The hidden side of Ignacio de Loyola: The mediator
Enrique García Hernán
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.
The successes and failures of Ignacio de Loyola
Enrique García Hernán
Íñigo de Loyola came to be a figure with a new historical significance in that same century and with the name of Ignacio de Loyola, Master Ignacio, the first Superior General of the Society of Jesus, author of Autobiografía, Ejercicios Espirituales, Diario Espiritual and Constituciones. He was the owner of his own destiny when he changed his name himself. This change was done through an equally refined as rapid transforming process of personal and collective self-definition in which several people participated, specially Jesuits, debugging his image. His written work was identified with his person. Thanks to his vital experience, Ignacio learned how to lay bridges in the dialectic combats of the two extremes that could be found in all areas, theologic (grace-liberty), dogmatic (science-bible), political (king-community), anthropologic (soul-body), spiritual (contemplation-action), ecclesiastic discipline (mental prayer-vocal prayer), scientific (science-experience), etc., or like he used to say, between Marta and Maria. It was, in a way, about still being enlightened and erasmist, at the same time as roman and hierarchic. He had the wisdom to combine both things, to make a religious project possible using policy, and to pose a political option making use of the religious life. Once dead, some understood, probably Ribadeneira better than no one else, what Ignacio always said: "The Society of Jesus was not mainly founded over Ignacio, but more over Jesus Christ, who had risen to this his servant to build and raise this work from his hands, and he his omnipotent to give us other and others, who although are not Ignatios, they will be whatever we need". In this conference I will focus on the analysis of his texts and the Society of Jesus since its foundation in 1540 till the death of Ignacio in 1556.