Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus: Heroic Poem


S. Ignacio de Loyola, fundador de la Compañia de Iesus: Poema Heroyco (Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus: Heroic poem) is an epic work about the life of Saint Ignatius, founder of the Jesuit order, by Hernando Domínguez Camargo (1606–59), a Colombian poet and Jesuit priest. Domínguez Camargo drew upon the genre of Spanish and Italian epic poetry and the body of hagiographic literature that had developed about Ignatius to produce this extraordinary work of literature. The poem, contained in five large volumes, consists of 9,600 verses organized into 24 songs. It was edited and published posthumously by Antonio Bastidas (circa 1615–81), a Jesuit poet who wrote under the pseudonym Antonio Navarro Navarrete. The poem relates the life of the saint from his birth and recounts his military prowess, vision, and the developments that led to the establishment of the Jesuit order and its blessing by Pope Paul III. Domínguez Camargo’s epic is considered a prime example of culteranismo, or Gongorism, a poetic style originated by the Spanish poet Luis de Góngora y Argote (1561–1627). Góngora’s high Baroque literary style involved such devices as deliberate obscurity of meaning, use of Latin terminology and syntax, classical allusions, exaggeration, neologisms, and the liberal use of metaphors.

Last updated: March 19, 2013