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A Pilgrim’s Testament: The Memoirs of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Edited by Barton T. Geger, SJ

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.

This book is outstanding in its direction and simplicity. It contains letters, documents, journals, and all sorts of information that allow us to peer into the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola in a way that we have not experienced before. We see the sensitive and kind Ignatius who on page 48 a story about him being with a rich Spaniard for conversation and prayer and the author says: “Ever since Manresa, the pilgrim had the habit, whenever he ate with anyone, never to speak at table, except to answer briefly; instead, he listened to what people were saying, and noted some things that he could use as opportunities to speak about God. When the meal was finished, he did so.´

In speaking with Fr. Goncalves, he states: “..he had always grown in devotion, that is, ease in finding God, and now more than ever in his whole life. Every time, at any hour, that he wished to find God, he found him. Even now, he often had visions, especially of the kind mentioned earlier, when he saw Christ as the sun. This often happened while he was engaged in important matters, and that gave him confirmation. (page 83). In Appendix 1, the timeline of Ignatius life is offered. One not only sees the complexity of his life but the willingness to work tirelessly for the Lord. Appendix 2 gives us a way to understand the Pilgrim’s testament. We also see in notes in the text the people who influenced Ignatius during his lifetime. This is such an inspirational and complete text of Ignatius. I keep going back to find new quotations that are meaningful to all. It is a great book to have in your heart and on your shelf.

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