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Memoriale: Goncalves DA Camara



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Memoriale: Goncalves DA Camara by A. Eaglestone
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Remembering Inigo gives us an intimate picture of Saint Ignatius of Loyola as a person and as a religious superior. Luis Goncalves da Camara was the Jesuit whom Ignatius chose to record his personal recollections of his own religious experiences and development in a document that later came to be known as Ignatius's Autobiography. Da Camara was also convinced however, that, if a religious order was to maintain its pristine spirit and purpose, it would do so especially through imitation of its founder. So he set out to get to know, through direct experience, Ignatius's particular and special characteristics. Living for a time (1553-1555) with St Ignatius in the Jesuit headquarters in Rome, da Camara, for a period of seven months in 1555, recorded concrete examples of how Ignatius actually behaved: how he treated those at varying stags of Jesuit life, those in consolation and those in desolation, those tempted, those in need of encouragement or of a reprimand. More than this, da Camara relates how Ignatius prayed and celebrated Mass, how he put questions and answered them, what topics he liked or disliked in conversation, how he ate, how he dressed - in a word, everything that could be found out about him from personal observation. Then, almost twenty years later, he added a commentary to his original notes. Da Camara had in mind in-house audiences of fellow Jesuits, men whom he hoped to encourage by recalling the Inigo he so admired. But the picture of Ignatius which he provided is astonishing even to Jesuits. To say that da Camara's work makes it clear that Ignatius had a fallible humn side is to phrase the matter very softly indeed. In fact, Roman authorities for long were uncertain whether to allow publication of the work; indeed, the first edition of it appeared only in 1904. Nonetheless, it provides us with a valuable insight into a man who towered into sanctity and vision among his contemporaries and still does today.
Release date NZ
March 5th, 2005
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
black & white illustrations
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