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A Saint Under Trial: Ignatius of Loyola Between Alcalá and Rome

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Chapter Summary

The question of Ignatius of Loyola's orthodoxy, especially during the years prior to the establishment of the Society of Jesus, has always been a controversial subject for Jesuit scholarship. Loyola experienced eight trials in Spain, France, and Italy in the course of his life. The undoubtedly positive reconstruction of events furnished by the Jesuit biographies of Ignatius, left in the shadows until recent times, reveal aspects of the life and thought of the founder of the Society of Jesus that need to be carefully reconsidered. At Alcalá, Ignatius organized his first community. It included a number of female members. The fact that Ignatius carried with him on his travels the favorable judgments pronounced at his various inquisitorial trials is clear evidence of the insecurity he felt whether he had overcome once and for all doubts about the orthodoxy of his preaching and of his Spiritual Exercises.

Keywords: Ignatius of Loyola; Jesuit biographies; society of Jesus



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