Approbation of the Latin Text

The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Translated from the Autograph, By Father Elder Mullan, S.J.

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The Exercises were offered for ecclesiastical censure at Rome. The text submitted was not, however, the one which is here reproduced, but two Latin translations, one in more polished Latin — since called the Vulgate Version — and one a literal rendering. The opinions expressed on these versions, as also the formal approval of Paul III, are given here, as applying quite entirely to the text from which the translations were made.


We have read everything compiled in the volume: it has greatly pleased us and seemed remarkably conducive to the salvation of souls.

–The Cardinal of Burgos

We grant leave to print the work; it is worthy of all praise and very profitable to the Christian profession.

–PHILIP, Vicar.

Such holy Exercises cannot but afford the greatest profit to any one who studies them. They should therefore be received with open arms.

–Fr. Aegidius Foscararius, Master of the Sacred Palace



We have read these Spiritual Exercises, They greatly please us and we judge them worthy of being received and highly esteemed by all who practise the orthodox faith.

–The Cardinal of Burgos

–We grant leave to print this work; it is worthy of all praise and very profitable to the Christian profession.

–PHILIP, Vicar.

As the Christian religion cannot long subsist without some spiritual exercises and meditations — for the Psalmist says: In my meditation a fire flames out — I think none more appropriate than these, which undoubtedly have had their source in the study of the Scriptures and in long experience.

–Fr. Aegidius Foscararius, Master of the Sacred Palace



The cares of the pastoral charge of the whole flock of Christ entrusted to Us and Our devotion to the glory and praise of God impel Us to embrace what helps the salvation of souls and their spiritual profit, and cause Us to hearken to those who petition Us for what can foster and nourish piety in the faithful.

So Our beloved son, Francis de Borgia, Duke of Gandia, has lately brought it to Our notice that Our beloved son Ignatius de Loyola, General of the Society of Jesus, erected by Us in Our beloved City and confirmed by Our Apostolic authority, has compiled certain instructions, or Spiritual Exercises, drawn from Holy Writ and from experience in the spiritual life, and has reduced them to an order which is excellently adapted to move piously the souls of the faithful, and that they are very useful and wholesome for the spiritual consolation and profit of the same. This the said Duke Francis has come to know by report from many places and by clear evidence at Barcelona, Valencia and Gandia.

Hence he has humbly begged Us to cause the aforesaid instructions and Spiritual Exercises to be examined, so that their fruit may be more spread, and more of the faithful may be induced to use them with greater devotion. And he has begged Us, should We find them worthy, to approve and praise them and out of Our Apostolic goodness to make other provision in the premisses.

We, therefore, have caused these instructions and Exercises to be examined, and by the testimony of and report made to Us by Our beloved son John Cardinal Priest of the Title of St. Clement, Bishop of Burgos and Inquisitor, Our venerable Brother Philip, Bishop of Saluciae, and Our Vicar General in things spiritual at Rome, and Our beloved son Aegidius Foscararius, Master of Our Sacred Palace, have found that these Exercises are full of piety and holiness and that they are and will be extremely useful and salutary for the spiritual profit of the faithful.

We have, besides, as We should, due regard to the rich fruits which Ignatius and the aforesaid Society founded by him are constantly producing everywhere in the Church of God, and to the very great help which the said Exercises have proved in this.

Moved, then, by this petition, with the aforesaid authority, by these presents, and of Our certain knowledge, We approve, praise, and favor with the present writing the aforesaid instructions and Exercises and all and everything contained in them, and We earnestly exhort all and each of the faithful of both sexes everywhere to employ instructions and Exercises so pious and to be instructed by them.

[Here follow regulations for the diffusion of the book, and then confirmatory clauses.]

Given at St. Mark’s in Rome under the seal of the Fisherman, 31 July, 1548, in the 14th year of Our Pontificate.

Blo. El. Fulginen.


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