|A painting depicting an event in Saint Ignatius's life - in the corridor outside the Saint's rooms.|
Rome and only lightly visited. We've been there several times, and even we nonbelievers find them moving. Here is where he wrote the Constitution of the Jesuits. You can see the desk (which supposedly belonged previously to Saint Francis Xavier) on which he wrote, and his chair.
|One of the rooms where mass is held. In stark contrast to|
Pozzo's decorated corridor.
In fact, most of what one sees visiting these rooms was built after Saint Ignatius's death, but the core 4 rooms, constructed in 1543, where he lived and worked, and died, remain - or rather have been restored - as they were when he was there in the 16th century. As one passes through these simple rooms, one has the sense of walking back 5 centuries.
|A haunting likeness of the Saint. It was in one of the rooms decades|
ago, and may still be there. But we can't remember seeing it.
Photo courtesy of Bo Lundin, author of an excellent guidebook to Rome--
|Yes, that's trompe l'oeil perspective you are seeing here.|
The Jesuits in charge of Ignatius's rooms have done a great service in providing many panels, in English, describing Ignatius's life - he was a Basque military man who, like Saint Paul, had a conversion and became a man of the spirit, moving from a life as an elite to a monastic existence. The panels also describe the rooms and the objects in them. This is an excellent self-guided tour.
|Entrance to the rooms - to the right of the main entrance to|
the Church of the Gesù.
Hours for visiting the rooms are somewhat limited. 4-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. - noon Sundays and holidays.
There's very little online devoted to the rooms. This Web site (in Italian, but one can use an online translator) is decent.