Scholarly article on topic 'The Two Standards'

The Two Standards Academic research paper on "Philosophy, ethics and religion"

Share paper
Academic journal
Journal of Jesuit Studies
OECD Field of science

Academic research paper on topic "The Two Standards"


The Two Standards

The Origins and Development of a Celebrated Ignatian Meditation

Adriano Prosperi Scuola Nórmale Superiore, Pisa


The Ignatian meditation on the two standards introduces the moment of "elección" in the itinerary established by the Spiritual Exercises. This was a key passage for Jesuit vocations, which very often flourished as a result of the experience of the Exercises. From the earliest years of the Society, the great success of the Spiritual Exercises stimulated historical research into the origins of the text. According to Jerónimo Nadal, the inspiration came to Ignatius in 1525, during a mystical experience at Manresa. Nevertheless, the genealogy of the Spiritual Exercises remains obscure, mainly because of the disappearance of the early versions of the text prior to the Paris period. In particular, one leading open question concerns Ignatius's sources: among many possible contenders, for example, Erasmus's Enchiridion often is identified as a source. This essay further investigates the question and, in doing so, draws some analogies between the Exercises and a number of Italian texts from the early sixteenth century, such as works by Antonio da Atri and Battista da Crema.


Spiritual Exercises - elección - two standards - imitation of Christ - discernment of the spirits - Erasmus - Battista da Crema - Juan de Valdés - Antonio da Atri - Manresa

"A meditation on the two standards, the one of Christ, our supreme commander and Lord, the other of Lucifer, the mortal enemy of our human nature."1 Thus

1 "Meditación de dos banderas, la una de Christo, summo capitán y Señor nuestro; la otra de Lucifer, mortal enemigo de nuestra humana natura." Sancti Ignatii de Loyola Exercitia spiri-tualia. Textuum antiquissimorum nova editio. Lexicon textus hispani, eds. José Calveras and Cándido de Dalmases (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1969), 242-44. English

© PROSPERI, 2015 | DOI 10.1163/22141332-00203001

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 Unported (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License.

opens the fourth day of the second week in the Spiritual Exercises. We are at the heart of the most important stage in the Exercises, "given" only to "those who are capable and suited to helping others," as Juan Alfonso de Polanco wrote to Fulvio Androzzi.2 For those of whom less was expected, the Exercises ceased at an earlier point. And even though some who were not preparing to enter the Society occasionally were permitted to make the Exercises at this point, it was clear that the contemplation of this scene with the temporal sovereign and the two standards had special significance. As a Jesuit from the late sixteenth century wrote, it was here that one discovered the basis for meditation on the imitation of Christ, which constituted the path to human perfection.3

During the second week of the Exercises, the path of the three traditional roads of meditation towards perfection led out onto the way of illumination: but then, with an unexpected turn away from the mystic's usual path, the focus shifted to the harsh alternatives presented by the choice: elección. Ignatius of Loyola's experience itself had found its own turning point in a vision of the king and the two standards, an event that was recorded in Manresa in 1525, according to Jerónimo Nadal's account.4 The account of the mystical experience at Manresa crystallized very early within the Jesuit tradition, shrouding in a miraculous mist the original intuition of the model that, through the centuries, would establish the distinctiveness of the new religious order compared with all others.

quotations of the Spiritual Exercises here and throughout are from, Ignatius of Loyola: The Spiritual Exercises and Selected Works, ed. George E. Ganss (New York: Paulist Press, 1991).

2 DirectoríaExercitiorumspiritualium (1540-1599), ed. Ignatius Iparraguirre (Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1955), 110. In general, Ignatius also suggested giving the Exercises for the first week only, reserving "muy pocos, y letrados o personas muy deseosas de perfección, o de mucha manera, o que podrían ser para la Compañía." Directoría Exercitiorum spiritualium, 111-12, "Ad patres lusitanos."

3 "Nam ea tota nihil est aliud nisi eiusdem Christi Domini nostri imitationem continet, in qua hominis perfectio consistit." Jacobus Miró (1582), Directoría Exercitiorum spiritualium, 393.

4 Jerónimo Nadal writes that at Manresa, "per idem hoc tempus accepit per orationem illas meditationes quas isti Patres Exercitia spiritualia appellare solent, quae sunt orationis quaedam methodus, ac eam litteris mandavit." Fontes narrativi de S. Ignatio de Loyola et de Societatis Iesu initiis, vol. 2, Narrationes scriptae annis 1557-1574, ed. Cándido de Dalmases (Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1951), 241. On this, see also José Calveras, "La Ilustración del Cardoner y el Instituto de la Compañía de Jesús según el P. Nadal," Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu 25 (1956): 27-54. In general, the current biographical literature on Ignatius provides the basis for this discussion of his autobiographical account. See Ricardo García-Villoslada, Sant'Ignazio di Loyola. Una nuova biografía (Cinisello Balsamo: Edizioni Paoline, 1990), 250-51.

This moment of choice between the two standards of God and Satan remained the fundamental turning point in the practice of the Exercises. According to Ignacio Iparraguirre, S.J., whose work has devoted much attention to this question, the evolution of the Exercises can be divided into three periods: Ignatius's lifetime, after his death to the end of the sixteenth century, and the seventeenth century.5 In considering the first period, however, there are two different ways of recounting the story. In the first, Iparraguirre identifies a text of the Exercises that Ignatius would have received by revelation and put into writing at Manresa "poco después de la gran revelación del Cardoner" [shortly after the great revelation at Cardoner]. Yet, as a consequence of Ignatius's changing environments—from the "gente sencilla y mujeres piadosas" [simple people and pious women], to the elevated debates of the University of Paris and the Roman court—this more complete version was substituted for a "light" one.6 This interpretation, with its devotional and apologetic flavor, contrasts with the reality of the notoriously complex and tormented history concerning the origins of the Exercises: a text that was the product of a long gestation as well as successive drafts, and which came to assume its definitive form only around 1540.

Nothing, however, remains of the version that Ignatius committed to written form, starting with the notebook that he began in Loyola, and concluding with the large sheaf of papers presented to the ecclesiastical judges at Salamanca; very little is known of the Parisian period either. There are no surviving traces, furthermore, of the manuscript that Ignatius was requested to present to the Dominican inquisitor, Valentino Lievin. However, this was a time during which the Exercises were being reworked continuously: the author himself recognized this fact, if we take as authentic Ignatius's testimony of October 1555, collected by Luis Gongalves da Cámara in the celebrated Racconto delpellegrino [Account of a pilgrim]. Here, in response to the question about how the foundational texts of the Society were written, Ignatius said that he did not compose the Exercises in one period alone, but proceeded by making gradual annotations to those things that he found to be useful for the soul, and that he wanted therefore to make available to others. Thus, by investigating the origins of the text and demythologizing the account as a dictation by the Virgin

5 Ignacio Iparraguirre, Historia de la práctica de los Ejercicios Espirituales de San Ignacio de Loyola, vol. 1, Práctica de los ejercicios de san Ignacio de Loyola en vida de su autor (1522-1556) (Bilbao-Rome: El Mensajero del Corazón de Jesús-Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1946) and vol. 3, Evolución en Europa durante el siglo xvii (Bilbao-Rome: El Mensajero del Corazón de Jesús-Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1973). Iparraguirre is also editor of the fundamental and detailed work, Directoria Exercitiorum spiritualium.

6 Iparraguirre, Historia de la práctica de los Ejercicios Espirituales, 1:1-3.

Mary in the grotto at Manresa, it is possible to gain further understanding of how Ignatius of Loyola became the Ignatius of history.

The foundations for revising traditional interpretations and studies concerning the text's origins were laid by the extensive and thorough research of José Calveras, S.J., in his preparation of the critical edition of the Exercises, subsequently published by Cándido de Dalmases, S.J.: it is here that we have a study that is appropriate to the subject, capable of offering a new and more precise appreciation of Ignatius's personality and the development of his work. As Jean-François Gilmont noted in his detailed review of the edition soon after its publication, through the close analysis of indirect evidence, Calveras worked to overcome the fundamental difficulty that scholars face: the silence of the sources on the prehistory of the text, in this case, the period that is hidden behind the autograph manuscript redaction by the English priest, John Helyar (15031541), that dates back to 1536.7 While 1548 saw the presentation of the Exercises in their definitive form to readers within and outside the Society through Pope Paul iii's brief of approbation, early attempts and outlines of the original drafts instead disappeared from the extremely rich and usually well preserved archives of the Society. This must have occurred as the result of deliberate removal.

The extraordinary success of the Ignatian method has intensified curiosity about its prehistory. That its development was long and rich in circumstance clearly emerges from the author's own life: numerous adventures and meetings, as well as misfortunes and Inquisitorial suspicion punctuated the path to finalizing the Exercises' method and the successive versions of the text. For example, the trials endured at Alcalá in 1526-27, point to important evidence of early Ignatian practice, such as examinations of conscience and prayer methods, of which a sufficiently audible echo remains after all these years. Still, between 1554 and 1556, Jerónimo Nadal was compelled to compose an Apologia to refute those who had accused Ignatius of being an "alumbrado," and who alleged that he had composed his text when he was still illiterate, and thus by illumination.8

It is thus precisely on this prehistory of the text that scholarship has focused a great deal of attention. The few traces that Ignatius left concerning the

7 "La rareté de la documentation limitera toujours la précision des études sur la rédaction des Exercices." Jean-François Gilmont, "Découvertes récentes sur l'histoire de la rédaction des Exercices," Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 66 (1971): 618-25.

8 Jerónimo Nadal, Apología pro Exercitiis S. P. Ignatii (1554-1556), in Epistolae P. Hieronymi Nadal SocietatisJesu ab anno 1546 ad 1577 nuncprimum editae et illustratae a Patribus ejusdem Societatis, vol. 4, Selecta Natalis Monumenta in ejus epistolis commemorata, ed. Federico Cervós (Madrid: G. López del Horno, 1905), 820-73.

work's gestation have generated hypotheses about how, when, and where his experiences and labors took shape during the long process of finalizing his method. Indeed, it is worth noting that the history of the Exercises is a history of a practice, not a doctrine. The text is the result of a long process of elaboration based on the experience of a man who dedicated himself to listening to those searching for the path to the soul's salvation. It was from this process that Ignatius enlisted material for the production of a practical manual. This manual had a secondary use, that is, it was written not for those making the Exercises, but for their guide. The work therefore took its definitive written form over the course of many years.

Prior to its definitive public release, sensibly the text was reinforced by a solemn approval on the part of the pope, who guaranteed its immutability and protected it from every inquisitorial suspicion. It was inevitable, therefore, that scholarly interest would focus on the phase of its development that remained in the shadows. The reasons for this are clear: on the one hand, there is the deliberate eradication of the draft notes, probably taken as a measure of self-defense on the part of the author as a consequence of his own misadventures and personal experience concerning the Inquisition's potential for insatiable curiosity. On the other hand, the book met with immense success. This was entirely conceivable, since it was here, even before the Council of Trent, that the Catholic Church's response to the Protestant Reformation took shape. If Luther had swept away ecclesiastical mediation between the faithful and God, Ignatius re-established it on even stronger foundations, offering to perplexed consciences the guide of an expert spiritual director and the promise, thus, of discovering the unique divine direction of their own lives.

In order to apprehend the significance of this, it is worth noting the celebrated definition that is presented in the first annotation: with the name Spiritual Exercises, the intention was "every method of examination of conscience, meditation, contemplation, vocal or mental prayer, and other spiritual activities" [todo modo de examinar la consciencia, de meditar, de contemplar, de orar vocal y mental, y de otras spirituales operaciones], with the aim of understanding "God's will in the ordering of our life for the salvation of our soul" [la voluntad divina en la disposición de su vida para la salud del ánima].9 For the conscience of the individual Christian—whom Luther left alone before God under the weight of the inerasable sinfulness of human nature, but with the certainty of justification by faith—Ignatius offered the

9 Sancti Ignatii de Loyola Exercitia spiritualia, eds. José Calveras and Cándido de Dalmases (Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1969), 140-42.

protection of a personal director and recourse to the sacraments of confession and communion, which now were released from the old collective rhythms of the liturgy. From this moment, the difference between the two European Christianities was to assume traits that were not just theological but also anthropological.

In the transition from that first experience at Manresa, to the release of the definitive text in 1548—consecrated in its canonical form through printing and Paul iii's brief—Ignatius worked continuously on the concrete usage of the Exercises. In this way, the text became like the business card of the Society, the instrument for gathering and governing a renewed and more motivated Catholic flock, but also for selecting members of the order and to immerse them periodically in the original experience of their vocation. One initial fundamental point about this text's use lies in the fact that these were "exercises": they entailed not a doctrine but a practice carried out under the guide of a "director." And it was to him that the task fell of deciding the endpoint towards which his subject might be prompted. Life teachers and spiritual rules had always existed, but this was the first time that the exercise was presented in a form that was both rigorously defined and at the same time flexible, such that it was possible to adapt, as much to those who wanted to remain "in the secular world," as to those who accepted the invitation to enter among fellow-combatants under the just standard.

This was an original feature of the Ignatian method compared with earlier traditions of the literary genre, whose heritage was ancient, rich and varied, and extended well beyond Ignatius's time and the borders of the Christian religion. In general, the genre consisted of texts that religious teachers and guides developed and offered for their disciples' individual meditation. Instead, the Ignatian Exercises had a practical, operative character; they entailed a rigorous and detailed method, such that there was no need for the personal presence of the actual spiritual guide that had prepared them, but only of a faithful facilitator of the method. Precisely because it was defined in such detail, meant that it assumed the form of a book and became an essential part of the rule of the new religious order: it was here that the path was described for becoming a Jesuit, and where one might learn the method for guiding consciences.

The Exercises, nevertheless, were not a book intended for private reading with a view to edification. They had to be studied well by the director who "gave" them; yet neither was the book to appear in the director's hands while the exercises were in progress. Thus the text existed only in so far as it was practiced, transforming into a lived experience under the guidance of the director. He was the key figure: for this reason, the instructions concerning him

were more numerous than the directions provided for the one undertaking the Exercises.10 Those who "gave" the Exercises had to respect the order of passages in accordance with Ignatius's wishes, but they were not to read the text. They also were not to be too literal and rigid in their way of presenting and explaining the program that was to be followed each time. The aim was to undertake an examination of matters concerning the soul, which was seen as a sea agitated by winds, and as a battlefield between evil spirits and good ones.

An initial operation, therefore, was the "discernment of the spirits," in such a way as to choose those that animated the good currents, and stopped the contrary ones. In this way, the battle between angels and demons that medieval iconography identified outside the soul, became a conflict between the same powers that were transformed into the impulses experienced within the life of a human soul. The tempter was always the angel of evil, Satan or Lucifer, but his strategy was totally human, consisting of cunning and violence. It was similar to that of the commander of an army that attacks a city, or a young man that tries to seduce a young girl from a good family: only by exposing the secret of an interior temptation to a confessor or spiritual expert could the danger be expelled. And only the advice of an appropriately competent person could decipher the difference between real sins and simple scruples, and transform the restlessness caused by the scruple into a positive impulse. By this means, an interiorized concept of good and evil came to be adopted, where temptations were not treated as an externally occurring aggression, but as a manifestation of forces to be disciplined and moved along the right path. The process of discerning the spirits entailed helping the person doing the Exercises to establish internal clarity and to identify the direction that God indicated for the soul's salvation. Whoever "gave" the Exercises should not know, or wish to know, his subject's sins, but had to be accurately informed about every thought and every interior disturbance.11 The director's proposed method had to be commensurate with the nature and characteristics of the one receiving the Exercises. It was his task to take into consideration the capacity and dispositions, both of those who stopped at the first levels—examination of conscience, preparation for general confession, and communion—and of those who discovered that they wanted to proceed to the moment of choice, that is, the task of marshalling beneath the flag of the good captain.

10 See Joseph de Guibert, La spiritualité de la Compagnie de Jésus: esquisse historique (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1953), 98.

11 See annotation 17 of the "textus Coloniensis," SanctiIgnatii de Loyola Exercitia spiritualia, 495.

From the early years of practicing the Exercises, the "election" [elección] signified the decision to enter the Society. It is here that we can gage the difference between earlier religious orders and the one proposed by Ignatius. In the reality of daily life in that period, the decision to become "religious"— that is, to choose a state of perfection by entering a religious community—still carried its ancient characteristics: it could come about quite smoothly and easily, often the result of long familiarity with monastic environments from a young age and continuing throughout years of education; or it could be the fruit of an improvised decision, a response to an interior impulse that did not permit delay. From emotional choices like these, a rethinking and abandonment of the vocation might result, sometimes involving a definitive termination of the vocation, or else resulting in its resumption after a time of reflection. This was the usage of the age, for it was possible also to enter and exit religious orders with relative ease: indeed, it was a practice that Cardinal Gian Pietro Carafa (1476-1559), the founder of the Theatines and later Pope Paul IV, identified as an abuse in a famous memorandum outlining the main causes of the church's decadence. For Ignatius, instead, a condition of joining the Jesuits was to undertake long and deep reflection, with a view to establishing solid foundations for the decision to enter, thereby guaranteeing the duration of the vocation. From the beginning, and throughout the history of the Jesuits, there were episodes of young men who knocked at the door of the Society and asked to be admitted on the spot: but these decisions subsequently were filtered by the practice of the Spiritual Exercises.12 And if at the entrance to the Society, the door was not to be found wide open, equally, the way out—the decision to break with the Society and abandon it—was difficult and painful.13

We return, then, to a re-reading of the meditation on the image of the two standards, the point where the first and fundamental step towards entrance to the Society was taken. The two standards are those of Christ and Lucifer, the two captains who, according to military practice, planted their standards and enlisted those willing to gather under their ensigns. The meditation begins with an explanation of the "sentido de la historia," that is, a description and narration of an event with characters, words and actions, intended then for more extended and concentrated meditation. The "histories" are accounts of

12 For a case where this occurred in Paris in 1551, see Iparraguirre, Historia de la práctica de los Ejercicios Espirituales, 1:167.

13 See Pedro de Ribadeneyra, Dialogi ne quali si racconta l'infelice esito d'alcuni, che sono usciti dalla Compagnia di Gesù, composti [...] l'anno 158g, e 1607. Trasportati dalla lingua castigliana nell'italiana dal P. Diego de Zuniga della medesima Compagnia, Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu, Vitae 93, iv-203.

episodes from Scripture or scenes that have been imaginatively constructed. The vision presented for the fourth day is of the whole world as a place of conflict where the armies of the two opposing captains line up and confront each other.

A similar representation of the whole world's terrain already appears at the beginning of the Exercises' first day of the second week: here, the "historia de la cosa" referred to the divine decree of redemption. The scene suggested for mental contemplation was "to see and consider the Three Divine Persons, seated, so to speak, on the royal throne of Their Divine Majesty. They are gazing on the whole face and circuit of the earth, and they see all the peoples in such great blindness, and how they are dying and going down to hell."i4 The three divine persons look at the earth's populations, all destined for hell; they decide that, in order to save them, the second person of the Trinity shall assume a human nature.

The "composición viendo el lugar" [mental representation of the place] suggests the attentive and sequential contemplation of three scenes: first, the globe and the innumerable people that live on it, some white, others black, some living in peace, others at war, some healthy and others sick, some being born and others dying, while they speak, swear, and fight amongst themselves. Then, the gaze rests on three divine people who, from their royal throne, observe men who wander like blind people on the surface of the earth and go towards death and hell. The next directive is to listen to the divine words and decrees of the redeemer. At the end we find the annunciation of the Virgin Mary. The contemplation then follows the stories of the presentation of Jesus in the temple, the flight into Egypt, and finally the election of Jesus, who, as son of his earthly parents, leaves them to go to the temple and occupy himself with his father's work. And at this point, the Exercises arrive at the decisive moment, the choice between the two captains, Christ and Lucifer. It is a choice that regards all Christians generally. But it concerns in a special way a particular group of soldiers located at the center of the Christian army: those apostles and disciples who are ready to gather together in the task to which the captain calls them, that of the conquest of the whole world.

This is the fundamental point of arrival for the path that Ignatius presented to those undertaking the Exercises. The first members of the Society were keenly aware of this, and they gave a great deal of importance to the choice between the two captains and its significance. Jerónimo Nadal paid particular

14 "Ver y considerar las tres personas divinas como en el su solio real o throno de la su divina majestad, cómo miran toda la haz y redondez de la tierra y todas las gentes en tanta ceguedad, y cómo mueren y descienden al infierno." Sancti Ignatii de Loyola Exercitia spiri-tualia, 224-26.

attention to the origins of this meditation; he located it unequivocally in the Manresa period and the episode of the Cardoner vision. He testified that it was Ignatius himself who regularly referred to the episode as the original inspiration for his work, in turn confirmed by Câmara in his memorandum.15 The fact that the first Jesuits agreed on this point proves their awareness that Ignatius's project had the features of something new and pivotal. Also for this reason, the scene of the two kings and their two standards was destined to have a long and remarkable success both inside and outside the Society, embodied in the image of the Society as a compact corps of soldiers of Christ. But how did Ignatius arrive at this image, and through which elements in his personal experiences, religious traditions, ideas, and readings, can the development of this idea be traced?

A second question, in addition, follows the first: did those original elements preserved within the text remain unchanged or did they undergo subsequent transformations, to a point where they assumed a different meaning? These are questions that emerge for those who wish to conduct a historical reading of this celebrated text. Such a reading involves considering the Exercises, not with a view to verifying their effectiveness in the actual métier for which they were written, but rather to reconstruct the nascent movement in which they assumed their textual form, and some of the features of its subsequent development. Naturally this does not entail entering into analysis concerning the merit or otherwise of Ignatius's vision, whether it took place, and what form it took; it entails only the written expression that it assumed in the drafting of the Exercises and that then operated historically in the forms and modes of the text's use. It concerns seeking to understand how that text, immersed in the evolving historical reality of the Society's first century, came to evoke in the minds of its readers a world of images and realities that were different from those of Ignatius.

In addressing the first question, the Society sought to respond to the problem posed by the matter of the sources for the Exercises. Initially, the reply came from Ignatius's contemporaries, who were at pains to distance the Exercises from every suspicion of novelty, that is, of heresy.16 Here, we must

15 See Calveras, "La Ilustración del Cardoner."

16 "Quello che ha dato occasione pare sia la novita, che suol sempre esser soggetta a suspi-tione; et dico novita si della religione, si etiam di quel mezzo che suol fra li altri usare, specialmente delli Essercitii spirituali o, per meglio dirsi, della pratica et modo de quelli (che e nova et non cosi loro in sé)." Fontes narrativi de s. Ignatio de Loyola et de Societatis Iesu initiis, vol. 1, Narrationes scriptae ante annum 1557, eds. Dionisio Fernández Zapico and Cándido de Dalmases (Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1943), 297.

recall that the practice of the spiritual Exercises was a work developed over a substantial period, carefully completed, and finally printed in the 1548 edition. Crucially, it was validated and rendered unassailable through its initial approval by the church's custodians of orthodoxy, and, above all, through the entirely exceptional privilege given to the text in the form of Paul iii's brief, the Pastoralis officii of July 31, 1548. The intention was to distance the work once and for all from the suspicion of heresy, and from any association with new and disturbing elements, and to close thereby the chapter of the Spanish Inquisition's hostile attitude towards Ignatius. For this reason, it was necessary to remove any pretexts for an inquisitorial investigation into the links between Ignatius and the world of alumbradismo, such as the Savonarolan visionary, Sister María de Santo Domingo (c.i485-c.i524), the beata del barco de Avila, whom Ignatius met at Manresa. The result was the eradication of all previous traces of the text's long development, rendering particularly difficult the work of textual philology and historical inquiry. The defensive strategy of the first Jesuits found expression in Nadal's declaration that Ignatius received the contents of the Exercises through prayer ("accepit per orationem"). He stated, furthermore, that there was nothing in them that was novel or unusual, nothing that one could not find in other books, such as the gospels, or in the doctrine of holy men, and that were within reach of every theologian and every person experienced in the way of the Spirit.17

But it is precisely these other books that historical research has tried to identify. Scholarly attention has focused on a number of clues: for example, the book of almost three hundred pages where the young Iñigo—during the initial phase of his conversion and from his readings of Ludolph of Saxony's Life of Christ (1374) and Jacobus de Voragine's Golden Legend (c.1260)—seems to have

17 Jerónimo Nadal writes that at Manresa, "per idem hoc tempus accepit per orationem illas meditationes quas isti Patres Exercitia spiritualia appellare solent, quae sunt orationis quaedam methodus, ac eam litteris mandavit." Fontes narrativi de s. Ignatio de Loyola et de Societatis Iesu initiis, vol. 2, Narrationes scriptae annis 1557-1574, ed. Cándido de Dalmases (Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1951), 241. And again, Nadal writes: "Nihil fere habent quod non in aliis libris reperiatur. [...] Nihil [...] quam quod in Scriptura alias continetur." Directoria Exercitiorum spiritualium (1540-1599), ed. Ignacio Iparraguirre (Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1955), 120. "Nihil quod ex medio Evangelio et doctrina non sit sanctorum desumptum [...] omnia [...] communia et cuivis theologo pervia, et cuivis etiam in via spiritus versato obvia." P. Hieronymi Nadal Comentarii de Instituto Societatis Iesu, ed. Michael Nicolau (Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1962), 843-44. On the significant authority given to Nadal's account of the vision at Cardoner in the historiography of the Society, see Enrique García Hernán, Ignacio de Loyola (Madrid: Taurus, 2013), 125-26.

drawn passages on the life of Christ and the saints, written in elegant and accurate script, using red ink for the words of Christ and blue for the words of the Virgin Mary.i8 To this was added his discovery of Thomas a Kempis's Imitation of Christ (c.1418-1427), at the time attributed to Jean Gerson (1363-1429), and which Ignatius would have read for the first time at Manresa: from then on, he would recommend the text to others, wishing to have it near him and calling it affectionately, "Gersoncito."

Is it possible that these texts alone constituted the patrimony of readings and of literary models from which the Exercises were born? Of course it was inevitable that historical research would produce further hypotheses. The idea of attributing literary erudition to Ignatius did not enjoy a warm welcome among the heirs and custodians of the Society's traditions: Karl Rahner ironically observed the professorial seriousness [professorale Ernst] of those who sought to adorn the solitary meditation of the young Iñigo of Loyola with scaffolding brimming with Latin and Spanish texts.19 In fact, whilst much credit has been given to the hypothesis concerning the influence on Ignatius of the Ejercitatorio de la vida espiritual, published in 1500 by the Benedictine García de Cisneros (1455-1510), Erasmus of Rotterdam's influence has been much more debated. Ignatius's knowledge of Cisneros's writings may be dated to his time at Montserrat: this was the decisive moment when, through his meeting with a confessor, Ignatius's decision to leave the life of a knight to become a pilgrim, had grown to maturity. The confessor recommended that he read Cisneros, according to a tradition that was recorded by his first biographer, Pedro de Ribadeneyra.2° This account has been the subject of some debate, but still is considered likely to have taken place.21

18 This point, taken from the debated "Autobiography" of Luis Gongalves da Cámara, has passed into the modern biography of Ignatius; see García-Villoslada, Sant'Ignazio di Loyola, 200. According to the Benedictine tradition, in Montserrat Ignatius was under the spiritual guidance of the Benedictine monk Chanon, and "ab eo accepit Exercitatorium Vitae spiritualis, magni illius et excellenti sanctitate viri Garciae Cisnerii [...] quo et ipse Sanctus Ignatius mirabiles in Vita spirituali progressus fecit; et e quo potissimum, post aliquot annos, sua exercitia elucubravit." Gabriel Bucelin and Robert Schindele, Menologium Benedictinum sanctorum, beatorum atque illustrium eiusdem Ordinis (Veldkirch: Bilius, 1655), 535 col. 2.

19 "Das führte zu nichts." Hugo Rahner, Ignatius von Loyola und das geschichtliche Werden seiner Frömmigkeit (Graz-Salzburg-Wien: Anton Pustet, 1947), 34; English translation: The Spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, an Account of its Historical Development (Westminster, md: Newman Press, 1953).

20 See John W. O'Malley, The FirstJesuits (Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press, 1993), 46.

21 See García Hernán, Ignacio de Loyola, 118-19.

But, on the other hand, it has been noted that Ignatius would have been able to find the suggestion for the image of the two standards in Erasmus's Enchiridion militis Christiani, where the "Christian soldier" must choose between the standard of the cross and the that of Satan.22 And certainly, if Ignatius were a Humanist and bibliophile, his bookshelves would have included the text. In that period in Spain, the work was widely debated, as well as being the subject of floods of heresy allegations by members of the religious orders. Today, Erasmus has been Catholicized and no longer attracts the suspicion or accusations that made him unacceptable to the Spanish friars, and that made him condemned by the conference of Valladolid in 1527. This helps us understand why any association with his name was considered dangerous in the young Society of Ignatius. And perhaps a similar motivation can be identified in Ignatius's own explicit distancing from Erasmus, for he said that the writer left him cold.23

However, it remains that two insurmountable factors challenge the hypothesis that Ignatius read the Enchiridion militis Christiani during the Spiritual Exercises' initial drafting phase: the first is the fact that Erasmus's writing at the time was accessible only in Latin, a language that Ignatius did not know. In accepting the hypothesis, then, we would have to allow that manuscript copies of the Enchiridion circulated in Castilian, something impossible to prove. The second factor is of a more substantial nature, regarding the contents and orientation of the two writings. Erasmus's Christian soldier is a reader of the gospels who seeks to imitate Jesus like a living example, and to follow the principles of the evangelical system of fraternity and non-violence. In the Ignatian text, we find a completely different language: the evangelical virtues are "continencia" and "virginidad," seeking the "perfección evangélica" that is reached through taking religious vows. Here, we are at the polar opposite of the Erasmian criticisms directed at the religious orders of the day.

It is true, of course, that the Ignatian Exercises contain numerous passages from the gospels: but they concern miracles, mysteries, the apostolic call to mission, the pains of Christ's passion, episodes with invitations to meditate on the virtues of obedience and on passages traditionally selected and dramatized from the prayers of the rosary. Even if reading the gospels was indeed

22 See Annegret Henkel, "Posibles fuentes comunes a Ignacio de Loyola y Martín Lutero," in Las fuentes de los Ejercicios espirituales de San Ignacio: actas del simposio internacional (Loyola, 75-79 Septiembre 1997), ed. Juan Plazaola (Bilbao: Ediciones Mensajero, 1998), 299-338, here 310.

23 See O'Malley, FirstJesuits, 256-57; 260-64.

recommended to those undertaking the Exercises, it was advised that such reading was to be accompanied by books on the imitation of Christ and the lives of the saints.24 While Erasmian meditation constituted an invitation to an evangelical ethic as a guide for human relationships in daily life, Ignatius's meditation was geared towards practicing the sacraments of confession and communion, and towards obedience to the precepts of the church. For these two figures, then, there was a radical difference between the traditional asceticism of one and the Humanistic morality of the other. It is no coincidence that Erasmus marked the beginning of a tradition of radical heresies, such as that of Miguel Servet (c.1509-1553), while Ignatius concluded his Exercises with the rules for "thinking, judging, and feeling with the Church," which might be encapsulated by the famous invitation to believe that something white is black if the church judges it to be so ("debemos siempre tener para en todo acertar, que lo blanco que yo veo, creer que es negro, si la Iglesia hierarchica assi lo determina").

If, instead, we turn our attention from Erasmus to a number of figures from the religious orders, who took advantage of the printing press to circulate their formulae for how to attain salvation, we find an embarrassment of choice. We can take as an example a work where Ignatius could have found useful suggestions for his own text, not only for the visions of the two kings and the two standards, but also for its title. The book was written by Antonio da Atri (d. 1522), an Italian Franciscan who lived at his order's convent in Jerusalem between 1500 and 1505. He died a little before Ignatius's pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His book enjoyed considerable success: we know of at least seven Italian editions in the sixteenth century, the first of which was published in Venice in 1514. The title would have appealed to Ignatius: Exercitio spirituale.25

24 "Para la segunda semana, y así para adelante, mucho aprovecha el leer algunos ratos en los libros de Imitatione Christi o de los Evangelios y de vidas de sanctos." Sancti Ignatii de Loyola Exercitia spiritualia, 222.

25 Exercitio spirituals. In questo libro se contengono li quattro principali beneficii elargiti dal summo optimo maximo Dio all'humana generatione [...]. El quale libro e stato composto novamente dal venerabile patre frate Antonio de Atri frate de la observantia de Santo Francisco, lo quale testifica tutte queste cose haude (!) extincte etredutte insemi da molti libri antiquissimi in nello loco de Monte Syon in nella Citta de Hierusalem, dove sua venerabile paternita e stato et demorato defamiglia circa anni cinque al tempo che ilpatre Frate Mauro Hispano fo guardiano in detto loco (Venice: Marchio Sessa, 1536). I am grateful to Piero Bellettini, Director of the Biblioteca dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna, for having made available to me a reproduction of this work. The first edition was published in Venice in 1514 for Iacopo de Penci from Lecco, with the title: Exercitio spirituale et i quattro benefici di Cristo. The other editions (1522, 1540, 1552, 1564, 1568) are all Venetian. For Antonio Ronci

None of the scholarly investigations into the many books that Ignatius might have read has ever taken this work into consideration. Yet we are dealing with a tree that stands out in the midst of a forest of devotional literature above which Ignatius's work itself had to rise to a great height. And the similarities and possible evocations are evident: Antonio da Atri's brief text offers to the reader a "contemplation" of the "great counsel in the eternal consistory of the most holy Trinity" [magno consiglio nel eterno consistorio de la santissima trinita]. In this supreme council, the three persons of the Trinity discuss who among them should become incarnate to redeem sinful humanity, which is condemned from birth. A similar theme can be found in the "mental representation of the place" that Ignatius proposes: there is a description of the discussion that takes place within the Trinity and the decision that is taken, immediately followed by the narrative of the son's incarnation. At the same time, however, this textual comparison highlights the difference between the method described in the Ignatian manual, and the visionary devotion contained in the Franciscan text, which is the transposition into a book of the themes and images that characterized Franciscan preaching. This is the key to Antonio da Atri's Exercitio description of the divine dialogue by way of introducing readers to the history of the divine plan of redemption. Instead, in the Ignatian text, the presentation of the image is inherent to the Exercises' methodology, where mental images are part of an interior process with precise guidelines overseen by the trained spiritual director.

One thing is certain: Ignatius had no need to read in a book that soldiers recognized themselves in the captain's standard and that they gathered together under it. He experienced this in person. The author of the Exercises was a true Christian knight: during his early education in the courtly and knightly environment of his noble birth, the young Ignatius had asked for and obtained the privilege to carry arms, which he subsequently entrusted to the Virgin Mary in the sanctuary of Montserrat on deciding to become a pilgrim.26 The standards that were familiar to him were those of Christ and Muhammad, the cross and the crescent-moon. The literature of the day—from Erasmus to the chivalrous romances circulating in the palaces and courts where Ignatius grew up—borrowed its images from the reality of war between two armed religions that the young Iñigo di Loyola knew well. Those two religions clashed on Iberian soil until the taking of Granada in 1492, and afterwards an echo of the victorious "re-conquest" remained in many people's minds: the news of

da Atri (1430/40-1522) we can list two more books: a Confronto spirituale (Venice: Marchio da Sessa, 1504), and La vita del glorioso apostolo et evangelista Ioanni (Venice: Nicolo Zoppino, 1522).

26 García Hernán, Ignacio de Loyola, 77.

Pope Julius ii's appeal for a crusade in 1511 was sufficient to reignite those triumphalist memories in the courtly milieu that Ignatius frequented.

The memory of the crusade and of the conquest of Jerusalem was the theme of a song, "El hombre armado," composed by Juan de Anchieta (1462-1523), a cleric of Azpeitia who was much acquainted with Ignatius's father and his household environment. This did not mean that, upon abandoning the arms to follow Christ's standard along a different road, Ignatius then banished from his thoughts the ideals of a holy war against the infidel. Neither can we forget that his project, which took him towards Barcelona, was intended as a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The vision in the Spiritual Exercises of the two cities, Jerusalem and Babylon, was born from there: it was the medieval vision of a world locked in the conflict between Christians and Muslims within the Mediterranean space. For Ignatius, at that time, the vast stage of the wider world that the Europeans only recently had discovered, was not yet open, although it was a stage that would underpin the work of the Jesuits from the very beginning of the Society. His aim was to reach the Holy Land, and to stay there. When finally he arrived in Jerusalem in September 1523, it was the refusal of him by the brothers of the custodians of the Holy Sepulcher that prevented Ignatius from fulfilling his plans. The loss of the travel diary that he kept as a matter of course, like all pilgrims, prevents us from discovering the details of his experience of that pilgrimage.

But, if research into the sources offers few leads for identifying the wellspring of the Spiritual Exercises, it is the overall religious landscape that emerges around it, that reveals the crowded nature of the competition that Ignatius eventually won. The large number of spiritual guidance texts that were developed and circulated at the time underlines how common it was for teachers of religious life to be searching for a public. In many ways, these texts seemed to be saying the same thing: in such times of widespread anxiety and religious conflict, the search for a path to salvation entailed abandoning the usual certainties and practices, entrusting the search instead to new teachers and special methods. The novelty of the printing press using movable type permitted an increase in the spread of messages that, until then, had found expression mainly through preaching and oral teaching. The new teachers were figures gifted with a special appeal. In their writings, they cited visions and prophecies, and above all, they promised to those who followed them that they would obtain victory over themselves and be elevated to perfection. If we cannot say for certain what constituted the literary heritage of Ignatius, a historical reconstruction of the ideas that were circulating at the time, permits us to ascertain how vast and dense the forest was, with works generated by the voices of religious life's many teachers. While many of these teachers seemed to be saying the same thing in different ways, it is precisely through a

comparison between them that the distinctiveness and originality of Ignatius's work becomes clear.

We can verify this by considering two specimens of devotional literature that circulated in the early sixteenth century, as much in Spain, as in Italy. They were texts and teachings that promised to demonstrate how to control sinful impulses, illuminate the shadows of fear and ignorance, and teach the path for directing and conforming one's life to the will of God. The first was a spiritual teacher, Battista Carioni da Crema (c.1460-1534), whose work had much in common with that of Ignatius. He worked as counselor and guide to an intimate group of disciples and pious women.27 He also left a lasting legacy of his thoughts and teachings, through the birth and turbulent growth of a congregation of devout women and men, which became the religious order of the Barnabites. Battista da Crema was born a generation earlier than Ignatius (around the mid-fifteenth century), and was the author of a number of devotional texts. His Via de aperta verita [Way of Open Truth]—published in 1523 and, in a new revised edition, in 1525—proposed a model of devotional life founded on frequent confession and communion, and on the exercise of introspection, which aimed to rid the soul of the evil passions and tendencies that malignly guided it and carried it towards sin. The optimistic anthropology of Battista da Crema exulted the capacity of human free will to defeat evil and obtain eternal salvation. Surrounded by a group of disciples composed of men and women—among whom was the noble countess Ludovica Torelli di Guastalla (1500-1569)—he developed for them an "opera utilissima della cog-nitione et vittoria di se stesso" [most useful work on the knowledge and victory of the self] (Venice, 1531), dedicated to instructing readers on how to control passions and triumph over interior sources of evil.

His ideas had many convergences with those of Ignatius, starting with the concept that humans could have victory over themselves and re-order their own lives, or that they could help others do so on the basis of an examination of conscience. The anthropological optimism of his ideas is recognizable in the same formula of "knowledge and victory over the self" that we find in the title of the Ignatian Exercises: "Exercicios espirituales para vencer a si mismo y ordenar su vida" [Spiritual exercises to overcome oneself and to order one's life]. This theological orientation led to accusations against Battista da Crema for Semi-Pelagianism in roughly the same years as the Inquisition's interest in Ignatius and his teachings: this did not prevent Fra Battista from inspiring

27 For a biographical profile and details of his works, see Sosio Pezzella, "Carioni Battista," Dizionario biografico degli italiani, vol. 20, (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1977), 115-18.

Antonio Maria Zaccaria (1502-1539) from establishing the Congregation of the Barnabites in 1533, and nourishing a form of spiritual teaching that could be exercised by people who enjoyed the fame of direct illumination by way of visions and divine inspiration. Chief among these were the preacher, Fra Serafino da Fermo (c.1496-1540), and especially Virginia Negri (1508-1555), who entered among the "Angeliche" with the name of Paola Antonia, and was considered the true founding authority within the order, where she was given the title "divine mother and teacher."28

While the writings of Battista da Crema were not a source for the Exercises, the similarities between the two programs are profound. Indeed, it is not by chance that the historical fortunes of the Barnabites and Jesuits bore such a striking resemblance to each other, with both facing similar accusations and dramatic inquisitorial investigations. As late as 1564, Diego Lainez expressed his approval for an edition of Negri's Lettere spiritwaliP even though the work was condemned by the Inquisition. In general, however, the Ignatian Exercises and the Society of Jesus developed in such a way as to avoid many of the misfortunes of the Barnabites: while a female congregation of Angeliche was established alongside the male Barnabites, the Jesuits firmly and prudently opposed an equivalent female branch for the Society. In addition, visionary experiences of interior illumination and prophecy came to be managed by the Jesuits with great caution: several cases that emerged were resolved through silencing or maintaining some distance from them.

The second specimen of devotional literature relevant to our discussion here—and so intimately tied to the concrete practice of spiritual direction in the period—is the celebrated Alfabeto cristiano, written in 1536 and published in Venice in 1555 by Juan de Valdes (c.1505-1541) for the noblewoman Giulia Gonzaga (1513-1566). This text is very different from Ignatius's, and is written by an author who freely drew on Erasmus and Luther and addressed himself to a close circle of fellow-initiates, but who had his grounding in the same Spanish context of the alumbrados. First in Spain and then in Italy, Ignatius and Juan de Valdes both tested out their proposals through contact with people who were in search of a way to achieve direct contact with the world of the divine, by way of meditation and the imitation of Christ. As authors, the two Spaniards both worked to provide instruction in spiritual formation for lay people desiring to

28 See Elena Bonora, "Negri Virginia," Dizionario biografico degli italiani, vol. 78 (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 2013), 157-60.

29 Lettere spirituali della ven. serva di Dio angelica Paula Antonia de Negri [...] rivedute, esami-nate, corrette et approvate dal padre Giacomo Laínez [...] nell'anno mdlxiii, Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana, I 25.

depart from a state of restlessness and uncertainty about the direction that their lives should take. And the common feature of this literature was to offer tormented consciences an accessible path, and the guidance of a teacher, to arrive at "mystical spiritual perfection."3°

By comparing texts belonging to the same editorial current, however, the profound difference with the work that Ignatius developed over many years, becomes clear. The Spiritual Exercises do not limit themselves to proposing a method for self-conquest, or vanquishing bad inclinations; they also advise the person undertaking the Exercises to "ordenar su vida," and to orientate it towards helping others, lining up under the right standard and preparing for battle. The Ignatian proposal is distinct from others precisely because of the call to arms of a select corps of combatants well trained in the tests contained in the Exercises. Those given admission to test themselves in this way were asked to draw on the sum of their experiences to arrive at a decision about their whole life that would change it immediately. This decision entailed responding to the invitation to enter into the militia of Christ as the only alternative to the service of the devil. At this point, Ignatius abandons his sequential structure of mental pathways and proposes a stark choice: in one direction lies the king of Babylon's battlefield, and in the other the field of Jerusalem, where a benign sovereign sends his apostles, disciples, and other ministers to teach poverty and humility, and to work in the aid of others. This choice required committing oneself to fulfilling the divine sovereign's plan to conquer the whole world and to do so using methods that were different from those featured in the Mediterranean wars of religion and power.

Whoever took that path had to adopt a special kind of discipline, one delineated and punctuated with the rules that conclude the Exercises and that contain the main principle, "to be obedient in everything to the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our Holy Mother the hierarchical Church" [obedescer en todo a la vera sposa de Christo nuestro Señor, que es la nuestra sancta madre Iglesia hierárchica]. From this rule, flow all the other subsequent lists of consequences, and their commendations: sacramental confession with a priest (ideally weekly), hearing mass, taking religious vows, venerating reliquaries of saints, honoring the precepts of the church and the doctrine of positive and Scholastic theology; caution also was advised in speaking of predestination and proclaiming faith, to avoid giving people reason for not doing good works, something that was serious and worrying "in

30 "Breve et singular via di poter pervenire a la mistica spiritual perfettione." Girolamo Regino, introductory letter in Battista da Crema, Via de aperta verita (Venice: Bastiano Vicentino, 1523), ii. See Gabriella Zarri, Libri di spirito. Editoria religiosa in volgare neisecoli XV-XVII (Turin: Rosenberg & Sellier, 2009), 106.

times as dangerous as our own" [en nuestros tiempos tan periculosos]. And the rule of obedience to ecclesiastical authority pushed one towards that extreme affirmation that we have already noted: if I see white but the church hierarchy says that it is black, it is necessary to believe that what I see is black.31

The second question that we posed regards how the world of images presented to those who undertook the Exercises came to change. As we have seen, the geographical map of the world, as presented by Ignatius, is of medieval design, divided between the two capitals of Jerusalem and Babylon. It was a map that was formed, not according to the geographical knowledge of the time, but by the paradigms of the medieval mystical tradition. But the world was changing: while Ignatius moved between Manresa, Venice, and Jerusalem, Charles V (1500-1558) adopted the emblem of the pillars of Hercules with the motto "further beyond" [plus oultre]. The expansion of the known world for Europeans was to enter gradually into the mental horizons of the Society until it became a fundamental theme of its identity. The globalization of the Jesuits' mental horizons is a well-noted phenomenon: starting with the letters of Francis Xavier (1506-1552) from the Far East, the aim for religious conquest that initially was geared towards the Muslim Mediterranean changed location, nature, and methods. The results of this process are verifiable in all aspects of the life of the Society; here we will highlight only those that are discernible in the symbolic images that dominated a large part of Jesuit intellectual production. We can observe this easily enough, for example, by browsing the images that adorn Daniele Bartoli's History of the Society. To provide only one example, on the first page of his Asia, published in Genoa by the printer, Guasco, in 1656, we see a Jesuit with a crucifix in his hand; havingjust disembarked from his ship, he studies the geographical map of Tartary surrounded by a crowd of people of different color and dress (Figure 1).32

Further confirmation can be found in the work that the Jesuits of the Flanders-Belgium Province used to celebrate the first century of the Society. Among the many festive initiatives that were organized in such a difficult and conflictual religious environment as the old Habsburg Low Countries, there was also the production of a large volume dedicated to what Daniel van Papenbroeck defined as "the enjoyment of the erudites": in this way, a large thousand-page volume came to be developed for publication.33 The book

31 "Debemos siempre tener para en todo acertar, que lo blanco que yo veo, creer que es negro, si la Iglesia hierárchica assí lo determina." SanctiIgnatii de Loyola Exercitia spiritua-lia, 404-16.

32 Daniello Bartoli, Dell'istoria della Compagnia di Gesu, 1653-1673. L'Asia (Genoa: Guasco, 1656).

33 Imago primi saeculi Societatis Iesu a Provincia Fladro-Belgica eiusdem societatis repraesen-tata (Antwerp: Officina Plantiniana Balthasaris Moreti, 1640). The work was published in

figure 1 AJesuitmissionary studies the map of Tatary. FromDaniello Bartoli, Dell'istoria della Compagnia di Gesu, 1653-1673. L'Asia (Genoa: Guasco, 1656). COURTESY OF BIBLIOTECA STORICA DELLA COMPAGNIA DI GESU, ROMA.

contained a systematic use of symbolic images (as many as 125). No longer do the illustrations depict the world stage as a Mediterranean sphere lacerated by conflict between Jerusalem and Muslim Babylon. Instead, the image that had evolved was of a globe where the work of the Jesuits extended to every corner of the world. There is a geographical map that shows the two faces of the world map, the Eucharistic one, and the American one, accompanied by a passage from the prophet Malachi and including the inscription, Societas Iesu toto orbe diffusa implet prophetiam Malachiae [The Society of Jesus spread all over the world according to the prophecy of Malachi] (Figure 2).34

There is another image that visually represents the progress of hours across the globe's gridlines: we are reminded in the caption that, thanks to the Society of Jesus, the sacrifice of the mass is celebrated day and night without interruption (Figure 3).35 Other images present the theme of the missions in the Indies, representing the world map and the caption, "Unus non sufficit orbis" [one world does not suffice] (Figure 4)36 But it is the symbolic image of the celestial trumpets announcing the Gospel to the whole world that seems the ideal conclusion to a long earlier phase in the Society: these trumpets represent the work of Jesuits in spreading the Christian faith across the whole world (Figure 5)37 The accompanying caption is from a text that quotes the famous passage from Psalm 18, "In omnem terram exivit sonus eorum" [Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth] interpreted by Saint Paul as the prophecy of the apostolic preaching of the Gospel; it declares that it is the Society that defends the apostolic faith throughout the world. In this way, the previous century's protracted debate over whether the apostles' voice truly had been heard by all peoples, finally was closed. And it was the Jesuits, the new apostles, that brought to completion the work of those ancients, and fulfilled the will of the divine sovereign to conquer the whole world: "Voluntatis meae est expugnare orbem universum et omnes hostes" [I want to conquer the whole world and to defeat every enemy].

Translation by Camilla Russell

two languages, Latin and Flemish. See John W. O'Malley (ed.), Art, Controversy, and the Jesuits: the Imago primi saeculi Societatis Iesu (1640) (Philadelphia: Saint Joseph's University Press, 2015).

34 Imago primi saeculi, c.318. It is reproduced in the appendix to the volume by Lydia Salviucci Insolera, L'"Imago primi saeculi" (1540) e il significato dell'immagine allegorica nella Compagnia di Gesù. Genesi efortuna dellibro (Rome: Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2004), 282, fig. xxiva.

35 Imago primi saeculi, c.319. Salviucci Insolera, L'"Imago primi saeculi", 282, fig. xxivb.

36 Imago primi saeculi, c.326. Salviucci Insolera, L'"Imago primi saeculi", 286, fig. xxviiia.

37 "Societas fidem toto orbe divulgat." Imago primi saeculi, c.320; Salviucci Insolera, L'"Imago primi saeculi", 283, fig. xxva.


SocictasIçsv totoorbediffufaimpletprophetuöl

' " Malachias

Abortu folisvfque ad occafum magnum eft nômen mcum in Gcntibus : & in omni loco fàcrificatiii & offcrtur no mini meooblatio mundx.MnUh.i,

fUti V*tt ; fiffUx Occttfm Ortuty Um didicit fiexo procubmjfe genu, lur* fi&rtttt dijMiliit LûioU Jîhtiritum 1 tidyij fupremi Kummu arma tuht. Tlui vltri ifsidmt rhabiqiK amuque Liora,

PIm lAir* Ocaduc fxa iropbaa mart, Ajprmt tinmen ttrrù. lorn pLudit I e s v

Ï*fh(â, a- trtiïiu tendit m a/ira mumU. Em>f4 4tq,u Afi4, pnfiù incogait* fidù

Anplcx* eft Datum fubAita terra fidem. Horn m a hoc ftppiex pofiio t.mdem hofbiu №»

hmpu mAtujfu ChirU fuptrba feras. Ecc, Up*,, Indu/, JUMtr, d,te.,que MoluccL Afmium m foc U sv nomme humeri mmil >*>»** Uu Kerens cinumjomt orb cm

i FrV* àJ (rtÎT'' '¿ml"" »*«** '

f'Jr!. • ffmmim £ff*f* m orbem, permit pw 'viiïff m orbe Dtum.


figure 2 The Society ofJesus spread all over the world according to the prophecy of Malachi. Emblemfrom Imago primi saeculi (1640), c.318. courtesy of JOHN j. burns library, boston college.

The sacrifice of the mass is celebrated day and night without interruption. Emblem from Imago primi saeculi (1640), c.319.



Jesuit missions in the Indies: one world does not suffice. Emblem from Imago primi saeculi (1640), c.326.



The Society of Jesus spread the faith throughout the world. Emblemfrom Imago primi saeculi (1640), c.320.