528. Favre writes that he shared table and purse 
with Xavier. In 1529 Ignatius joined them in their lodgings, and 
remained with them until 1535. Xavier received the Bachelor of Arts 
degree in 1529. In January and February 1534, Favre made the 
Exercises. Ordained a priest on May 30, 1534, he celebrated his first 
Mass on July 22, 1534. Three weeks later, Favre celebrated Mass at 
Montmartre for the First Companions. Xavier finally made the 
Exercises in 1534. In 1535 Ignatius returned to Spain for health 
reasons, leaving Favre in Paris in charge of the group. They all had 
arranged to meet in Venice in January 1537 to prepare for a pilgrim- 
age to the Holy Land. Unable to make the voyage, in 1538 the whole 
group of companions put themselves at the service of the Pope for 
the good of the Church; and in 1540 the Society of Jesus came into 
being as a religious order. 

Favre, age 33, left Rome in 1539 and traveled on mission to the 
north and the west, especially in Germany and Spain. He would not 
see Ignatius for seven years, and he would never see Xavier again. 
During these seven years of travel "to the other towns," he would 
preach, teach, and, above all, share the treasure of the Spiritual 
Exercises. In 1546 he returned to Rome in order to prepare to partici- 
pate in the Council of Trent. He became ill and remained with 
Ignatius for only a few weeks. He died in Rome at the age of forty, 
on August 1, 1546, before he could go to Trent. 

Xavier left Rome in March 1540 for Portugal on the first leg of 
his journey to the Far East, responding to the request of the King of 
Portugal, John III. This was before Ignatius was elected general 
superior, before the Society was officially confirmed, and before the 
Constitutions were fully written or promulgated. He never saw 
Ignatius or Favre again. The following year, 1541, when he was 
thirty-five years of age, he left Europe for India. In 1549 he traveled 
to Japan. In 1552, at the age of forty-six, he died within sight of 
China, which he had hoped to enter. Actually he had been called 
back to Portugal, but the letter from Ignatius never reached him. He 
had spent ten years of ministry and mission in the Far East. 

Ignatius remained in Rome during the period of the mission- 
ary activity of Favre and Xavier. He guided the new Society, wrote 
its Constitutions and several thousand letters. He died in Rome less 

4 ^ Peter Schineller, SJ. 

than four years after the death of Xavier, in July 1556. Ignatius was 
beatified on July 27, 1609, and Xavier on October 25, 1619. They 
were canonized together on March 12, 1622. Favre was beatified on 
September 5, 1872 and remains a Blessed, with little prospect of 
canonization. Indeed he was and remains "the quiet companion/' 4 

I. Ignatius 

Life in the Spirit 

A Deep Personal Love for Jesus 

Jesus Christ is at the center of the Spiritual Exercises. At the end 
of the First Week, Ignatius instructs us to conclude the meditations 
on sin by imagining Christ present before us on the cross and 

What have I done for Christ? 
What am I doing for Christ? 
What ought I to do for Christ? 5 

The Second, Third, and Fourth Weeks of the Exercises focus on the 
life, death, and resurrection of Christ. A grace we especially pray for 
is "to ask for an intimate knowledge of our Lord, who has become 
human for me, that I may love Him more and follow Him more 
closely" (104). 

The memoirs and the personal journal or diary of Ignatius 
further point to his reverent familiarity with Jesus. We may give one 
rather quaint and familiar example of his desire to know and love 
Jesus. When Ignatius the pilgrim was about to leave the Holy Land, 
he desired to be once again close to Jesus, and visit the places where 
he walked and prayed. 

There came over him ... a great desire to go back and visit the 
Mount of Olives again, before he left. . . . On the Mount of Olives is 

See the very aptly titled book of Mary Purcell on Favre, The Quiet Companion: 
Peter Favre, S.J., 1506-46 (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan Ltd, 1970). 

Saint Ignatius, The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, trans, with commen- 
tary by George E. Ganss, S.J. (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1992), 53. Locators 
given refer to the marginal numbers in the text. References to this source will be 
abbreviated to SpEx., followed by the appropriate marginal number. 

In Their Own Words <$ 

a stone, from which Our Lord went up into heaven, and even now 
the footprints can be seen; this is what he wanted to go back to see. 6 

On his way to Rome after the gathering of the First Compan- 
ions in Venice, Ignatius experiences the famous vision at La Storta 
that confirms his personal relationship to Jesus. 

And being one day in a church some miles before arrival in Rome, 
and making prayer, he sensed such a change in his soul, and he saw 
so clearly that God the Father was putting him with Christ his Son, 
that he would not have the wilfulness to have any doubt about this: 
it could only be that God the Father was putting him with his Son. 7 

In his so-called "Spiritual Diary," he later recalls this incident: "It 
seemed in some way to be from the Blessed Trinity that Jesus was shown or 
felt, and I remembered the time when the Father put me with the Son" 
(84 f., §22, italics in the source). Indeed, throughout this spiritual 
diary, we see Ignatius constantly in union with Jesus, often over- 
whelmed with consolation, devotion, and tears. This experience was 
most dramatic during the celebration of Mass, but frequently contin- 
ued during prayers after Mass and through the day. Thus he writes 
on February 24, 1544, 

On these occasions my love was so great, I so felt and saw Jesus, that it 
seemed that nothing could happen in the future capable of separating me 
from Him or of making me doubt about the graces and confirmation that I 
had received. (86, §23; italics in the source) 

In founding the Society of Jesus, Ignatius insisted the name of 
the brethren should be the "Society of Jesus." He would let nothing 
deter him from this conviction. Polanco later recalls Ignatius's convic- 
tion in this matter: 

The name is the Company of Jesus. Father Master Ignatius had so 
many visitations and signs of approval and confirmation of this 

There are several English-language versions of what has come to be referred 
to as Ignatius's autobiography. In this essay quotations from this source will be taken 
from Luis Gonqalves da Camara, "Reminiscences," in Saint Ignatius of Loyola: Personal 
Writings, trans, with introductions and notes by Joseph A. Munitiz and Philip Endean 
(New York: Penguin Group, Penguin Books, 1996). Parmananda R. Divarkar has 
called his translation A Pilgrim's Testament (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1995). 
William J. Young, S.J., styles his translation St. Ignatius' Own Story (Chicago: Loyola 
University Press, 1956). References will be given by page and section number, in this 
case p. 35, section 47. This source will be identified as "Reminiscences." 

"Reminiscences," 60, no. 96. 

6 <f Peter Schineller, SJ. 

name, that I heard him say he would feel to be acting against God's 
will and offending him if he were to doubt of its fitness. When he 
was urged to change it, because some said we were taking Jesus for 
ourselves, and others gave other reasons, I remember him saying 
that even if all the members of the Society judged otherwise, he 
would not give in on this. 8 

A deep personal love for Jesus was not the mark of Ignatius 
alone. It was to mark the lives of all Jesuits. Thus, writing to scholas- 
tics, Ignatius stresses the centrality of the love of Jesus Christ in their 

But above all I would like you to be uplifted by the pure love of 
Jesus Christ, together with the desire for His honour and for the 
salvation of souls that He has redeemed. In this "company" you are 
his soldiers with a special rank and a special pay. 9 

Contemplative in Action 

The deepest insight into Ignatius as a contemplative in action 
comes from Nadal, who gave this description of the life and prayer 
of Ignatius. He explains that Ignatius frequently enjoyed the contem- 
plation of the Trinity: 

Father Ignatius enjoyed this kind of prayer by reason of a great 
privilege and in a most singular manner, and this besides, that in all 
things, actions, and conversations he contemplated the presence of 
God and experienced the reality of spiritual things, so that he was a 
contemplative likewise in action (a thing which he used to express 
by saying: God must be found in everything). 10 

So too, Ribadeneira writes as follows: 

We frequently saw him taking the occasion of little things to lift 
his mind to God, who even in the smallest things is great. From 
seeing a plant, foliage, a leaf, a flower, any fruit, from the consider- 

8 ... 

Juan de Polanco, "Somario de las cosas . . . /' in Fontes narrativi de San Ignatio 
de Loyola et de Societatis Iesu initiis, 4 vols., nos. 66, 73, 85, 93 of the Monumenta 
historica Societatis Iesu (Rome: Institutum historicum Societatis Iesu, 1943-65), 1:204. 


Ignatius of Loyola, Letter 16 (1547), in Personal Writings, 175, §12. 

This is found in Joseph Conwell, Contemplation in Action (Spokane, Wash.: 
Gonzaga University, 1957), 25. The original text can be found in Jer6nimo Nadal, "In 
examen annotationes," in Epistolae P. Hieronymi Nadal, vol. 4, vol. 47 of the series 
Monumenta historica Societatis Iesu (Madrid, 1905), 651 f. 

In Their Own Words <$> 

ation of a little worm or any other animal, he raised himself above 
the heavens and penetrated the deepest thoughts; and from each 
little thing he drew doctrine and most profitable counsels for in- 
structing in the spiritual life. And he desired that all in the Society 
accustom themselves always to find the presence of God in every- 
thing and that they learn to raise their hearts not only in private 
prayer, but also in all of their occupations, carrying them out and 
offering them in such a way that they would feel no less devotion in 
action than in meditation. And he used to say that this method of 
prayer is very profitable for all and especially for those who are 
much engaged in exterior things of the divine service. 11 

At the dawn of his conversion, while Ignatius was recuperating in 
Loyola, he notes that he spent his time in prayer and in writing. 
Then he notes that "the greatest consolation he used to receive was 
to look at the sky and the stars, which he did often and for a long 
time, because with this he used to feel in himself a great impetus 
towards serving Our Lord/' 12 Ignatius enjoyed contemplating the 
beauty of the universe, but what is especially noteworthy is that 
even at this early stage contemplation led to action. It did not 
remain in the realm of pure contemplation. 

So too, Lainez notes that this continued later in life, during 
Ignatius's years in Rome. 

At night [Ignatius] would go up on the roof of the house, with 
the sky there up above him. He would sit there quietly, absolutely 
quietly. He would take his hat off and look up for a long time at the 
sky. Then he would fall on his knees, bowing profoundly to God. 
. . . And the tears would begin to flow down his cheeks like a 
stream, but so quietly and gently that you heard not a sob nor a sigh 
nor the least possible movement of his body. 13 

The daily examen, which Ignatius insisted upon, becomes a 
major instrument in his own spiritual life and those of his compan- 
ions. Through it one develops the ability to find God in all things. 
Yet, while formal prayer, especially the examen, remains important 
for Ignatius, it is not the only way to God. Thus, in July 1549 he 
wrote as follows to Francis Borgia, at that time the Duke of Gandia: 

Conwell, Contemplation in Action, 10, with its reference to Luis Goncalves da 
Camara, "Algumas cousas . . ." (known as his Memoriale), in Fontes narrativi, 1:644. 

"Reminiscences," 16, §11. 


Cited in Ribadeneira, Vita Ignatii Loyolse, in Fontes narrativi, 4:74 f., §15). 

8 ^ Peter Schineller, S.J. 


It would be good to realize that not only when he prays does 
man serve God, because if he served God only when he prayed, 
prayers that lasted twenty-four hours a day, if such a thing were 
possible, would be short, since the whole man as completely as 
possible should be given to God. And indeed, at times God is served 
more in other ways than by prayer, so much so in fact that God is 
pleased that prayer is omitted entirely for other works, and much 
more, that it be curtailed. 14 

Further parts of that strong letter to the Jesuits in Spain make the 
same point. Ignatius warns against excessive penance and prayer, 
and criticizes those who judge that only prayers over two hours 
long are real prayers (ibid., 210 f.). So too, the Constitutions limit and 
restrict the amount of formal prayer. 15 

Union of Minds and Hearts 

An Apostolic Body in the Church 

Ignatius was inspired to gather followers and friends to ad- 
vance the work of the kingdom. A powerful expression of this 
intention is found in the "Deliberation of the First Fathers/ 7 which 
owes much of its inspiration to Ignatius. There we read these lines: 

In as much as our most kind and affectionate Lord has deigned 
to gather us together and unite us, men so spiritually weak and from 
such diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds, we ought not 
split apart what God has gathered and united; on the contrary, we 
ought day by day to strengthen and stabilize our union, rendering 
ourselves one body with special concern for each other, in order to 
effect the greater spiritual good of our fellow men. For united spiri- 

14 Letters of St. Ignatius of Loyola, trans. William J. Young (Chicago: Loyola 
University Press, 1959), 211. 

See The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus and Their Complementary Norms (St. 
Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996), 142, §342 f., applicable to scholastics, and 254, 
§582 f., concerning those promoted to grade. Hereafter this volume will be cited as 
Cons., followed by the page number and the boldface section number. 

In Their Own Words ^ 

tual strength is more robust and braver in any arduous enterprise 
than it would be if segmented. 16 

And again from that same "Deliberation," 

Finally, we decided in the affirmative; namely, that . . . we should 
not break this divinely constituted oneness and fellowship, but rather 
strengthen and consolidate it ever more, forming ourselves into one 
body, (ibid.) 

This was the initial vision — a body of men dedicated to the 
spiritual good of their fellow men and women. Since all had learned 
so much from Master Ignatius, he was easily chosen to be the leader 
of the group. The body was formed, but the needs of the mission 
led to the members being sent out in many directions, responding to 
the call and wishes of the Pope and bishops. In view of this disper- 
sion, Ignatius develops Part VIII of the Constitutions, which is given 
the precise title "Helps towards Uniting the Dispersed Members with 
Their Head and among Themselves." He presumes that we are 
dispersed and that we must work at remaining a strong apostolic 
body in the service of the Church. 

As general superior in Rome for many years, Ignatius builds 
up and supports the brethren. He was noted for his kindness, 
especially to the sick. He wanted to be kept updated on their names 
and their condition, and he would go to any length for them. In 
regard to the young Jesuits, he made sure they ate well. He saw the 
importance of recreation and thus purchased villa houses, encour- 
aged their use, and gave specific rules for those using them. More 
than monastic silence, Ignatius stressed the art and grace of conver- 

From those separated by distance from Rome, Ignatius ex- 
pected frequent written reports detailing the fruits that the Jesuit 
laborers were reaping in the Lord's vineyard. There was to be con- 
stant communication on the progress of the works and the needs of 
the mission. All this would help in building up the union of hearts 
and minds. 

First conclusion in the "Deliberatio primorum patrum," in Monumenta 
Constitutionum praezria, 1539, vol. 63 of the Monumenta historica Societatis Iesu (Rome: 
Institutum historicum Societatis Iesu, 1943), 3. 

10 ^ Peter Schineller, S.J. 

Such union of minds and hearts in the apostolic body of the 
Society should also be shared and extended to others. As Ignatius 
writes to the scholastics, 

[y]ou should not be content to preserve lasting unity and love 
among yourselves, but should spread it to all people. Take care to 
sustain in your minds and hearts burning desires for the salvation of 
others, valuing each person at the price they cost, the blood, indeed, 
the life, of Jesus Christ. 17 

Thus this attitude of cura personalis should not only characterize the 
relation of the superior to the members and the members among 
themselves, but would be extended to those we serve in ministry. 
On many occasions, such as the death of a loved one, Ignatius wrote 
encouraging letters to the families of Jesuits. These were not simply 
formal notes of sympathy, but detailed letters in which he tried to 
extend the union of minds and hearts even to the families of 
Jesuits. 18 


In Solidarity with Those Most in Need 

Reaching out to the needy became a characteristic of the First 
Companions. Ignatius writes thus from Venice in 1537: 

In the middle of January nine of my friends in the Lord arrived here 
from Paris. All have their MA degrees and are well versed in Theol- 
ogy. . . . They had to cope with many threats from wars, long jour- 
neys on foot and the worst of the winter. All are lodged in two 
hospitals, and split up in order to care for the sick who are in pov- 
erty, doing the jobs that are most demeaning and physically repug- 
nant. 19 

Ignatius eventually travels to Rome, where he will remain for 
the rest of his life. In addition to the administrative tasks, he reaches 
out apostolically in times of crisis and in more ordinary times. He 

17 Letter 16 (May 1547), in Personal Writings, 179, §24. 


Two examples of such letters are a letter of 1551, consoling a sister on her 
brother's death, and one of 1556, consoling the mother of a student. These are found 
in Inigo: Letters Personal and Spiritual, selected by Michael Ivens, S.J., edit, and trans. 
Joseph A. Munitiz (Sussex: Inigo Enterprises, 1995). 

19 Ibid., letter from Venice (July 24, 1537), 144 f. 

In Their Own Words <$- 11 

sets up a home for prostitutes. When the sickness of the plague hits, 
he opens the doors to assist the sick and needy. In the harsh winter 
of 1538-39, it is said that Ignatius and his companions sheltered four 
hundred homeless persons in the building of the Gesu. 

Since the number of Jesuits was small, Ignatius often enlisted 
the help of others and, in particular, the collaboration of women in 
running these establishments. Thus a group of noble ladies ran the 
house of St. Martha. 

What he himself did Ignatius expected of other Jesuits, wher- 
ever they might be assigned. So the Fathers attending the Council of 
Trent are advised to look out for the needs of others, especially the 

And what they should especially seek to accomplish for God's greater 
glory is to preach, hear confessions, lecture, instruct children, give 
good example, visit the poor in the hospitals, exhort the neighbor 
according to the amount of talent which each is conscious of possess- 
ing, so as to move as many as possible to prayer and devotion. 20 

Partnership with Others 

Many of his letters are precisely to link the support and aid of 
the powerful to the works of the Society in education and in social 
service. Colleges were founded and endowed by the powerful and 
wealthy so that education would be available free of charge. It is 
certainly true that many of the letters and discussions of Ignatius 
were with the powerful — powerful civic leaders, princes and kings, 
and powerful church leaders, including the Pope and bishops. Yet, 
in very many cases, this encounter with the powerful had as one of 
its aims to link the resources of the powerful with the needs and 
scarcity of the powerless. Ignatius had very much in mind the needy 
when he entered into agreements with the civic and church leaders. 
He realized that for our works to succeed, many hands would be 

In the Constitutions Ignatius sees clearly the need and the 
advantage of enlisting others in our works. 


"Instruction of Ignatius to the Fathers at the Council of Trent, 1546/' in 
Young, Letters of Ignatius, 95. 

12 ^ Peter Schineller, S.J. 

For that same reason, too, preference ought to be shown to the aid 
which is given to the great nations, such as the Indies, or to impor- 
tant cities, or to universities, which are generally attended by numer- 
ous persons who by being aided themselves can become laborers for 
the help of others. (Cons., 286, §622 v11 ) 

He is always concerned and careful that we express our gratitude to 
our benefactors and our partners by performing effective good 
works and through continual prayers of gratitude for their benefac- 

Called to Learned Ministry 

Education was important to Ignatius from the beginning. 

Once the said pilgrim had understood that it was God's will he 
should not be in Jerusalem, he had constantly had with him 
thoughts about what was to be done. In the end he was inclining 
more toward studying for a time in order to be able to help souls, 
and was coming to the decision to go to Barcelona. (Reminiscences, 36, 
no. 50) 

Ignatius also saw the need for learning in his followers. Schools and 
colleges would be established to assure solid formation of our own 
members. Eventually these colleges would be open to laity and 
become an important part of the Jesuit mission. 

The very title of Part IV of the Constitutions puts this emphasis 
upon learning, but also holds it in relationship to other aspects of 
Jesuit life. Long sections of this document, ''The Learning and Other 
Means of Helping Their Neighbor That Are to Be Imparted to Those 
Who Are Retained in the Society/ go into detail on the students, 
teachers, and the content and method of the studies for those who 
will be effective laborers in the Lord's vineyard. 

Yet for Ignatius it was clear that learning alone would never 
suffice. Thus, in a letter to Jesuit scholastics, he shows his concern 
for learning and, at the same time, for virtue. 

By advancing with your academic work on the one hand, and 
growing in brotherly love on the other, may you come to be com- 
pletely instruments of divine grace, and co-workers in that most 

In Their Own Words <$- 13 

sublime task, the bringing back of God's creatures into God's king- 
dom, their ultimate end. 21 

Men Sent, Always Available for New Missions 

In the mind of Ignatius, the first Jesuits were to be mobile, 
available to go where the need was greatest. Thus, he confided to 
Camara in his Reminiscences: 

If permission were not given them to remain in Jerusalem, they were 
to return to Rome, and present themselves to Christ's vicar, so that 
he could employ them wherever he judged to be more for the glory 
of God and the good of souls. (54, §85) 

This is clearly formulated in the Constitutions, so much so that it is 
said that the road is our home: 

The aim and end of this Society is, by traveling through the 
various parts of the world at the order of the supreme vicar of Christ 
our Lord or of the superior of the Society itself, to preach, hear 
confessions, and use all the other means it can with the grace of God 
to help souls. (Cons., 130, §308) 

When there were only six Jesuits in Rome and a request came 
for help, Ignatius immediately sent two Jesuits to Portugal and to 
the Indies, namely Simao Rodrigues and Nicolas Bobadilla. When 
Bobadilla became ill, Xavier took his place. 

Inspired by the words and decisions of Ignatius, Nadal sees 
the essence or raison d'etre of the Society of Jesus to consist of this 
availability and generous response in order to be able to meet needs: 

The Society cares for those persons who are either totally ne- 
glected or inadequately attended to. This is the basic reason for the 
founding of the Society, this is its power, this is what makes it 
distinctive in the Church. 22 

21 Letter 16 (1547) in Ivens and Munitiz, Inigo, 179. 


Jeronimo Nadal, Orationis observationes, vol. 90a of Monumenta historica 
Societatis Iesu (Rome: Institutum historicum Societatis Iesu, 1964), 126, §316. This is 
also cited in Documents of the Thirty-Fourth General Congregation of the Society of Jesus 
(St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1995), decree 6, p. 87, §168 n.9. Hereafter this 
source will be abbreviated to GC 34, followed by the page number and boldface 

14 ^ Peter Schineller, S.J. 

Ever Searching for the Magis 

An incident reported by Ribadeneira points to the thoroughly 
apostolic vision of Ignatius. He reports that on one occasion, Ignatius 
said to Lainez: 

"Master Lainez, if God were to say to you: If you want to die at 
once, I will give you eternal glory, but if you choose to live, I do not 
guarantee you the gift of final perseverance. If you thought that by 
remaining on earth, you would be able to achieve some great thing, 
what would your choice be?" 

"To die at once," said Lainez, "so that I would be sure." 
Ignatius replied, "For my part, I would not. If I thought that by 
continuing to live I could accomplish some great work for God, I 
would beg Him to leave me on earth till I had done it. I would turn 
my eyes toward God and not toward myself. I would take no ac- 
count of my danger or my security." 23 

Human life, at least in the mind of Ignatius, is not primarily to be 
seen as a trial or test that we pass to get to heaven as quickly as 
possible by avoiding sin and evil. Rather, human life is a project or a 
challenge to do something great for God. 

The desire to accomplish a " great work for God" becomes a 
prominent theme in the Exercises. For example, 

Those who desire to show greater devotion and to distinguish 
themselves in total service to their eternal King and universal Lord, 
will not only offer their persons for the labor, but go further still. 
They will work against their human sensitivities and against their 
carnal and worldly love, and they will make offerings of greater 
worth and moment. 24 

The notion of greater service, the magis, becomes even more promi- 
nent in the Constitutions, Part VII of which bears the lengthy title 
'The Relations to Their Neighbor of Those Already Incorporated into 
the Society When They are Dispersed into the Vineyard of Christ 
our Lord." Justly famous are the norms found there for making the 
best choice. Consideration must be given to the greater need, where 

section number. 

Juan Luis Segundo refers to this story in his essay "Ignatius Loyola: Trial or 
Project?" in Signs of the Times (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1993), 169f. The original 
story in Spanish is found in Ribadeneira's sixteenth-century Vita Ignatii Loyohe, 773-75. 

24 SpEx 54, §97. 

In Their Own Words -$- 15 

greater fruit is likely to be reaped, where our indebtedness is greater, 
and where good can be extended, because "the more universal the 
good is, the more it is divine" (Cons., 286, §622). 

II. Francis Xavier 

Life in the Spirit 

The focus of the writings of Xavier is on mission. Thus, as we might 
expect, we do not find many instances in the letters of Xavier where 
he speaks about his personal devotion or relationship to Jesus. Yet it 
was the personal call of the King, as contemplated in the Exercises, 
that gave him zeal and energy for his missionary activity. 

Xavier notes that the perils of the journeys in the Far East 
caused him to intensify his prayer, to give himself completely into 
the hands of the Lord. He prays to Mary and the saints: "Nor did I 
neglect to have recourse to all saints in the glory of Paradise, begin- 
ning with those who here below were of the holy Company of 
Jesus, especially the blessed soul of Father Favre." 25 He felt sure that 
Peter Favre, his companion in Paris and later his friend on mission 
in northern Europe, was among the saints of God. 

For the most part, therefore, we rely on the testimony of 
others for insights into Xavier's life in the Spirit. 26 In the life of Xavier 
by James Brodrick, we read of one account of his devotion at Mass. 
Before his journey to India, during his stay in Bologna, a priest 
observed him as he offered Mass. 

At Mass, and particularly if it was a Mass of the Passion of Christ, he 
wept abundant tears. One Friday, while saying Mass in the chapel of 
Santa Lucia, he was rapt out of himself for more than an hour at the 
Memento, though the server tried hard to rouse him by tugging at 
his vestments. . . . Though very ill all the while, he never omitted his 
early morning prayer, or his Mass, or any of his daily avocations. 27 


News of Favre's death on August 1, 1546, was brought to St. Francis in 1547. 
See James Brodrick, Saint Francis Xavier (New York: The Wicklow Press, 1952), 301. 


Unlike Ignatius and Favre, Xavier did not leave any journal or autobiogra- 
phy. We have his letters, but they do not give any great detail on the practices or 
shape of his own life in the Spirit. This explains the reliance on other sources in this 

Brodrick, Xavier, 63. 

16 ^ Peter Schineller, SJ. 

As Brodrick relates, a companion of Xavier, a Portuguese official, 
Rodrigo de Sequeira, who journeyed with Xavier, recorded that he 
could see the father at night on his knees, arms uplifted, before a 
little crucifix made of wood. Then after a little rest, he would be up 
before dawn to say his Office and his Mass (238). Fr. Mansilhas, a 
priest, who had left the Jesuits because of ill health, also gives 
evidence of his holiness: 

I went about with him for six or seven years on the Fishery 
Coast. No human being could have done what he did or have lived 
as he lived without being full of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, his life was 
more that of a saint and angel than of a man. (252) 

Quoting Xavier, Brodrick records that through his years of tireless 
ministry he proceeded with an overwhelming trust in God. 

I feel it incumbent upon me to sacrifice my temporal life for the 
sake of the spiritual life of my neighbor, and so, putting all my trust 
in God our Lord, I have offered myself to danger and death in 
whatever shape it may come, longing as I do to be conformed in my 
own small and feeble way to the saying of our Redeemer, "He who 
wants to save his life, will lose it, who loses his life for my sake, will 
find it/' (253 f.) 

As Xavier moved about the Far East, we see him practicing 
ongoing discernment. Through conversation, study, inquiry, per- 
sonal experience, and prayer, he seeks and discovers God's will, thus 
learning where the Lord wants him to move. On the basis of this 
discernment he makes his decision to stay or to move on to new 

Xavier relies upon the examen, and so recommends the prac- 
tice of regular prayer and the daily examen to Fr. Barzaeus as he is 
sent out on mission. 

Twice a day, or at least once, make your particular examens. Be 
careful never to omit them. So live as to make more account of your 
own conscience than you do of those of others; for he who is not 
good in regard to himself, how can he be good in regard to others? 28 

Cited in Joseph de Guibert, The Jesuits: Their Spiritual Doctrine and Practice, 
trans. William J. Young, ed. George E. Ganss (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 
1986), 191. 

In Their Own Words <& 17 

As a further indication of his personal life of prayer, in his 
instruction for Christians, his rule of life for converts, he expresses 
his devotion to the Guardian Angels. 

I beg you, blessed Angel, to whose providence I am entrusted, to 
be always at hand to help me. Present my petitions to the merciful 
ears of God Our Lord that of His clemency and by your prayers, He 
may pardon my sins of the past, give me to know truly and repent 
heartily of my present sins, and counsel and warn me that I may 
shun sins in the future. Through you may He give me grace to do 
good and to persevere to the end. Drive away from me by the 
power of the Almighty God every temptation of the devil, and that 
which my own deeds, mixed as they always are with some evil, 
merit not, do you obtain for me by your prayers before our Lord. 
And if at times you see me straying from the paths of goodness to 
follow the errors of sin, procure that I may turn again speedily to my 
Savior in the way of justice. When you behold me in tribulation and 
anguish, obtain for me help from God by your sweet advocacy. I beg 
you never to forsake me, but ever to shield, help and defend me 
from all troubling and assaults of the demons, watching over me day 
and night, at all hours and moments. And when this life draws to a 
close, do not permit the demons to frighten me, and let me not fall 
into despair. Leave me not, my Guardian, until you have conducted 
me into the blessed vision of God, in the glory of which I with you 
and God's Blessed Mother Mary and all the saints may rejoice for 
ever. Amen. 29 

Union of Minds and Hearts 

Before Xavier left Rome for India, he showed his admiration for 
Ignatius and Favre by expressing his judgment that Ignatius would 
be the best person to be the leader of the Society, since 

with no little effort, [he] brought us all together and . . . not without 
effort, will be able to preserve, govern, and cause us to advance from 
good to better, since he has a greater knowledge of each one of us 
than anyone else. 30 


Brodrick, Xavier, 316. 


This quotation and most of those following are from The Letters and 
Instructions of Francis Xavier, trans, with introduction by M. Joseph Costelloe, S.J. (St. 
Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1992). This passage is Xavier's "Declaration, Vote, 
and Vows" (March 15, 1540), ibid., 10. 

18 <0> Peter Schineller, S.J. 

If Ignatius were to die, then Xavier would favor Peter Favre as his 
successor. Indeed, we behold three friends bound together, with 
love, respect, and admiration for each other even as they go separate 
ways on mission. Xavier sees Ignatius as the one who enabled them 
to come together, united in mind and heart. 

An Apostolic Body in the Church 

The mission of Xavier came about in response to the request 
of the Catholic leader of Portugal, King John III. The vow of special 
obedience to the pope found perfect expression in the sending of 
Xavier as apostolic nuncio to the Far East. Upon arriving in India, he 
expressed concern for the status and spiritual life of the diocesan 
clergy. Through retreats he challenged many of them to change their 
ways and be the good priests they were ordained to be. 

Xavier felt the physical absence of his brother Jesuits, but at 
the same time he maintained strong ties and bonds with them 
through letters and prayer. He wrote 167 letters, many to the Jesuits 
in Europe, and he eagerly awaited letters from them. In several of 
his letters he explicitly asks his Jesuit brothers to pray for him. 

For the love of Christ our Lord and of his most blessed Mother 
and of all the saints in heaven, I ask you, my dearest Brothers and 
Fathers, that you be particularly mindful of me and continuously 
commend me to God, since I live in such great need of his favor and 
assistance. I have great need of your continual spiritual assistance, 
for from much experience I have come to know that God our Lord 
has, through your intercession, helped and assisted me in many toils 
of body and spirit. 31 

In another letter he thanks his brothers for the graces he has re- 
ceived through their prayers: 

God has granted me a great grace through your prayers and the 
constant remembrance which you have of me when you commend 
me to him. I know that God our Lord, despite your physical absence, 
lets me perceive through your help and assistance my infinite multi- 
tude of sins and gives me strength to go among the infidels, for 
which I give great thanks to God our Lord and to you my dearest 
brothers. (73, §14 [January 15, 1544]) 

31 Ibid., 141 (May 10, 1546). 

In Their Own Words <> 19 

In his eagerness to receive news about the growth and activity 
of his brother Jesuits, he earnestly pleads for news and also for 
advice on how to proceed. 

[W]rite to me in long detail about all of our Company. In this 
world I have no hope of ever seeing you again, except as in a glass 
darkly through the medium of your letters. Do not deny me this 
favor, all unworthy of it though I am. Remember that your great 
merits were given you by God that through them even I might be 
refreshed and have hope of attainment. In God's name and for His 
glory, tell me fully and clearly what ought to be my method of 
approach to the pagans and Moors of the country to which I am 
now going. It is my hope that by means of you God will teach me 
how I must proceed in order to convert them to His holy faith. Your 
letters will show me the blunders to avoid, the wrong methods 
which I must change. 32 

In a letter to Ignatius, he explains part of his own policy of 
admission of candidates to the Society, and then offers a beautiful 
description of our Jesuit life in common. 

I have treated with love and charity those whom I have thought 
were suitable for the Society in order to strengthen them the more in 
it, since they endure so many hardships in these regions in order to 
serve God our Lord, and also because it seems to me that "Society of 
Jesus" means to say "a Society of love and in conformity of minds" 
and not "of severity and servile fear." (Letters and Instructions, 2217, 
§5 [January 12, 1549]) 

In an instruction to Fr. Barzaeus, rector and vice-provincial, he 
insists that the Jesuits must write and communicate annually to 
Ignatius, describing the fruits of their labors in great detail. In addi- 
tion he directs the priests to "write another general letter for all the 
priests who are in Europe, informing them about the fruit which is 
being produced in their regions" (404, §9). Xavier instructs that this 
letter should be addressed as follows: "For the Fathers and Brothers 
of Coimbra, and for all the other priests of the Society of Jesus who 
are in Rome and Europe" (ibid.). Indeed, in his mind, communica- 
tion was necessary for the union of minds and hearts. 

Knowing that he was separated from the Jesuits in Europe 
and often separated even from the Jesuits in India, we necessarily 
have the image of Xavier as the strong, solitary missionary. Yet he 


As found in Brodrick, Xavier, 404, §9. 

20 ^ Peter Schineller, SJ. 

:::::>::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>:x:::::::::::::x:::::::x::::::>::::::::::-:::::::::::: : ::::::::::: 

himself felt strong ties — and needed these strong ties — to the apos- 
tolic body of the Society. He expresses this need again in a long 
letter of 1548 to his Jesuit brothers in Rome. 

When I begin to speak of this holy Society of Jesus, I am unable 
to break away from such a delightful topic, and I am unable to stop 
writing. ... I do not know how I can bring this letter to a better 
ending than to confess to all of the Society, that if I should ever forget 
the Society of the Name of Jesus, may my right hand be forgotten, since in 
so many ways I have come to know the great debt which I owe to 
all those of the Society. . . . And so I bring this to a close, asking God 
our Lord, that, since in his holy mercy he brought us together in his 
holy Society in this most laborious life, he may unite us in his glori- 
ous company in heaven, since we are in this life so far separated 
from each other out of love for him. (180, §22, with italics in the 

Union with the brethren through prayer and through letters 
remained essential for Xavier, not just for his own support and 
satisfaction, but for the accomplishment of his mission. So he writes 
to the brothers in Rome on how love unites them in spite of great 

God our Lord knows how much more consolation my soul would 
have from seeing you than from my writing such uncertain letters, as 
these to you because of the great distance that these lands are from 
Rome; but, since God our Lord has removed us, though we are so 
much alike in spirit and in love, to such distant lands, there is no 
reason because of any intervening distance, if I am not mistaken, for 
a lessening of love and care in those who love each other in the 
Lord, since, as it seems to me, we are almost always seeing each 
others, even though we do not speak familiarly with each other as 
we used to do. (116 f., §1) 

Finally, in a famous passage, he affirms his strong love and 
union with his separated brothers. He keeps their names near his 

So that I may never forget you and ever have a special remembrance 
of you, I would have you know, dearest brothers, that for my own 
consolation I have cut your names from the letters which you have 
written to me with your own hands so that I may constantly carry 
them with me together with the vow of profession which I made 
because of the consolations which I receive from them. I gave thanks 
first of all to God our Lord, and then to you, most dear Brothers and 
Fathers, for the fact that God has so made you that I derive such 

In Their Own Words <0> 21 

great consolation from bearing your names. And since we shall soon 
see each other in the next life with greater peace than we have in 
this, I say no more. (141 f., §10) 


In Solidarity with Those Most in Need 

Apostolic zeal is certainly the hallmark of Xavier. Before he 
was assigned to India, he worked with the first Jesuits in the various 
ministries to the sick and the poor in Venice and Bologna. Another 
priest described his typical day. 

After Mass he would spend the entire day hearing confessions, 
visiting the sick in the hospitals and prisoners in their jails, serving 
the poor, preaching in the piazzas, and teaching children or other 
uninstructed persons Christian doctrine. 33 

On the long sea voyage to India, he was described by one passenger 
as "an angel of mercy" for his care for the sick. Several witnesses 
who were on the voyage testified to his tireless works of charity 
(103-5). Upon arrival in Goa he intensified his efforts. He thus 
describes his normal activities: 

Here at Goa, I have taken up my residence in the hospital. I hear the 
confessions of those who are ill and give them Communion. . . . after 
I have finished with the sick, I hear the confessions of those who are 
well who come to see me; and in the afternoons I go to the jail to 
hear the confessions of the prisoners. . . . [Then] I go to the chapel of 
Our Lady that is near the hospital and there begin to teach the 
children their prayers, the Creed and the Commandments. (Letters 
and Instructions, 49 f., §12) 

In that manner he carried out fully the mandate in the formula for 
final vows to "teach catechism to children/' He notes that on normal 
days there were one hundred children, and on feast days two 
hundred. This often led to baptism, and it is said that he baptized 
ten thousand in one month in thirteen villages. One result of these 
baptisms was not only entrance into the Catholic Church, but fur- 
ther security and protection for the people as they were linked by 
their common faith to the Portuguese leaders and powers. 


Brodrick, Xavier, 63. 

22 <$> Peter Schineller, S.J. 

The day was not long enough to meet the needs of the peo- 
ple. In 1544 Xavier writes as follows: 

During this time there were so many who came and asked me to 
come to their homes to recite some prayers over their sick, and 
others who came in search of me because of their infirmities, that the 
mere reading of the Gospels, the teaching of the boys, baptizing, 
translating the prayers, answering their questions, which were never 
failing, and then the burial of the dead, left me no time for other 
occupations. (67, §6) 

In a letter to Ignatius, he described his ministry to children. 

[T]he children in these villages would not allow me any time to say 
my office or to eat or sleep until I had taught them some prayers. 
Then I began to understand that of such is the kingdom of heaven. Since 
it would have been impious to refuse so holy a request, I began with 
the confession of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, the Creed, 
Our Father, and Hail Mary and taught them in this way. I saw that 
they were by nature very gifted; and I am convinced that, if they 
had anyone to instruct them in our holy faith, they would be good 
Christians. (61, §2, with italics in the source) 

Sometimes the accusation was made that Xavier traveled too 
much, and did not give sufficient attention to the Jesuits in India, 
whose superior he was. In one of his letters, he indicates his aware- 
ness of this concern, but also gives the positive reason for the jour- 

If I had not traveled to those lands, I would not know their 
needs; and how could I take care of them and from practical experi- 
ence be able to tell the priests how they should conduct themselves, 
since experience is one of the principal parts of prudence? 

Partnership with Others 

Xavier did what he could, with limited resources, mostly from 
King John III of Portugal. When he saw how great the harvest was 
in India, he wrote back the famous letter challenging the university 
students. The letter was written to the Jesuits in Rome, expressing 
the hope and desire of Xavier for more workers in the vineyard. 

Many fail to become Christians in these regions because they 
have no one who is concerned with such pious and holy matters. 
Many times I am seized with the thought of going to the schools in 
your lands and crying out there, like a man who has lost his mind, 

In Their Own Words ^ 23 

and especially at the University of Paris, telling those in the Sor- 
bonne who have a greater regard for learning than desire to prepare 
themselves to produce fruits with it. (67, §8) 

In his own ministry, due to unfamiliarity with the language, 
he had to work with lay catechists in translating and sharing the 
good news. He was clearly concerned not only with the growth of 
the Society of Jesus, but also with the seminary in Goa for the 
training of native vocations for the diocesan priesthood. 

Called to Learned Ministry 

Xavier may have been more famous at the University of Paris 
for his athletic prowess than for his academic ability. He was not a 
great theologian or scholar. Yet, through his contact with Ignatius 
and the first Jesuits and his experience in India, he clearly saw the 
need for learning. 

Immediately upon his arrival in Goa, Xavier saw the impor- 
tance of St. Paul's College, which had been established by laymen. 
This was a mission seminary for the education of native priests. He 
assisted in the completion of the building. He envisioned that the 
college would grow and include those of different languages, coun- 
tries, and races. He asked Ignatius to send men who could teach, 
preach, and assist in the growth of this institution, so important for 
the future of the Church in India. Thus as part of his program of 
development, he states that "the basis of all that I am saying ... is 
that colleges should be multiplied in those regions with the assis- 
tance of the king of Portugal" (292, §8). 

Eventually too, as he experienced more of the rich cultures of 
the Far East, he began to see the wisdom, depth, strength, and 
importance of the culture of Japan. Impressed with what he heard 
about Japan, and then with first-hand experience, he wanted to 
study the scriptures of Japan and learn their language. He began to 
learn to write in Japanese script, translate the catechism into Japa- 
nese, and memorize the creed (330, §3). Despite his limited facility in 
languages, Xavier understood that the use of the vernacular was 
crucial to the missionary enterprise. This insistence upon translation, 
taken up by later Jesuit missionaries in India, China, and North 

24 ^ Peter Schineller, S.J. 

America, is rightly considered a breakthrough in the history of the 
missions. 34 

One could say that while Xavier was led by a sense of charity 
in his mission in India, he was led more by his intellect as he jour- 
neyed through Japan. He adapted his style and tactics. To see an 
important leader, he brought gifts and clothed himself with the garb 
of the educated. There was success, but very limited success. He 
speaks of five hundred converts in one month. He considered the 
mission in Japan a two-way street. Writing to Ignatius, he explains 
that he has learned much from the people of Japan, including 
insight into his own iniquity! (344, §2). 

With this limited success, Xavier began to formulate more 
long-term plans. He planned to create links between the universities 
of Europe and Japan, so there could be an interchange of students 
(311, §54). He explains, "I shall not fail to write to the University of 
Paris, which will communicate this information to the other universi- 
ties of Europe" (220, §9; 231, §4). He planned to set up a residence in 
Japan where the Jesuits could learn the language, culture, and 
stories of the people (340 f., §5). Then, having forged links between 
Europe and Japan, he anticipates that when students come from 
Europe to attend these universities, they will find the Jesuit Fathers 
and Brothers of great help in this endeavor. 35 

Finally, we note the advice of Xavier concerning young Jesuits 
who might be sent to the Far East. His emphasis on learning is 
present, even if it is secondary to virtue. This of course is in har- 
mony with the writing and thought of St. Ignatius, to whom he 
writes as follows in 1549: 

Those who are to go among these infidels to convert them have 
need of many virtues: obedience, humility, perseverance, patience, 
love of their neighbor, and great chastity because of the numerous 
occasions of sin; and they should have good judgment and sound 
bodies in order to endure the hardships. (216, §3) 

Paul Coutinho, The Ignatian Ideal and Jesuit Reality (Gujarat, Gujarat Press, 
1999), 98. 

35 See Jacques Lacouture, Jesuits: A Multibiography (Washington: Counterpoint, 
1995), 133. Lacouture is insightful and positive regarding the missionary thrust and 
shift in the theory and method of mission that he finds in Xavier. 

In Their Own Words <& 25 

Men Sent, Always Available for New Missions 

Xavier quickly became the prime example of the Jesuit, the 
one ready, available, and sent on mission. "Here I am, send me/' he 
responds to Ignatius, and the following day he leaves Rome for 
Portugal and the Far East. In accordance with the mandate given 
him, he would not stay in India, but undertake a series of further 
missions to Malacca. Then after discernment he traveled to Japan, 
and finally he set out to go to China. There was a change not only 
in location but also a change and development in his theology or 
strategy of mission. One can speak of a conversion on the part of 
Xavier, in response to what he saw and experienced. This was for 
him the call of the Spirit. 

In the holy Church, I implored God, with continual prayer, to 
make known to me his will, which I have fully made up my mind 
not to fail to accomplish, for I am confident that he who gives the 
will would also give the strength to accomplish it. Then, with great 
joy, I understood that God desired me to go to Malacca. I hope 
much that God will give me great help for my voyage. I am firmly 
resolved to accomplish what, by God's divine inspiration, I have 
decided upon. (127, §1, in a slightly different translation) 

In the case of Xavier, the new meant what was untried and 
unknown. He knew there were dangers and hardships involved, but 
he saw this as part of the mission to bring the Gospel to the Far 

My friends and those who are devoted to me are appalled by my 
undertaking such a long and dangerous voyage [to China]. But I am 
more terrified than they at seeing what little faith they have, since 
God our Lord has power and dominion over the tempests of the seas 
of China and Japan. . . . 

God our Lord has power over all these. I do not have the least 
fear except of God, that he might inflict some punishment upon me 
for being negligent in his service, unfit and useless for spreading the 
name of Jesus Christ among peoples who do not know him. All the 
other fears, dangers, and tribulations told me by my friends I count 
as naught. 36 


The substance of this citation comes from Brodrick, Xavier, 345 f., which in 
turn relies upon Schurhammer. The letter that forms the basis of this citation is 
found among Xavier's letters, p. 248. In it Xavier writes to Simao Rodriguez from 
Cochin on Feb. 1, 1549. 

26 <0> Peter Schineller, SJ. 


Xavier knows that apostolic availability means for him a call to the 
new and untried, to the unknown and the dangerous. Yet he re- 
sponds generously and hopefully: "As this voyage to China is 
difficult and full of peril, I know not whether it will succeed, but I 
still have good hopes/' 37 

Ever Searching for the Magis 

Xavier was sent not only to India, but to the larger area of the 
Far East. The search for the magis led him to explore the possibilities 
of mission work in Japan. He had heard of the advanced cultures of 
the people there, "a race with great desire for knowledge" (Letters 
and Instructions, 177, §15). This would not be simply another few 
days' journey from India, but an arduous journey of several thou- 
sand miles further east from India. Eventually too he set his sights 
on China, having heard of the potential there for the Gospel. 

Some years later, Valignano, the Jesuit visitor and superior of 
those in the Far East, notes the change in tactics undertaken by 
Xavier as he began work in Japan. He changed his mode of proce- 
dure and changed his dress, no longer appearing in the guise of 
extreme poverty. Valignano explains the reason for this: 

From experience he realized that, by going about miserably clad 
and scornful of self, he not only did not further his plans for God's 
honor but positively hindered them. The Japanese, true to their 
penchant for ceremonial and public marks of esteem, had no concep- 
tion of the meaning of humility and mortification (as hitherto prac- 
ticed by Xavier). For that reason he decided from now on to dress 
and behave in another manner, thus showing a genuine contempt of 
self, seeking in all he did God's honor alone, for whose sake he 
embraced, indifferently, either prestige or contempt. They accord- 
ingly returned to Yamaguchi better clad and accompanied by two or 
three servants with the viceroy's and bishop's letters and presents. 38 

Lacouture speaks very positively of this significant shift or 
development in Xavier, calling it a genuine conversion. In his view it 
could be considered a prelude to the missionary method of Mateo 
Ricci, which was based upon a positive understanding of the culture 

Brodrick, Xavier, 523. 

Alessandro Valignano, Mission Principles for Japan, vol. 1, ed. Josef Schuette 
(St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1980), 320. 

In Their Own Words 4- 27 

of the Chinese. 39 Thus we might characterize this shift as a move 
from mass conversions in India, to dialogue and interchange with 
the religious traditions of Japan. Xavier's strategy in Japan had mixed 
results. He himself did not convert many in Japan, but he left things 
in place for his successors. Reportedly they made thirty thousand 
converts in the next twenty years. On a personal level, the mission- 
ary effort in Japan was very satisfying, as Xavier writes with a note 
of triumphalism eighteen months before his death: 

The difficulties encountered in working with an intelligent race 
that is eager to know in what law one is to be saved bring with them 
very great consolations, so much so, in fact, that in Yamaguchi after 
the duke had given us permission to preach the law of God, so 
many people came to ask questions and to argue with us that it 
seems to me that I can truthfully say that I had never before in my 
life received so much pleasure and spiritual consolation as I did in 
seeing that God our Lord confounded the pagans through us and 
the victory which we were constantly gaining over them. (Letters and 
Instructions, 342 f.) 

As a result of this pioneer missionary work, according to O'Malley, 
"Jesuits came to believe that Japan was their most promising mission 
in the East/' 40 

Xavier wanted to proceed further. He set his sights on China. 
China was highly praised by the Japanese whom he got to know 
and respect. He heard that Japan had received much of its wisdom 
from China, and he reasoned that if China was converted, then 
conversion in Japan would be easier. He held high hopes for mis- 
sionary work in China, and hoped that eventually many Jesuits 
would go there. Of course, this was not to be, and he died on the 
island of Sancian in sight of his destination. 


See chap. 4, "Francis Xavier, Orientalist/' in Lacouture, Jesuits. 

John O'Malley, The First Jesuits (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University 

Press, 1993), 77. 

28 ^ Peter Schineller, S.J. 

III. Peter Favre 

Life in the Spirit 

A Deep Personal Love for Jesus Christ 

Peter Favre, already studying for the priesthood, came to 
know, love, and serve God in a deeper way after making the Exer- 
cises under Ignatius. He then became, in the words of Ignatius, the 
one who was most proficient in sharing the Exercises. 

As O'Malley explains, Favre and the first Jesuits saw much of 
their ministry as similar to that of Jesus in the Fourth Week of the 
Exercises, namely, Jesus Christ bringing the consolation of the resur- 
rection to his followers (SpEx 82-84). Favre makes this explicit in his 
Memoriale when he recounts how on one occasion he awoke at 
midnight, prayed for others, and hoped to be a minister of Christ 
the Consoler. 

I called to mind Christ the Redeemer, Christ the Consoler, Christ the 
Giver of Life who enlightens and succors, the merciful and compas- 
sionate one who is our Lord and our God. . . . 

Then with great fervor and a totally new awareness, I wished and 
petitioned that I might at last be allowed to become the servant and 
the minister of Christ who consoles, helps, delivers, heals, liberates, 
saves, enriches, and strengthens. 41 

He reflects on how celebration and participation at Mass leads to this 
personal, loving devotion to Jesus Christ, and to the response of 

Christ gives himself to me at Mass — and does the same in my 
prayers and works. So I should surrender myself to him in every 
way. I should give myself not only to him directly, but also — to all 
my neighbors, good and bad — . . . out of love for him, preaching, 
teaching, doing good. 

There is, therefore, an unending need of turning one's spirit 
toward the road that leads to the Cross, since Christ Crucified is the 

Most of the references to Favre will be from the Spiritual Writings of Pierre 
Fame: The "Memoriale" and Selected Letters and Instructions, ed. Edmond C. Murphy and 
John Padberg (St. Louis: The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996). Here the reference is to 
p. 157, §151. In this essay we will abbreviate this source to Spiritual Writings and 
specify the page and section number in that book. 

In Their Own Words <$- 29 

true way to the glory of both soul and body; indeed, not only the 
Way, but also the Truth and the Life. 42 

He then prays that ''all my interior, and especially my heart, may 
open and make way for Christ as he enters, leaving a place for him 
in the centre of the heart" (ibid). This Christ-centered spirituality is 
further explained in the Memoriale. He explains himself more clearly: 

I must strive to find Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the 
life, first in the center of my heart, and below, that is, within me; 
then above me, by means of my mind; and outside me, by means of 
my senses. (Spiritual Writings, 244, §307) 

He reflects on one particular encounter with Jesus Christ at Mass. 
Favre then offers the beautiful description of the Eucharist as "the 
sacrament of truth/' 

The same day at Mass, while I was holding in my hands the most 
precious Body of the Lord, I had an intense awareness of what it is 
to be in the presence of the sacrament of truth, the sacred sign 
containing in itself all truth and all goodness. (197, §223) 

Favre also offers us one example of how his prayer was Christ- 

O Jesus Christ, may your death be my life; may I learn to find life in 
your death. May your labors be my rest, your human weakness my 
strength. May your humiliation be my source of glory, your passion 
my delight, your sadness my joy. May your abasement be my uplift- 
ing — in short, may your sufferings be all I possess. For you, O my 
Lord, have renewed a life drifting hopelessly towards death and you 
destroyed death, which seemed destined to remain forever, never to 
be dissolved. (149, §137) 

Favre also desired to instill in others this personal love for Jesus 
Christ. Thus, in 1545 he writes back to the scholastics he had visited 
in Coimbra: 

And so, fare you well, and always serve Christ the Lord with 
gladness, for he is the source of all welfare. Let your whole concern 
be only this: to cling to no one but Jesus, who can never be taken 
away from you. . . . 

Only one medium should remain between any of us; Christ, the 
mediator between God and men, who is all things in all. It is he that 


Cited in Bangert, Other Towns, 162 f . 

30 <► Peter Schineller, SJ. 

we should keep always present to us, and it is in him that each of us 
should look for himself and his brother. We should seek each other 
and mutually behold each other in our origin, our cause, our princi- 
ple. (373 f.) 

Contemplative in Action 

Favre translated this Ignatian phrase into flesh and blood as 
he moved about Europe. He was living the Fourth Week of the 
Exercises, going about, like Christ the Comforter, bringing consolation 
to Christians seeking to rekindle their faith in the face of the Protes- 
tant Reformation. William Bangert, biographer of Peter Favre, calls 
him par excellence, "the contemplative in the midst of work — envi- 
saged by St. Ignatius — as the ideal for his sons." 43 

His Memoriale is a marvelous personal document that shows 
how regularly and continually Favre related and interwove his 
prayer and his work, contemplation and action. Much of his prayer 
becomes a prayer of petition in reaction to events and personal 
encounters. Of the many examples we offer a few: 

On January 10, Favre's reflection on Christmas and the Christ 
Child leads him to pray concretely. 

Here I was inspired to pray fervently for all little children — even 
for those still in the womb — for they have not the knowledge or 
ability to pray, or to act, or to recognize the good gifts already given 
or to be given in the future through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Spiritual 
Writings, 2J02, §227) 

Wfhile in Coimbra, witnessing the destructive power of the 
wind and rains, he describes how he is led to pray for flood victims, 
whose houses, goods, were destroyed (see ibid., 288, §393-94). 

During his travels, on seeing a funeral procession, he reflects 
on the marvelous resurrection, recalls that we are dust, yet our 
bodies are destined for glory. He thanks God for the good he is able 
to accomplish through this mortal body (see ibid., 100 f., §55). 

On a journey to Ratisbon, he looks back over the graces and 
insights he received. We see clearly how he is grateful for the ability 
to see and find God in all things, to turn all events into prayer. 


Other Towns, vii. 

In Their Own Words ^ 31 

On the journey you received great consolations in different prayers 
and contemplations, and you were given many new methods and 
subjects of prayer as you traveled along. For example, as you drew 
near to some place and looked at it or heard it talked about, you 
received a method of asking grace from our Lord that the archangel 
of that region with all the angel guardians of its inhabitants might be 
well disposed to us. . . . 

I prayed for an increase of the plenty I saw around me; I gave 
thanks for it on behalf of its owners or sought pardon for them 
because spiritually they are unable to recognize those blessings nor 
the hand they come from. (75 f., §21) 

Favre lived his early life as a shepherd and farmhand in the 
hills of France. As he journeyed through Europe, he was very aware 
of the turn of the seasons. In his Memoriale, as a new year begins he 
reflects on time, the upcoming year, and the four seasons to the 
spiritual life: 

A holy desire led me to wish that my soul might have four 
spiritual seasons during this coming year: a winter, so that the seeds 
sown in the soil of my soul by God might be tended and so be 
enabled to put down roots; a spring, so that my piece of earth might 
germinate and grow its crop; a summer, so that the fruit might ripen 
into an abundant harvest; and an autumn, so that the ripe fruit 
might be picked and gathered into the divine barns for safekeeping 
lest any of it be lost. (190, §206) 

As he moves into a new dwelling on his journey, he looks 
back, reflects, and simply prays over the different lodgings in which 
he has lived in his lifetime. He reflects on how God has guided and 
protected him even in his restlessness and his wanderings. He notes 
that some lodgings were wretched, filthy, and cold, and at times he 
had to sleep in the open air. Then he offers this prayer: 

May he be blessed forever who protected us in all these situa- 
tions — myself and all those in the same or different situations! For all 
this, I thanked God, hoping for his protection in this new abode of 
mine as well. (231, §286 f.) 

On another occasion he looks back in gratitude for how God 
has been present to him through the ministry of priests. He recalls 
the priests who heard his confessions, and 

I similarly remembered the priest who had baptized me, the one 
who had confirmed me, those who had conferred sacred orders on 

32 <0> Peter Schineller, S.J. 

me, and in general all those who had administered any of the 
sacraments to me. (180 f., 190) 

He then prayerfully recalls those who were his teachers, again with 
a grateful memory for their love, service, and dedication. 

In a remarkable, insightful, better-known passage, Favre 
reflects explicitly on the relation between contemplation and action, 
between finding God in prayer and finding God in action. This 
remarkable passage has much significance for those whose goal is an 
apostolic spirituality. Favre records his reflections: 

I then noted . . . that, by seeking God in good works through the 
spirit, one will more readily find him afterwards in prayer than if 
one had sought him first in prayer so as to find him subsequently in 
good works, as is often done. 

For he who seeks and finds the spirit of Christ in good works 
makes much more solid progress than the person whose activity is 
limited to prayer alone. So then, to possess Christ in our actions or to 
possess him in our prayer often amounts to either an "effective" or 
an "affective" possession. (141, §126) 

He goes on to explain that his own life should have something of 
Martha and Mary in it. He should apply himself both to prayer and 
to holy works. In short, his life should unite the active and contem- 
plative lives. 

Favre then continues, explaining that, in contrast to those 
living the life of contemplation, those in the active apostolic life 
cultivate specific virtues and specific emphases in virtues. Apostolic 
workers need "a particular kind of patience, humility, and charity, 
accompanied by other virtues, for work with the poor and the sick, 
with sinners, or their persecutors or others" (142, §127). 

In a word, Favre presents and lives the Ignatian ideal of 
finding God and loving God in all things — an ideal for himself and 
for others. 

Oh, that the time may soon come when I contemplate and love 
no creature without God and, rather, contemplate and love God in 
all things or at least fear him! That would raise me to the knowledge 
of God in himself and, in the end, all things in him, so that he 
would be for me all in all for eternity. (244, §306) 

Let me add another way in which Favre echoes the mind and 
heart of Ignatius. Recall the epithet applied to Ignatius during the 
celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the Society of Jesus. 

In Their Own Words <$- 33 

"Non coerceri maximo, contineri tamen a minimo, divinum est/' 44 
One of the many translations of this packed phrase would be 'To 
suffer no restriction from anything however great, and yet to be 
contained in the tiniest of things: that is divine/' This succinctly 
describes Ignatius as one who had the greatest, most universal 
vision, but was also able to do the next small, particular action 
needed. Ignatius, with the broadest of vision, searched always for 
the magis, but he also accomplished the task at hand, however small 
or minute. In a similar way, Favre advises that we should 

[s]eek grace for the smallest things, and you will also find grace to 
accomplish, to believe in, and to hope for the greatest things. Attend 
to the smallest things, examine them, think about putting them into 
effect, and the Lord will grant you greater. (159, §153) 

He adds this note of caution: "Many seek anxiously ... for grace to 
perform good works of a more general kind while neglecting in the 
meantime particular tasks for which it would have been easy to find 
grace" (ibid.). 

In the spirit of Ignatius, Favre encourages great desires, believ- 
ing that they come from God. But these must at the same time come 
down to earth, to ordinary, everyday affairs. "God often causes us to 
desire and to envisage the most exalted things, to place our hope in 
them in order that we may accomplish readily and without diffi- 
dence at least quite ordinary things" (160, §155). Perhaps more than 
any other of the First Companions, Favre learned from Ignatius how 
to seek and find God in all things. Thus, as Bangert put it, 

Peter learned this lesson personally from Ignatius, so well indeed 
that his life of labor and his life of prayer blended into one unified 
act of love and service of God. One admirer of Peter has called him 
"un Chartreux itinerant" — a Carthusian of the Highway. 45 

A contemporary and friend of Favre, in fact the Carthusian prior 
Girard recounted this about the Jesuit: 

Master Peter says: From everything you see or hear always draw 
some fruit, and turn it into an occasion of either a feeling of com- 
punction, or the recitation of a prayer, or an expression of God's 

The epithet is found in the centenary volume, Imago primi saeculi, published 
in 1640. Hugo Rahner discusses its meaning in "Die Grabschrift des Loyola," Stimmen 
der Zeit 139 (1946-47): 321-37. 

Bangert, Other Towns, 95. 

34 <$- Peter Schineller, S.J. 

praise, or an incentive to reproduce in one's own life what is worthy 
of imitation, (cited ibid., 199) 

Apostolic Prayer and Spirituality 

An important element of Favre's life and mission was to pray 
for particular persons, especially important leaders. In his Memoriale 
he reports that he prays explicitly for the Pope, the Emperor, the 
Kings of France and England. He prays for Luther and Melanch- 
thon — adding that he overlooks their faults (see Spiritual Writings, 
127, §102). He celebrates Mass for France and prays for its leaders, its 
abbeys, parishes, and universities. He feels much devotion in these 
prayers (see ibid., 127, §102). This echoes the apostolic prayer of 
Ignatius with his constant request for prayers for our benefactors, for 
the Pope and bishops. So too, in the mind of Ignatius the first 
responsibility of the rector is to sustain the whole college by his 
prayers and holy desires (see Cons., 174, §424). 

Noteworthy too in Favre is his special devotion to saints and 
angels. Nadal, friend and admirer of Favre, presents this as the 
advice of Favre for those about to undertake a journey. 

When we enter a city or town, we should invoke its angels, 
archangels and patron saints. In our greeting to them and in our 
request for their help, we should be as familiar with them as though 
we were paying a visit to our fellowmen. . . . We should give thanks 
for the blessings showered on that region, for the fruits of the earth, 
the streams and all such things, reflecting how great is the number 
who receive all these blessings and how few there are who give 
thanks to God. . . . 

When we happen to meet unknown persons on the road, be they 
soldiers or others, we should close our minds to suspicious thought 
and think but good of them. In our heart we should wish them well 
and think how we might be united with them in the bond of char- 
ity.... If something untoward should happen, we should receive it as 
coming not from man but from God without Whose providential 
guidance nothing can take place. 46 

In the age of the Lutheran reforms, when interest in relics and 
devotions to saints were being criticized, Favre continued to find 
great strength in these devotions. In the Catholic tradition, he found 

Bangert, Other Towns, 96 f. 

In Their Own Words <$- 35 

that the sacramentals, as well as the seven sacraments, led him to 
God. On one occasion, he describes his reactions when he was 
entering a church: "[T]he ceremonies, the lights, the organ, the 
chanting, the splendor of the relics and the decorations — all these 
gave me such a great feeling of devotion that I could not explain it" 
{Spiritual Writings, 118, §87). 

As a result, he blesses the organ, the organist, and the benefac- 
tors, the choir, and the music too. He then reflects, somewhat po- 
lemically, on how he esteems "the least of these devotional activities, 
performed with a simple Catholic faith, more highly than a thou- 
sand degrees of that idle faith, made so much of by those who ill 
agree with the hierarchical Church" (118 f., §87). 

Yet we must add that this devotional Catholicism, while it 
frequently relates to sacramentals and saints, is rooted in the cross 
and in the paschal mystery, which is at the heart of the Spiritual 
Exercises. During Holy Week, for example, Favre meditates on the 
wood of the cross, the tree of life that produces fruit (see 225-28, 
§273-81). He speaks of his own need to die on the cross, be buried, 
and then experience a resurrection of the body. 

Union of Minds and Hearts 

Peter Favre, the first priest of the Society, earned the greatest 
of respect and love from the other First Companions. He was gifted 
with the art and grace of conversation, something very important in 
the eyes of Ignatius. Thus Simao Rodrigues pays a wonderful tribute 
to Favre, describing him as 

endowed with charming grace in dealing with people, which up to 
now I must confess I have not seen in anyone else. Somehow he 
entered into friendship in such a way, bit by bit coming to influence 
others in such a manner, that his very way of living and his gracious 
conversation powerfully drew to the love of God all those with 
whom he dealt. 47 

Simao Rodrigues, A Brief and Exact Account (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit 

Sources, 2004), 5. 

36 <$> Peter Schineller, S.J. 

An Apostolic Body in the Church 

Favre clearly saw himself and the other First Companions as 
members of an apostolic body, in service to the Church. In the name 
of the First Companions, he wrote back to their old principal at the 
University of Paris to explain their present status and their reason 
for special obedience to the pope: 

All of us who have bound ourselves together in this Society have 
pledged ourselves to the supreme pontiff, since he is the master of 
Christ's whole harvest. When we made this offering of ourselves to 
him, we indicated that we were prepared for anything that he might 
decide in Christ for us. Accordingly, if he will send us there where 
you are calling us, we shall gladly go. The reason why we subjected 
ourselves to his will and judgment in this manner was that we knew 
that he has a greater knowledge of what is expedient for Christianity 
as a whole. 48 

During his all-too-brief apostolic life as a Jesuit, he served the 
Church by traveling extensively through Europe. One memorable 
part of this mission to build up the apostolic body of the Society 
involved recruiting the young Peter Canisius through the Exercises. 
Originally from Nijmegen, Canisius traveled to Mainz from Cologne, 
where he had just completed university studies There he made the 
Exercises and found his vocation to be a Jesuit. Favre was truly 
instrumental in establishing the Society in Germany. 

Like Francis Xavier, Favre rejoiced when he received news of 
the companions. The letters he received from Xavier in India 
brought him joy, consolation, and spiritual strength. He once wrote 
as follows in a letter to Ignatius: 

May God grant that you receive at least some of the letters I send 
and that you realize the desire we have to learn about you and, 
through you, about all the rest of our men and houses. So far we 
have received not the least bit of news. . . . Each week, indeed, each 
day, I feel new pain because I am not receiving your letters. 49 

This is found in several sources, e.g., Sancti Ignatii de Loyola: Epistolee et 
instruc Hones, vol. 1, vol. 22 of the Monumenta historica Societatis Iesu (Rome: 
Institutum historicum Societatis Iesu, 1964), 132 f. Joseph Conwell, in his Impelling 
Spirit (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1997), 119, provides further information on the back- 
ground of this quotation. 

49 Cited in Paul Mallia, The Story of Three Friends (Nairobi: St. Paul Publica- 
tions, 1993), 74. 

In Their Own Words ^ 37 

Favre expressed solidarity and love for his Jesuit brothers 
through his prayers for them. At the time, a feast was celebrated 
each year on July 15, after the Ascension, recalling "the dispersion of 
the Apostles." As was his custom, Favre reflects on this feast, and 
adds, "there occurred to me also many prayers of commendation for 
my scattered brothers" (Spiritual Writings, 93, §46). 

In a letter to a priest who later joined the Society, Favre 
expressed his belief in the importance of unity in the Society: 

[Y]ou must conceive, by way of foundation, a powerful and unflag- 
ging desire for the Society's peace and union of hearts to be pre- 
served and increased not only by your own efforts, but by each and 
every man living in the Society; and you will (if need be) devote 
your own concern and efforts to their persevering and progressing in 
this humility and union of the members with the body. (330) 

Then, very much in accord with the mind of Ignatius, he 
urges the priest to find positive traits rather than faults in others. 
"You should . . . examine with sharp eyes and imitate those virtues 
and behaviors of your brothers which most conform to the Rules" 
(331, §3). With insight and wisdom, he explains that, when observing 
a displeasing word or act in another, "You should look at it carefully 
and ask whether what appears evil or disgraceful in your brother's 
exterior may not be present, even more evilly and disgracefully, in 
your own soul" (332, §7). This same attitude of self-criticism is found 
in a letter on obedience to the Jesuits in Coimbra. He explains that 
seeing a fault in another should not lead to ill will. He concludes his 
letter with advice to turn one's criticism inward to one's own faults: 

[TJhat will give me plenty of material for judgment — and I should 
never grant myself a pardon for anything. As Seneca says, "Spare 
others, never yourself.' 7 Amen. Amen. Once more Amen. (372) 

We return again to the deep love and hope that Favre had for 
the Society. He reflects upon this in his Memoriale: 

With regard to our Society (concern for which never leaves me, 
by a grace of God), I felt a desire which had aroused great devotion 
at other times. It was that the Society might one day grow sufficient- 
ly in numbers and in virtue to be capable, through the quantity and 
quality of its members, of restoring at some time the ruins of all 
religious orders, the present ruins and those soon to come — unless 
God intervenes. (219, §265) 

38 ^ Peter Schineller, S.J. 

: : : : : : : ; : : ft : S:M: : : : : : x:: : : : :W 

The mission facing the Church and the Society of Jesus was daunt- 
ing, and so he prays for an increase of vocations to the Society: 

May Jesus send us persons of a faith, hope, and charity so univer- 
sally Catholic and of a spirit so universal and so open as to concern 
itself with the restoration of all the ancient orders of the Church. 
(220, §265) 

While he looks to the body of the Society to carry out great work for 
the Church during the struggles of the Reformation, he sees himself 
humbly as Christ's broom to help others. Then he extends the image 
to the entire Society: 

I wished too that our whole Society might be destined by God for 
this: that Christ, who has in his dwelling, the Church, so many 
illustrious instruments, might deign to begin cleaning out his dwell- 
ing in our time and, for this purpose, make use of and shape us and 
all future members of the Society into the first, and in a sense, the 
most menial implements, brooms, that is. (313, §441) 


Favre was the missionary on pilgrimage. His energy was put 
into sharing the Spiritual Exercises, preaching, teaching, and hearing 
confessions of church and civic leaders. In a letter he wrote to 
Ignatius, he described what he did as he entered Mainz. "Upon 
arriving here, we entered upon some spiritual conversations and 
arrangements to give the Exercises" (339). 

Conversation, as mentioned above, was to build up the Soci- 
ety, but also a key instrument in his apostolic work. In another 
place, he speaks of this as "personal exhortation." Favre's warm 
personality, his irresistible charm, attracted people to friendship, 
frequently led to the sacrament of confession, and beyond that to 
their making the Spiritual Exercises under his guidance. Gentle 
conversation would be a hallmark of his approach to both the 
reform of the Church and the preservation of Christian unity. 

In Solidarity with Those Most in Need 

His heart was moved, as his travels brought him face to face 
with poverty. In his Memoriale he explains how his prayer led him at 
least to desire to help and serve those in need. 

In Their Own Words ^ 39 

And then, at night prayer, I felt strongly inspired to do my very 
utmost to provide for the needy and the homeless sick wandering 
about the city of Mainz, a hospice where they could be gathered . . . 
and given shelter, and receive treatment and recover their health. 50 

A letter to Xavier, far off in India, lists some of his activities in 
Cologne. These include preaching, sharing the Exercises, and a 
special ministry to students who he hoped would receive religious 
and priestly vocations (Spiritual Writings, 363). In the city of Ratisbon, 
he notes, there are over six thousand beggars, and several thousand 
strangers, newcomers who arrive from the countryside. He reflects 
on his inadequacy to address these needs and wishes he had a flair 
for business, so that he could do more to alleviate the problems. He 
would like to gather the homeless and give them shelter and a place 
where they could receive medical treatment (see 162 f., §159). 

Whenever he could not concretely address the social problems, 
he prayed constantly, and he experienced that his prayer increased 
his desire to act. 

There came to my mind the manifold afflictions of men: their 
diseases, their sins and their obduracy, their moods of despair and 
their tears, disasters, famines, plagues, woes, and other trials; and on 
the other hand, as a remedy for all these, I called to mind Christ the 
Redeemer, Christ the Consoler, Christ the Giver of Life who enlight- 
ens and succors, the merciful and compassionate one who is our 
Lord and our God. Calling on all the power in those titles of his, I 
prayed that he might come to all men and relieve their needs. 

Then with great fervor and a totally new awareness, I wished and 
petitioned that I might at last be allowed to become the servant and 
the minister of Christ, who consoles, helps, delivers, heals, liberates, 
saves, enriches, and strengthens. I asked that I also, through him, 
might be enabled to come to the aid of many, to console them and 
free them from many ills, to deliver and strengthen them, to bring 
them light not in spiritual matters alone but also (if I may be allowed 
the boldness of presuming it in God) in a material way, together 
with whatever charity can do for the soul and body of any of my 
fellowmen. (157, §151) 

His own commitment to good works was strong and unwavering: "I 
wished to be given grace not to let a day pass without some notable 


Bangert, Other Towns, 160. 

40 <0> Peter Schineller, SJ. 


fruit. For God gives us life to work out our salvation, and he assigns 
some good work for each day" (291, §398). 

Favre even saw the hearing of confessions as a way of reach- 
ing out to the poor. With remarkable insight into the social nature of 
the sacrament, as a confessor he urged his penitents to reach out to 

[WJhile hearing confessions, I considered that a confessor should not 
only take care of the soul that submits itself to him to be instructed, 
admonished, corrected, and led to perfection, but should also see to 
it that his penitents bring help and comfort to all those — the dead, 
sinners, or others — who may be in material or spiritual need. (281, 

Partnership with Others 

Even though Favre often traveled alone throughout the 
northern countries, he continually enlisted others to assist in the 
work of renewal. We can see Favre reaching out to church and civic 
leaders as possible collaborators. He writes these words from Ger- 

On three occasions I explained at length to him [the Bishop of 
Speyer] the work of the Company and he showed that he was very 
impressed. He invited me to dinner last Thursday, the very day he 
invited the Duke of Bavaria, the brother of the Count Palatine, and 
the Archbishop of Trier. I spoke to all of them about the work of the 
Company. 51 

He adds that "the outcome of it all is that he [the bishop] was very 
much inclined to make the Exercises." According to Bangert, he 
frequently gave the Exercises to bishops and vicars general, devoting 
as much as one hour a day to each of the retreatants. Writing to 
Ignatius, Favre explains how in the city of Parma he gave the Exer- 
cises to priests and how "some of the parish priests are giving the 
Exercises to their subjects" (Spiritual Writings, 319). He then adds that 
the message of the Exercises has spread through the schoolmasters, 
"some of whom have even given the initial Exercises to a number of 
their capable students." In this way, many have been brought back 
to the Church. He adds that those who made the Exercises then 

Letter to Ignatius of January 25, 1541, cited ibid., 94. 

In Their Own Words ^ 41 

incorporate insights and ideas from the Exercises into their sermons, 
and this too has had a powerful impact — reaping many fruits (see 
ibid., 320). 

In Parma, Favre formed a confraternity of laypersons, and 
composed for them a rule of life. In this way, the fruits of the Exer- 
cises would grow and be handed on. In addition to this collabora- 
tion with the laity, he shared the Exercises with priests and chal- 
lenged those living in concubinage to reform their lives. 

Called to Learned Ministry 

At the end of his missionary journey through Europe, Peter 
Favre returned to Rome and prepared to assist at the Council of 
Trent. Obviously Ignatius appreciated his theological expertise. In 
the words of his biographer, Mary Purcell, he was "not a profes- 
sional theologian/ 7 but had a "perception of mysteries which experi- 
ence yields, the wisdom imprinted by piety and matured by discern- 
ment, reflection of a particular type born of personal encounters 
with Jesus Christ." 52 In his relationship with followers of Luther, he 
shows remarkable insight and an ecumenical attitude far ahead of 
his times. He was able to engage in dialogue with respect and love. 
This surely contributed to his pastoral effectiveness. 

On one occasion, while Lainez was at the Council of Trent, he 
wrote to Favre asking for advice on how to relate to the followers of 
Luther. Favre offered a number of suggestions: 

Remember, if we want to be of help to them [converts to Protes- 
tantism] we must be careful to regard them with love, to love them 
in deed and in truth, and to banish from our own souls any thought 
that might lessen our love and esteem for them. 

We have to win their good will so that they will love us and 
readily confide in us. This can be done by speaking familiarly with 
them on subjects about which we agree, and by avoiding points of 
discussion that might give rise to argument: for argument usually 
ends in one side lording it over the other. Neither should we act 
towards the Lutherans as though they were pagans, but rather 
address ourselves to a man's will, to his heart, as a means of ap- 
proaching with prudence matters of faith. . . . 


Purcell, Quiet Companion, 54. 

42 <0> Peter Schineller, S.J. 

The man who can speak with the heretics on a holy life, on 
virtue and prayer, will do far more good for them than those who, 
in the name of authority, set out to confound them by sheer weight 
of theological argument. 53 

True to his natural gift and grace for friendly conversation, 
Favre found himself ineffective in large gatherings. He judged that 
the colloquies or meetings of theologians were not constructive in 
promoting unity. He emphasized spiritual ecumenism, and saw the 
problem of unity to be at bottom a question of spirituality. If both 
sides were to grow in holiness and put on Christ, then renewal, 
reform, and reunion might succeed. His key instrument towards this 
spiritual renewal was the sharing of the Exercises. 

Drawing on his pastoral experience and his emphasis on the 
pastoral dimension of mission, he wrote a long document to a fellow 
priest on how to hear confessions (Spiritual Writings, 356-61). He 
urges giving positive, constructive suggestions on ways to improve 
one's prayer and life of charity. True to his character, Favre urges the 
priest to be gentle and kind, emphasizing the love and forgiveness 
of God. The penitent should leave with the clear desire to return to 
the same confessor because of his kind advice. In this way Favre was 
truly an inspiration for the first Jesuits in their important ministry of 

St. Peter Canisius, a Doctor of the Church, writes of the man 
who led him into the Society: 

Never have I seen or heard a more learned and more profound 
theologian or a man of such striking and remarkable holiness. No 
word of his is not filled with God, and never does he become weari- 
some to his listeners. 54 

Ever Searching for the Magis 

In his seven years of ministry throughout Europe, Favre 
followed in the footsteps of the early Ignatius, the pilgrim searching 
for where he could do the greater good for the reform of the Church 
and the spread of the Catholic faith. What began as a mission to the 

Cited ibid., viii-ix, 163 f. The complete letter is found in Spiritual Writings, 



Cited in Bangert, Xavier, 148, and Mallia, Story of Three Friends, 72. 

In Their Own Words <$> 43 

north from Rome, turned out to be a pilgrim journey of over seven 
thousand miles, for a period of seven years. In his search for the 
greater good for the mission, he traveled from Germany to Holland, 
to Spain, to Portugal, France, Switzerland, and eventually back to 
Italy and Rome, where he ended his life's journey before he was able 
to assist at the Council of Trent. The title of Bangert's biography 
accurately describes his ministry: like the Lord he served, he was 
called "to the other towns." 

While he practiced such availability in his own mission, he 
also exhorted younger Jesuits to apostolic mobility. After a visit to 
scholastics in Coimbra, he wrote a letter exhorting them to remain 
free from attachments and free for God alone. 

Thus a man in obedience must never settle down to rest in any place 
or in any particular work subject to obedience, even if he experiences 
a holy and unmistakable spirit for it — not rest in it, I mean, in such a 
way that he loses his readiness for whatever obedience may enjoin. 
(Spiritual Writings, 371) 

In his Memoriale, we see Favre very clearly, consciously reflect- 
ing on his work, on the people he meets, the cities he is in or to 
which he is bound. In and through these everyday events, he 
prayerfully seeks God's will. Where can he achieve the greater good? 
With whom can he share the treasure of the Spiritual Exercises? 
Without the acclaim of Ignatius or Xavier, Blessed Peter Favre can be 
remembered as a faithful, zealous laborer in the Lord's vineyard, as 
all Jesuits are called to be. 


Ignatius, Xavier, and Favre faced a new world: the expansion of 
the Church from Europe to Africa, India, the Far East, and the 
Americas; the era of the Reformation in Europe; the world of 
print and science. They shaped their ministry in the light of these 
new movements of history. In the midst of unprecedented social 
change, they maintained a strong life in the Spirit, valued compan- 
ionship with their brother Jesuits, and nurtured a zealous dedication 
to mission. 

In the fast-moving and ever-changing world of today, we their 
followers, are expected to be pioneers. In accepting this challenge, 

44 ^ Peter Schineller, S.J. 

we constantly return to our basic classic and foundational docu- 
ments, the writings of Ignatius as in the Exercises, the Constitutions, 
and his letters. But as we see here, we can also profit much from 
examining lives, activities, and writings of Xavier and Favre. Reflect- 
ing on their words and works can deepen our awareness of the 
three charisms of Jesuit life that animated them in their day and 
inspire us in ours: life in the Spirit, union of minds and hearts, and 
commitment to mission. 

We do not lack men of vision in our own day. Another study 
might include Jesuits like Pedro Arrupe, Teilhard de Chardin, Karl 
Rahner, Juan Luis Segundo, John Courtney Murray, Walter Ciszek, 
the martyrs of El Salvador. The times are different, but the motiva- 
tion is the same. But in this jubilee year we can begin by reflecting 
on the three friends, Ignatius, Xavier, and Favre. This jubilee year is 
an opportunity for individuals, communities, and provinces to 
examine our roots more attentively and examine how best we can 
carry forth the best of our traditions. 

In his allocution to General Congregation 34, Pope John Paul 
II cited his predecessor Pope Paul VI, who encouraged the Society of 
Jesus to continue its work today in the spirit of its past. 

Wherever in the Church, even in the most difficult and extreme 
fields, in the crossroads of ideologies, in the front line between the 
deepest human desires and the perennial message of the Gospel, 
there have been, and there are, Jesuits. (GC 34, 253, §8) 


Past Issues: Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 

(For prices, see inside back cover.) 

1/1 Sheets, Profile of the Contemporary Jesuit (Sept. 1969) 
1/2 Ganss, Authentic Spiritual Exercises: History and Terminology (Nov. 1969) 
2/1 Burke, Institution and Person (Feb. 1970) 
2/2 Futrell, Ignatian Discernment (Apr. 1970) 
2/3 Lonergan, Response of the Jesuit as Priest and Apostle (Sept. 1970) 
3/1 Wright, Grace of Our Founder and the Grace of Our Vocation (Feb. 1971) 
3/2 O'Flaherty, Some Reflections on Jesuit Commitment (Apr. 1971) 
3/4 Toner, A Method for Communal Discernment of God's Will (Sept. 1971) 
3/5 Sheets, Toward a Theology of the Religious Life (Nov. 1971) 
4/2 Two Discussions: I. Spiritual Direction, II. Leadership and Authority (Mar. 1972) 
4/3 Orsy, Some Questions about the Purpose and Scope of the General Congregation (June 1972) 
4/4 Ganss, Wright, O'Malley, O'Donovan, Dulles, On Continuity and Change: A Symposium 
(Oct. 1972) 
5/1-2 O'Flaherty, Renewal: Call and Response (Jan.-Mar. 1973) 
5/3 Arrupe, McNaspy, The Place of Art in Jesuit Life (Apr. 1973) 
5/4 Haughey, The Pentecostal Thing and Jesuits (June 1973) 
5/5 Orsy, Toward a Theological Evaluation of Communal Discernment (Oct. 1973) 
6/3 Knight, Joy and Judgment in Religious Obedience (Apr. 1974) 
7/1 Wright, Ganss, Orsy, On Thinking with the Church Today (Jan. 1975) 
7/2 Ganss, Christian Life Communities from the Sodalities (Mar. 1975) 
7/3 Connolly, Contemporary Spiritual Direction: Scope and Principles Qune 1975) 
7/5 Buckley, The Confirmation of a Promise; Padberg, Continuity and Change in General 

Congregation XXXII (Nov. 1975) 
8/1 O'Neill, Acatamiento: Ignatian Reverence (Jan. 1976) 
8/2-3 De la Costa, Sheridan, and others, On Becoming Poor: A Symposium on Evangelical Poverty 
(Mar.-May 1976) 
8/4 Faricy, Jesuit Community: Community of Prayer (Oct. 1976) 
9/1-2 Becker, Changes in U.S. Jesuit Membership, 1958-75; Others, Reactions and Explanations 
(Jan.-Mar. 1977) 
9/4 Connolly, Land, Jesuit Spiritualities and the Struggle for Social Justice (Sept. 1977). 
9/5 Gill, A Jesuit's Account of Conscience (Nov. 1977) 

10/1 Kammer, "Burn-Out"— Dilemma for the Jesuit Social Activist (Jan. 1978) 
10/4 Harvanek, Status of Obedience in the Society of Jesus; Others, Reactions to Connolly-Land 

(Sept. 1978) 
11/1 Clancy, Feeling Bad about Feeling Good (Jan. 1979) 

11/2 Maruca, Our Personal Witness as Power to Evangelize Culture (Mar. 1979) 
11/3 Klein, American Jesuits and the Liturgy (May 1979) 
11/5 Conwell, The Kamikaze Factor: Choosing Jesuit Ministries (Nov. 1979) 
12/2 Henriot, Appleyard, Klein, Living Together in Mission: A Symposium on Small Apostolic 

Communities (Mar. 1980) 
12/3 Conwell, Living and Dying in the Society of Jesus (May 1980) 
12/4-5 Schineller, Newer Approaches to Christology and Their Use in the Spiritual Exercises (Sept. -Nov. 

13/1 Peter, Alcoholism in Jesuit Life (Jan. 1981) 

13/3 Ganss, Towards Understanding the Jesuit Brothers' Vocation (May 1981) 

13/4 Reites, St Ignatius of Loyola and the Jews (Sept. 1981) 

14/1 O'Malley, The Jesuits, St Ignatius, and the Counter Reformation (Jan. 1982) 

14/2 Dulles, St Ignatius and Jesuit Theological Tradition (Mar. 1982) 

14/4 Gray, An Experience in Ignatian Government (Sept. 1982) 

14/5 Ivern, The Future of Faith and Justice: Review of Decree Four (Nov. 1982) 

15/1 O'Malley, The Fourth Vow in Its Ignatian Context (Jan. 1983) 

15/2 Sullivan and Faricy, On Making the Spiritual Exercises for Renewal of Jesuit Chansms (Mar. 


15/3-4 Padberg, The Society True to Itself A Brief History of the 32nd General Congregation of the 

Society of Jesus (May-Sept. 1983) 

15/5-16/1 Tetlovf, Jesuits' Mission in Higher Education (Nov. 1983-Jan. 1984) 

16/2 O'Malley, To Travel to Any Part of the World: Jeronimo Nodal and the Jesuit Vocation (Mar. 


16/3 O'Hanlon, Integration of Christian Practices: A Western Christian Looks East (May 1984) 

16/4 Carlson, "A Faith Lived Out of Doors": Ongoing Formation (Sept. 1984) 

17/1 Spohn, St Paul on Apostolic Celibacy and the Body of Christ Qan. 1985) 

17/2 Daley, "In Ten Thousand Places": Christian Universality and the Jesuit Mission (Mar. 1985) 

17/3 Tetlow, Dialogue on the Sexual Maturing of Celibates (May 1985) 

17/4 Spohn, Coleman, Clarke, Henriot, Jesuits and Peacemaking (Sept. 1985) 

17/5 Kinerk, When Jesuits Fray: A Perspective on the Prayer of Apostolic Persons (Nov. 1985) 

18/1 Gelpi, The Converting Jesuit (Jan. 1986). 

18/2 Beirne, Compass and Catalyst The Ministry of Administration, (Mar. 1986) 

18/3 McCormick, Bishops as Teachers and Jesuits as Listeners (May 1986) 

18/5 Tetlow, The Transformation of Jesuit Poverty (Nov. 1986). 

19/1 Staudenmaier, United States Technology and Adult Commitment Qan. 1987) 

19/2 Appleyard, Languages We Use- Talking about Religious Experience (Mar. 1987) 

19/5 Endean, Who Do You Say Ignatius Is? Jesuit Fundamentalism and Beyond (Nov. 1987) 

20/1 Brackley, Downward Mobility: Social Implications of St Ignatius 's Two Standards (Jan. 1988) 

20/2 Padberg, Haw We Live Where We Live (Mar. 1988) 

20/3 Hayes, Padberg, Staudenmaier, Symbols, Devotions, and Jesuits (May 1988) 

20/4 McGovern, Jesuit Education and Jesuit Spirituality (Sept. 1988) 

20/5 Barry, Jesuit Formation Today: An Invitation to Dialogue and Involvement (Nov. 1988) 

21/1 Wilson, Where Do We Belong? United States Jesuits and Their Memberships (Jan. 1989) 

21/2 Demoustier, Calvez, et al., The Disturbing Subject- The Option for the Poor (Mar. 1989) 

21/3 Soukup, Jesuit Response to the Communication Revolution (May 1989) 

22/1 Carroll, The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life Qan. 1990) 

22/2 Bracken, Jesuit Spirituality from a Process Prospective (March 1990) 

22/3 Shepherd, Fire for a Weekend: An Experience of the Exercises (May 1990) 

22/4 O'Sullivan, Trust Your Feelings, but Use Your Head (Sept. 1990) 

22/5 Coleman, A Company of Critics: Jesuits and the Intellectual Life (Nov. 1990) 

23/1 Houdek, The Road Too Often Traveled Qan. 1991) 

23/2 DiGiacomo, Ministering to the Young (March 1991) 

23/3 Begheyn and Bogart, A Bibliography on St Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises (May 1991) 

23/4 Shelton, Reflections on the Mental Health of Jesuits (Sept. 1991) 

23/5 Toolan, "Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire" (Nov. 1991) 

24/1 Houdek, Jesuit Prayer and Jesuit Ministry: Context and Possibilities (Jan. 1992) 

24/2 Smolich, Testing the Water: Jesuits Accompanying the Poor (March 1992) 

24/3 Hassel, Jesus Christ Changing Yesterday, Today, and Forever (May 1992) 

24/4 Shelton, Toward Healthy Jesuit Community Living (Sept. 1992) 

24/5 Cook, Jesus' Parables and the Faith That Does Justice (Nov. 1992) 

25/2 Donahue, What Does the Lord Require? (March 1993)— ONCE AGAIN AVAILABLE 

25/3 Padberg, Ignatius, the Popes, and Realistic Reverence (May 1993) 

25/4 Stahel, Toward General Congregation 34 (Sept. 1993) 

25/5 Baldovin, Christian Liturgy: An Annotated Bibliography (Nov. 1993) 

26/1 Tetlow, The Most Postmodern Prayer (Jan. 1994) 

26/2 Murphy, The Many Ways of Justice (March 1994) 

26/3 Staudenmaier, To Fall in Love with the World (May 1994) 

26/4 Foley, Stepping into the River (Sept. 1994) 

26/5 Landy, Myths That Shape Us (Nov. 1994) 

27/1 Daley, "To Be More like Christ" (Jan. 1995) 

27/2 Schmidt, Portraits and Landscapes (March 1995) 

27/3 Stockhausen, I'd Love to, but I Don't Have the Time (May 1995) 

27/4 Anderson, Jesuits in Jail, Ignatius to the Present (Sept. 1995) 

27/5 Shelton, Friendship in Jesuit Life (Nov. 1995) 

28/1 Begheyn, Bibliography on the History of the Jesuits (Jan. 1996) 

28/3 Clooney, In Ten Thousand Places, in Every Blade of Grass (May 1996) 

28/4 Starkloff, 'As Different As Night and Day" (Sept. 1996) 

28/5 Beckett, Listening to Our History (Nov. 1996) 

29/1 Hamm, Preaching Biblical Justice (Jan. 1997) 

29/2 Padberg, The Three Forgotten Founders (March 1997) 

29/3 Byrne, Jesuits and Parish Ministry (May 1997) 

29/4 Keenan, Are Informationes Ethical? (Sept. 1997) 

29/5 Ferlita, The Road to Bethlehem-Is It Level or Winding? (Nov. 1997) 

30/1 Shore, The Vita Christi ofLudolph of Saxony and Its Influence on the Spiritual Exercises of 

Ignatius of Loyola (Jan. 1998) 

30/2 Starkloff, "I'm No Theologian, but . . . (or So . . . )?" (March 1998) 

30/3 Torrens, The Word That Clamors (May 1998) 

30/4 Petrik, "Being Sent" (Sept. 1998) 

30/5 Jackson, "One and the Same Vocation" (Nov. 1998) 

31/1 Clifford, Scripture and the Exercises (Jan. 1999) 

31/2 Toohig, Physics Research, a Search for God (March 1999) 

31/3 Fagin, Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now (May 1999) 

31/4 Schineller, Pilgrim Journey of Ignatius (Sept. 1999) 

31/5 Fullam, Juana, S.J.: Status of Women in the Society (Nov. 1999) 

32/1 Langan, The Good of Obedience in a Culture of Autonomy (Jan. 2000) 

32/2 Blake, Listen with Your Eyes (March 2000) 

32/3 Shelton, When a Jesuit Counsels Others (May 2000) 

32/4 Barry, Past, Present, and Future (Sept. 2000) 

32/5 Starkloff, Pilgrimage Re-envisioned (Nov. 2000) 

33/1 Kolvenbach et al., Faith, Justice, and American Jesuit Higher Education (Jan. 2001) 

33/2 Keenan, Unexpected Consequences: Persons's Christian Directory (March 2001) 

33/3 Arrupe, Trinitarian Inspiration of the Ignatian Charism (May 2001) 

33/4 Veale, Saint Ignatius Asks, "Are You Sure You Know Who I Am?' (Sept. 2001) 

33/5 Barry and Keenan, How Multicultural Are We? (Nov. 2001) 

34/1 Blake, 'City of the Living God" (Jan. 2002) 

34/2 Clooney, A Charism for Dialog (March 2002) 

34/3 Rehg, Christian Mindfulness (May 2002) 

34/4 Brackley, Expanding the Shrunken Soul (Sept. 2002) 

34/5 Bireley, The Jesuits and Politics in Time of War (Nov. 2002) 

35/1 Barry, Jesuit Spirituality for the Whole of Life (Jan. 2003) 

35/2 Madden/Janssens, The Training of Ours in the Sacred Liturgy (March 2003) 

35/3 Marcouiller, Archbishop with an Attitude (May 2003) 

35/4 Modras, A Jesuit in the Crucible (Sept. 2003) 

35/5 Lucas, Virtual Vessels, Mystical Signs (Nov. 2003) 

36/1 Rausch, Christian Life Communities for Jesuit University Students? (Spring 2004) 

36/2 Bernauer, The Holocaust and the Search for Forgiveness (Summer 2004) 

36/3 Nantais, "Whatever.'" Is Not Ignatian Indifference (Fall 2004) 

36/4 Lukacs, The Incarnational Dynamic of the Constitutions (Winter 2004) 

37/1 Smolarski, Jesuits on the Moon (Spring 2005) 

37/2 McDonough, Clenched Fist or Open Hands? (Summer 2005) 

37/3 Torrens, Tuskegee Years (Fall 2005) 

37/4 O'Brien, Consolation in Action (Winter 2005) 

38/1 Schineller, In Their Own Words (Spring 2006) 



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