Ingolstadt, David Sartorius, 1592.
12mo. 13.4 x 8 cm. (4), 145, (5), 1 blank leaf. Collation: A-F12, G6 (leaf G6 blank and present)
SECOND EDITION OF THE FIRST PUBLISHED JESUIT “DIRECTORY”(1st ed. Rome 1591).
Woodcut device of the Society of Jesus on the titlepage and a typographical ornament at the end. Contemporary limp vellum binding made of a vellum leaf from a printed missal (small tear to spine, vellum curled and lightly soiled.) A nice copy with a little light foxing, mild wear to corners. Annotated and corrected throughout with contemporary marginal notes, underscores and cancellations, and the handwritten entry of ownership of the Jesuit College of Solothurn (Switzerland): “Societatis Jesu Solodori 1693” (cf. I. Holt, Die Solothurner Jesuitenbibliothek, 1646-1773, und ihre Gönner, in: “Jahrbuch für solothurnische Geschichte, 80, 2007, pp. 247-277), a fine genuine copy.
The very rare second edition, the first printed outside of Italy, of the systematic commentary on Ignatius’ “Exercitia Spiritualia”. This version of the “Directorium”, the first to be printed, was first issued by the printing press of the Roman Jesuit College in 1591. Copies of that edition were circulated internationally for comment so that final revisions could be made. This edition (along with a third, printed at Toulouse in 1593) was created for the same purpose. In 1599, there appeared the revised, canonical edition. A copy of that revised text was used by the annotator of this copy to bring this first version in line with the updated version.
On the blank verso of the title page is transcribed -in a very neat, contemporary hand- the entire preface of the 1599 version of the “Directorium”, which explains the process of revision. “Some years ago [i.e. 1591-1593] printed copies of a directory to the spiritual exercises were sent to the provinces, so that before the work was given its final touches practice and experience might indicate whether anything might advantageously be added, removed or better expressed..., it has been judged that the directory could finally be edited in its present form...”: ‘Datum Romae Calendis Octobr. 1599. Mandato R.P.N. Generalis. Iacobus Dominicus Secretarius’. Furthermore, the whole text (pp. 1-145) is scrupulously annotated with all the modifications (additions, omissions, marginalia, and the new numbering of the paragraphs) made in the final version. Thus, the preliminary draft of 1591 (printed here) can be read simultaneously as the final version of 1599.
The Origins and Development of the Directory:
One of the most innovative and distinctive aspects of Ignatius of Loyola’s Exercises was that individuals did not undertake them on their own but with the help of another person, who acted as guide, companion, senior partner, or simply helper. In the book Ignatius gave the person several suggestions about how those making the Exercises might be guided most fruitfully and about dealing with the different circumstances that might arise. Early on, this person began to be referred to as the ‘director’ of the Exercises. Ignatius trained some of the early Jesuits for this delicate role in informal ways, so that a demand grew for him to write down some further indications as to how it was to be performed.
“Ignatius himself started to work on this problem, but by 1556 he had completed only a few fragments and had given some instructions orally, which others wrote down. After 1556 the First General Congregation, the early generals, and various committees or prominent persons such as Miró and Polanco produced ‘Directories’. During the generalate of Claudio Acquaviva this work was brought to a synthesis.”(Padberg)
“Diego Laínez and Francis Borja, Ignatius’s two successors, were not able to do anything very specific, even though they did set up commissions of specialists who could begin to compose a Directory. Under the generalate of Everard Mercurian (1573-1580), Borja’s successor, there was a sharp polarization between two ways of conceiving the Jesuit style: one more ascetical, the other more mystical. Another tension was growing, above all in Spain, regarding prayer: some were preferring and teaching a more affective, contemplative style of prayer. Mercurian was to act decisively on this question…. Mercurian began by asking Polanco, who had been Ignatius’ secretary, to write a Directory… Mercurian’s ideal was that the primitive spirit of the Society should flourish anew. He wanted to secure the growth of the genuine traditions, and to expel mercilessly parasites that had begun to infect the Society over the passage of years. Mercurian found the man whom he could trust to carry out this project in the person of Fr Diego Miró, who promptly set about writing his own Directory. This latter text does not have the theological structure of Polanco’s. Nor was Miró even concerned to assimilate the tendencies of his former colleagues on the commission appointed by Borja—not only Polanco, but also Alfonso Ruiz. Nevertheless, his Directory was widely circulated among the Jesuits of the time, anonymously and as a semi-official document…
“It was Acquaviva who was to conclude the work. The situation had become very difficult: several different interpretations of the Ignatian method had begun to be current. Many directors were worried: the Exercises did not seem to be giving the fruits that they had given earlier. There was an atmosphere of distrust and rejection regarding anything that might be affective or mystical. The Inquisition was coming down heavily on anything looking new…
“As regards the Directory, Acquaviva was not content with just revising and correcting the Directory already in existence, the text with semi-official status compiled by Miró. He was conscious of the importance of this business, and took a bold decision: to go back and take up the older documents. Many important values which had not been sufficiently acknowledged in Miró’s Directory needed to be reconsidered.
“Acquaviva’s first measure was to send the documentation in Rome to the most senior members of the Society who were also well versed in the Exercises: Miró, Jerónimo Doménech and Gil González Dávila. Miró reread his own Directory without opening himself to anything good that might be found in the others. Thus ‘his revised Directory was not a revision of the first, as the General wanted, but a confirmation of what had gone before’. We have no record of Doménech’s contribution. González Dávila was an educated man, a good theologian, knowledgeable both about the Society and about the spiritual life in general. His preferences tended towards Polanco’s Directory—there was a certain affinity of character between the two men. González Dávila traces the lines of an ideal Directory…
“Acquaviva wanted to finalize the work. Much material had now been assembled: the three texts of Polanco, Miró and González Dávila; a brief Directory written in Spanish; a further text ‘found in the archive’ which Mercurian had written. All this was passed over to a secretary, who made efforts to bring it all together in one text. The General and his Assistants then revised this text to produce what we know as the 1591 Directory. This was sent off to the Provinces for them to make corrections, an appeal which did not meet with many responses. Then a further commission was established, chaired by González Dávila during the sixth General Congregation in 1593… The chapters were redivided, so that the 1599 version came to have 40, as opposed to the 22 in 1591. Because of Acquaviva’s many occupations, the final publication of the official Directory had to wait another five years, till October 1599, 43 years after the death of Ignatius.”(Alfredo Sampaio Costa, The Times of Ignatian Election, The Wisdom of the Directories)
A note on Claudio Acquaviva, Fifth General of the Society of Jesus:
After Ignatius, Acquaviva was perhaps the ablest ruler of the Society. As a legislator he reduced to its present form the final parts of the ‘Institute’, and the ‘Ratio Studiorum’. He had also to contend with extraordinary obstacles both from without and within. The Society was banished from France and from Venice; there were grave differences with the King of Spain, with Sixtus V, with the Dominican theologians; and within the Society the rivalry between Spaniard and Italian led to unusual complications and to the calling of two extraordinary general congregations (fifth and sixth). During his generalate missions were established in Canada, Chile, Paraguay, the Philippine Islands, and China. At Father Acquaviva's death the Society numbered 13,112 members in 32 provinces and 559 houses.
De Baker, Bibliothèque des écrivains de la Compagnie de Jesus, (Liège, 1859), V, p. 467; Monumenta Ignatiana II, series secunda: Exercitia spiritualia Sancti Ignatii de Loyola et eorum directoria, J. Iparraguirre, ed., Roma, 1955, p. 563, II.2; VD 16, A-125; Universal STC, no. 637676. Copies in North America: Georgetown, BC, Marquette, Loyola Chicago, SMU, BYU