A Limping Pilgrim – Our Journey

By Chamika Nipun SJ

“He passed away from this world in a common manner.” This was how Father Polanco evoked the death of our beloved Pilgrim, St Ignatius of Loyola. Here is our journey, which began with the curiosity to know more about the pilgrimage of Íñigo from this world to the other.

During the lockdown, when the rooms of Íñigo were closed to the public, we the scholastics of the Collegio del Gesù - Rome made use of the opportunity to recreate the historical ambiance and to develop a short historical narrative. To this end, it took us months to consult the Constitutions, Spiritual Exercises, and many letters of Íñigo. I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the help and guidance of Fr Rolphy Pinto, a professor of the Institute of Spirituality of the Gregorian University in Rome, and of Fr Tom Lucas, the one who guided the restoration of the rooms. As a result of thorough research, you could even observe in the film the meal plans of Íñigo found in a prescription of his doctor, along with various other discussions that took place in these rooms.


The film recounts how he made his examination of conscience on his death bed. It is a back-and-forth movement inspecting how he had lived his life on earth. It was a coincidence that the duration of the film came to be 15 minutes in length, somewhat similar to a daily examen of a Jesuit. In our research, we could notice how his discernment and lifestyle of this period had direct links with his Spiritual Exercises. Thus, the film exhibits the movement of the spirits within a retreatant through the four weeks of the Spiritual Exercises. Therefore, it will also be an experience of pilgrimage for all those who watch it; to decode the symbols, at times hidden, to notice the directives from the Spiritual Exercises. Being a short film, we think that it could be used as a summary for the retreatants at the end of an Ignatian retreat, along with a guided explanation by the retreat leader to unearth the hidden elements of Ignatian spirituality and to offer an experience of the place where the saint lived and developed many documents of the Society.

Furthermore, one could learn how to guide someone spiritually by observing how Iñigo employed different methods for various people with varying capacities. Specifically we could see how patient Ignatius was with Isabel Roser, one of the three female Jesuits to ever enter the Society. Íñigo was faced with many challenges with the expansion of the congregation and the great demands from the papacy during that time. His letters managed to hold the companions together and encourage those who found difficulties in formation. Thus, his desolations and consolations are very much visible.


The film is a self-reflection of Íñigo in a narrative mode. Most of the words are chosen from his writings. The film is done in both English and Italian but we are more than happy to make the script available to those who wish to translate the narration into their own languages to make it available to local retreatants. I especially thank Fr Cecil Azzopardi for his continuous support and guidance. Sincere thanks to Frs. Orlando Torres and Keith Abranches for their encouragement as previous and present Rectors of Collegio del Gesù. Special thanks to Fr John Dardis and the members of the Communication Office of the General Curia - Rome.

It is a story inspired by true events in the life of a limping pilgrim, leaning on God while placing his trust totally in Him, inviting us all to be pilgrims through continuous discernment of the spirits. The film comes with beautiful music compositions recorded in Poland. We all hope that these humble efforts of ours may enrich spiritually every one of you, the viewers, during this blessed Ignatian Year.

You may contact the director for the original script of the film.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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