St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, was a Spanish nobleman and priest in the 16th century. St. Ignatius developed and wrote a set of prayers, meditations and contemplations known as the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. This guide was created with the intention of helping those on religious retreats and aid them on their journey to grow closer with God.

These “exercises” are divided into four themes designed to follow over a 28 or 30 day period as the individual on a religious retreat further discerns the will of God in their life. Each theme is intended to be reflected upon for a full week. The four themes are:

First Week: Sin, and God’s mercy

Second Week: Episodes in the life of Jesus

Third Week: The passion of Jesus

Fourth Week: The resurrection of Jesus, and God’s love

St. Ignatius’ intention of the last week was for the individual on their spiritual journey to find all things they need in God.

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola are applied to modern spiritual direction. These exercises have helped many take the time in their everyday life to pray, meditate and contemplate the word of God with the help of a spiritual director.

Daylesford Abbey incorporates the teachings of St. Ignatius in their spirituality programs, retreats and spiritual direction. Please contact us today about your journey with spiritual direction in the Catholic faith. Call 610-601-8702 or send an email to

We currently offer the 19 Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises through our Spiritual Direction team.