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June 1, 2023 — There’s always the temptation for religious orders to lionize their founder. To point to a single person and say, “There! That’s the way to live the Christian life! Just do what they did.”

Despite the number of parishes and programs and centers named for Ignatius of Loyola, the man himself was pretty resolute on the need to have your own experience of God. His experience was exactly that: his experience. The unique way God was at work in his life. Ignatian spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises are gifts to us so that we can come to encounter God in our own way.

So, we can look to Ignatius himself for inspiration. But as we should expect, the Ignatian tradition – and the Society of Jesus – has a vast array of diverse and fascinating figures. Saints and blessed, examples we can look to from the very first days of the Society to the present. Look to Ignatius, yes, but look also to the countless other sources of inspiration for living the Christian life.

To help us do exactly this, the Institute for Advanced Jesuits Studies at Boston College has published a new, wonderful book: “Jesuit Saints and Blesseds: Spiritual Profiles.” The book traces the history of the Society through the lens of its holy people and is a companion for us as we explore our own paths to holiness.

Back again on the podcast to talk about the book and Jesuit saints is Fr. Casey Beaumier, a Jesuit and the director of the Institute for Advanced Jesuits Studies. The conversation spans such important topics from which Jesuit saints are most inspirational in sustaining one’s vocation to which Jesuit saints most deserve an academic building named after them.

(Hint: The answer is Joseph Pignatelli, and if you want to read up on him, there’s a link below where we’ve also included a link to the book and the Institute.)

Additional Resources:

AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.

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