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Monday, February 20, 2017
Letter from St Ignatius discovered
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¬†A unique letter, signed by St Ignatius of Loyola, has come to light in the Archives of the British Jesuits. How the letter came to Britain is not known, but there is a record in 1891 that it was being kept in the sacristy at Manresa House in Roehampton, the Jesuit Novice House at that time. It is likely the letter was transferred to the Mount Street Archives in the 1960s when the noviciate moved to Harlaxton in Lincolnshire. The signature of the Founder of the Society of Jesus is verified by Peter Beckx SJ, who was Father General between 1853 and 1887, and who writes that the "last two lines" of the letter were written by Ignatius' "own hand" (manu propria). "Not many places outside of Rome would have Ignatius' signature," says Assistant Archivist Br James Hodkinson SJ. "Libraries were taken over in Spain and France at the time of the Suppression (1773), and things like Ignatius' letters were lost or destroyed. I believe it's the only one in England!" The main body of the letter ≠ which is addressed to Quirino Garzonio, a good friend of Ignatius ≠ was probably dictated by Ignatius and written by his secretary, Fr Juan Polanco. It is dated 16 February 1555. Source: Jesuit Communications Office
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