There are two very known 'quotes' of St.Ignacius of Loyola, sometimes also atributed to St.Augustine:

“Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.”


“Let this be the first rule of your undertakings: confide in God as if the success of those undertakings depended completely upon you and not at all upon God; nonetheless give your whole self to the undertakings as if you yourself would be doing nothing in them but God alone would be doing everything."

Are they true? In which writing of St.Ignacius do they show up? I know the 1st shows up in the CCI, paragraph 2834, but I want to know the original work, where this supposedly shows up.

Any help would be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


According to the source that you cited regarding the first quote, which is CCI paragraph 2834, this is taken from a book that attributes it to St. Ignatius of Loyola. The book was published in 1964 called "The Jesuits: Their Spiritual Doctrine and Practice". Available here http://jesuitsources.bc.edu/the-jesuits-their-spiritual-doctrine-and-practice-a-historical-study/

122 Attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola, cf. Joseph de Guibert, SJ, The Jesuits: Their Spiritual Doctrine and Practice, (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1964), 148, n. 55.

There is no direct correlation, quote or anything else from St Ignatius. There is many resources available regarding his many writings and guides for prayer and interior life. Such as the following, just to give an idea.... http://jesuitsources.bc.edu/the-writings-of-saint-ignatius-of-loyola-cd-rom/

I have personally read many (not a majority or all) writings and reflections from St Ignatius an those that follow Ignatian Spirituality, and that quote could sum up many of the points and objectives. I feel that it could have been stated by St. Ignatius at some point, but not necessarily written down. That may not have even been what he might have said, but that may have been a paraphrasing that accurately described his message that stuck. It's much easier than remembering the 15 page letter or a 10 minute sermon he had it could have been extrapolated from.

The second quote, I have also seen attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola and people will often just quote it as whole without a source. Again, I have not seen a direct source in any of the readings I have come across and I have found it had to even find one with direct source. Most sources will refer to Fr John Padberg, who is a an Ignatian Scholar and has written many books. All of his books are written in more modern times (1980 - today). You can find his books on Amazon, and I think in his book "Ignatius of Loyola: Letters and Instructions" is where he first attributes that quote to hi.


  • +1 You've found some great secondary sources here which demonstrate a high probability that Ignatius is indeed the original source of the quote. Hopefully someone with access to these books can provide at least a short quote, and maybe even a reference to Ignatius' original writing.
    – Bit Chaser
    Sep 1, 2017 at 21:04
  • The issue is that the quotes are not found in the original writings, and these secondary sources only attribute the quote to him, and don't actually quote him so there is no direct source or linkage to that. Because of this, you will never find a real reference or source for the quotes. A good article on the difference between "attributing" and "quoting" is below... link writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/journalism/quotes.html Sep 5, 2017 at 18:01

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