Jesuit theologian and spiritual writer; b. Padua, 1537 or 1538; d. Modena, July 6, 1607. He entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 29, 1559. After studying at the Roman College with Robert Bellarmine from 1561 to 1563, he taught philosophy and theology there from 1563 to 1579, except for the years 1568 to 1575, when he was rector of the Jesuit college at Turin. He taught at Padua and in 1580 was sent to Milan at the request of its archbishop, St. Charles borromeo, whom Gagliardi subsequently directed. He was superior of Milan's S. Fedele residence from 1584 to 1594. While there he published his Catechismo della fede cattolica (Milan 1584). He also participated in the revision of the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum in 1598 and composed ascetical works intended especially for Jesuits. Some of his reflections appear in his Commentaria in exercitia spiritualia S. P. Ignatii de Loyola (Bruges 1882); most of his De disciplina interioris hominis remains unpublished. As spiritual director of Isabella Bellinzaga Lomazzi (1551–1624), he collaborated with her on the Breve compendio intorno alla perfezione cristiana (Brescia 1611), a highly influential ascetical work and one whose French editions had an effect upon Bérullian spirituality. Because of the undue stress in the Compendio on spiritual passivity, Pourrat considered Gagliardi an unconscious precursor of Italian "prequietism." P. Pirri has studied the difficult question of Gagliardi's share in the composition of the Compendio, and although the work reflects Gagliardi's spirituality and his conduct of retreats, it does not seem to be exclusively his creation. During Gagliardi's lifetime, its orthodoxy was questioned by the Holy Office, but a favorable judgment was given it in 1601, possibly because of Bellarmine's intervention. clement viii forbade Gagliardi any further collaboration with Lomazzi and had him moved from Milan. The book was on the Roman Index from 1703 to 1800.
Bibliography: c. sommervogel et al., Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus (Brussels-Paris 1890–1932) 3:1095–99. Brémond 11:3–56. j. de guibert, The Jesuits: Their Spiritual Doctrine and Practice, tr. w. t. young (Chicago 1964). Directoria Exercitiorum Spiritualium, ed. i. iparraguirre (Monumenta historica Societatis Jesu Madrid 76; 1955). i. iparraguirre, Répertoire de spiritualité ignatienne (Rome 1961). For the Breve compendio, consult m. viller, "L'Abrégé de la perfection de la dame milanaise, " Revue d'ascétique et de mystique 12 (1931) 44–89; "Autour de l' Abrégé de la perfection: L'Influence," ibid. 13 (1932) 34–59; Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique 1:1940–42. m. viller and g. joppin, "Les Sources italiennes de l'Abrégé de la perfection, " Revue d'ascétique et de mystique 15 (1934) 381–402. p. pirri, "Il P. Achille Gagliardi, la Dama milanese, la riforma dello spiritoe il movimento degli zelatori," Archivum historicum Societatis Jesu (1945) 1–72; "Il Breve compendio di Achille Gagliardi al vaglio di teologi gesuiti," ibid. 20 (1951) 231–253; "Gagliardiana," ibid. 29 (1960) 99–129.
[m. a. fahey]