Jesuit theologian, special emissary of St. ignatius loyola in promulgating the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus throughout Europe; b. Palma, Majorca, Aug. 11, 1507; d. Rome, April 3, 1580.
Nadal studied with Ignatius at Alcalá in 1526 and again at Paris from 1532 to 1535, but refused to make the Spiritual Exercises. He was ordained at Avignon, received his doctorate in theology, and in 1538 returned to Majorca, where he taught theology. In 1542, after reading a letter written by Francis Xavier from India, he began to think about the society in Rome and finally joined Ignatius there in 1545. He entered the society on November 29 of that year. He became so closely associated with Ignatius that he is variously referred to by authors as Ignatius's "voice and soul," "heart," "arm," "second mind," "alter ego," and the "second founder of the Jesuits."
Nadal became the first rector of the first Jesuit college, that of Messina in Sicily, in 1548. His educational program there led eventually to the development of the ratio studiorum. In 1552, he began a life of travel from one end of Europe to the other, under four successive generals, promulgating the newly written constitutions of the society, acting as vicar-general, assistant, visitor, and peacemaker. Twice rector of the Roman College, he took part in the Diet of Augsburg and was a papal theologian at the Council of trent.
Although unknown among spiritual writers, Nadal breathes throughout his many works, in great part unpublished, the special spirit of the Society of Jesus. His teaching on prayer is especially illuminating, particularly on the relationship between prayer and action.
Bibliography: g. nadal, Epistolae, 4 v. (Monumenta historica Societatis Jesu ; 1905). m. nicolau, Jeronimo Nadal, S.J. 1507–1580: Sus obras y doctrinas espirituales (Madrid 1949). j. f. conwell, Contemplation in Action: A Study in Ignatian Prayer (Spokane 1957). j. brodrick, The Progress of the Jesuits, 1556–79 (New York 1947).
[j. f. conwell]