Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Ignatius of Loyola: The Pilgrim Saint

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Ignatius of Loyola: The Pilgrim Saint

Article excerpt

Ignatius of Loyola: The Pilgrim Saint. By Jose Ignacio Tellechea Idigoras. Translated, edited, and with a preface by Cornelius Michael Buckley, S.J. (Chicago: Loyola University Press. 1994. Pp. xxviii, 628. $12.95 paperback.)

The present work is more than a biography; it is a very personal and intimate portrait of the author's patron saint. Tellechea is a Renaissance historian, and while the book is historically and thoroughly accurate, it also reveals evidence of hero-worship. The author has read widely in the area of Ignatiana and is familiar with the saint's letters, Autobiography, Spiritual Exercises, and Diary, as well as the writings of the early Jesuits (e.g., Polanco, Favre, Xavier, and Nadal), and the many historical documents relating to Ignatius published in the Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu series. The author has, in addition, culled countless biographical details from the lengthy depositions made by witnesses at the time of Ignatius' beatification. This vast amount of material he has mastered and over the years has so often reflected and meditated upon it that it has become part of him. Thus he admits (p. xix) that the reader will find nothing original in his pages; rather, his contribution is the manner in which he sees and feels Ignatius (p. xx). He hopes the reader will see and feel him in the same way.

The author intends his book to be factually thorough and complete (because of his use of the sources), but presents Ignatius' life in popular form. Tellechea eschews all footnotes. The book is leisurely written and reflective, given to conjectures and surmises, often repetitious and sometimes yields to psychologizing, but always interesting and engaging. …

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