Enrique García Hernán
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Who is Ignacio and what did he posses not only to be proclaimed saint by the Catholic Church, but also to be able to fund and disseminate around the world the Society of Jesus? His identity was forged through different relationships and social networks that he weaved through friendship, and reinforced through continuous letter correspondence. What we know about him is that although he was a soldier, he was not a man of war; he was not a famous noble either, although he did have relationship with them; he did not posses particular talents for study and literary production, although his Ejercicios Espirituales has reached multitude of editions and has been translated to almost all languages. He rather had little physical presence, with very poor health. In this conference I pretend to solve the puzzle of how could he possibly put together the Society of Jesus while having these conditions. He may have had other qualities that at that time were present among the eminent Spaniards, but he was not a martyr, nor a genius; more precisely, he lived with important limitations; and, nevertheless was a founder and a saint, with a special charisma that endures the pass of centuries. The first biographers established different levels of exemplarity, starting by the one that Ignacio himself attempted to transmit through Autobiografía, a genre practiced by many. Ignacio and the rest consolidated different exemplarity values, like page, soldier, conversed, in love, pilgrim, student, priest, religious, reformer, faithful vassal, and founder, applying differential canons; this is, the exemplarity he imposed acting as a mediator and the one imposed by others through the creation of other Ignacios, particularly the exemplarity they assigned him as a saint. I will mediate between all the historiographic Ignacios, the one proposed by him and the ones that have appeared in the different biographies. I will focus above all in the biographical aspects (directly in the eminence of the biography subject) as page, soldier, pilgrim, heretic, student, priest, founder, and saint. And from all these aspect, his charisma as mediator will emerge.
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