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Historical Archives
Jesuits - Euro-Mediterranean Province

Edifying letters

Historical Archives Holdings Edifying letters

“Edifying letters” are a specific literary genre that arose from the publication of letters and reports by missionaries and Jesuits.

Once a year, the most significant letters were collected and circulated among the Jesuits of the Province. On the one hand, they provided updates on work in the missions and accounts of uses and traditions of foreign populations; on the other, they kept missionary brothers informed about life in the Province and about ordinations, Last Vows and the deceased.

Today edifying letters are not only the main published source for the research on Jesuit missions, but also a valuable tool for reconstructing aspects of society through Jesuit testimonies.

In the reading room of our Archive, you can consult the letters produced roughly between 1880 and 1930:

  • Veneto-Milanese Province 1888 – 1917
  • Turinese Province 1883 – 1932
  • Roman Province 1897 – 1939
  • Neapolitan Province 1874 – 1930
Detail of the Kontakion donated by the monks of Grottaferrata Abbey to the Jesuits of the Castel Gandolfo novitiate in August 1890 - document preserved in the Historical Archives of the Jesuit Euro-Mediterranean Province in Rome

Featured documents

Relics, personal belongings, distinguished alumni, memories of other historical periods: a selection of interesting documents from our Archives.