SJ Monogram


Presented below are selected Ignatian books in Special Collections at the Grasselli Library. Currently, they are on display in the Saint John's Bible niche in the library lobby.

Printer's Ornament

Spiritual Exercises 1606This is the title page of an early edition of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. The first printed edition of the Exercises was a Latin edition of 1548. The copy owned by John Carroll is a Latin edition printed in Rome in 1606. While recovering from battle wounds suffered in 1521, Ignatius underwent a conversion. He began writing about his experiences to "converse about the things of God," and this was the origin of the Exercises. The work is a design for prayer, meditation, and insight. Bound with the copy at John Carroll is another work, the Directorium (also 1606) by Claudio Aquaviva. The Directorium is a guide for the Exercises.

The copy of the Exercises at John Carroll is the same copy that three Jesuit missionaries took to Vietnam to establish a mission there in 1614. At the base of the title page, the book is identified as belonging to the Jesuit Society in Hue, Vietnam.

Constitutions of the Society of JesusAt the right, is the title page from the Constitutions, the rules for the organization and activity of the Jesuit order. These were also created by Ignatius over an extended period from about 1540 to 1555. The work was given its official Latin translation by Juan Polanco, Ignatius's personal secretary. The early copy of the Constitutions in the Grasselli Library was published in Rome in 1615.

Frontispiece to Life of IgnatiusThis beautiful engraved portrait of Ignatius is the frontispiece of a book in Grasselli's Special Collections called On the Life and Institutes of St. Ignatius. The biography was written by Father Daniel Bartoli and was translated into Latin by Father Ludovico Ianino. The book was published in Lyons in 1665.

Printer's Ornament

The plantlike type ornament, reproduced in the "transparent gif's" at the beginning and end of this display, is from the title page of the first edition of Ignatius's SPIRITUAL EXERCISES, published by Antonio Blado (Rome 1548).