Achille Gagliardi

Achille Gagliardi, born at Padua, Italy, in 1537; died at Modena, 6 July 1607, was an ascetic writer and spiritual director; and a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

After a brilliant career at the University of Padua Gagliardi entered the Society of Jesus in 1559 with two brothers younger than himself. He taught philosophy at the Roman college, theology at Padua and Milan, and successfully directed several houses of his order in Northern Italy. He displayed indefatigable zeal in preaching, giving retreats and directing congregations, and was held in great esteem as a theologian and spiritual guide by the Archbishop of Milan, St. Charles Borromeo, whom he accompanied on his pastoral visitations, and at whose request he published his popular handbook of religion, "Catechismo della fede cattolica" (Milan, 1584).

Gagliardi is the author of various works on asceticism and mysticism. Others were printed; shortly after his death, appeared the "Breve compendio intorno alla perfezione cristiana" (Brescia, 1611), which has been translated into five languages, and more recently the valuable "Commentarii in Exercitia spiritualia S.P. Ignatii de Loyala" (Bruges, 1882), in which he explains very lucidly the author's suggestions for distinguishing between the good and evil external influences or internal motives which inspire or control human conduct.