Sean Salai, SJ, has released his second book, All the Pope’s Saints: The Jesuits Who Shaped Pope Francis. Released this spring by Our Sunday Visitor, the book spotlights the Jesuit saints who may have influenced Pope Francis’ formation.
Salai says, “If knowing someone’s family helps us to know that person, then we must understand Francis as a son of St. Ignatius to appreciate the sources of his spiritual fire, and we must look at how the Jesuit saints lived to fully grasp how Francis strives to live.”
Salai, who will be ordained in June, set out to “show Ignatian spirituality in action” through the experiences of Jesuit saints, stating that the centerpiece of Ignatian spirituality is “our experiences with God, not our theological insights.”
With the lives of Jesuit saints as his lens, Salai explores the virtues of trust, openness, generosity, simplicity, dedication, and gratitude – all hallmarks of Ignatian spirituality. At the heart of these virtues is “humility which every day makes us aware that it is not we who build the Kingdom of God but always the Lord’s grace which acts within us; a humility that spurs us to put our whole self not into serving ourselves or our own ideas, but into the service of Christ and of the Church,” as Pope Francis has said.
All the Pope’s Saints explores the inherent missionary perspective this spirituality offers, and, through the stories of the saints shows how this is central to Catholicism.
Sean Salai, SJ, is a special contributor at America magazine. His first book was What Would Pope Francis Do? also published by Our Sunday Visitor. Before entering the Society of Jesus in 2005, he worked as a newspaper reporter. Following ordination in June, he will be assigned to the Jesuit Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas.
The Ignatian Spirituality Program of Denver offers Ignatian group retreats, individual spiritual direction, the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, and trains spiritual directors and guides of the Spiritual Exercises.