The Vida del padre Ignacio, started sixteen years after the death of the Jesuit founder, was Ribadeneira’s lifetime project. In order to become the most successful hagiographer of the founding saint of the Society of Jesus, Ribadeneira needed to reform some of the outdated techniques of hagiographies, a popular genre of the Middle Ages in vogue again during the reign of Felipe III. Ribadeneira emphasized Loyola’s everyday life gestures more than miracles as a way to promote Spanish lifestyle as model for Roman Counter-Reformation, and to prevent readers from dispersion (the physical opposite of collection). While dispersion can lead Christians to the Protestant Reformation, collection enables the Jesuit hagiographer to redirect believers toward the center, i.e., Roman Catholicism. In the light of critical observations from Michel de Certeau and Walter Benjamin, this article underlines the centrifuge qualities of the act of collecting when applied to hagiographies.


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