The Chronicon is a year-by-year chronicle of the early history of the Society of Jesus, covering the years 1537 to 1556. It is an extensive and vitally important source. From early 1573 to February 1575, Fr. Juan Alfonso de Polanco (1517–76)—who served as a secretary for the first three superior generals of the Society—dictated it to an unknown amanuensis in Rome, with the main intention that, in his own words, it would serve as “a summary of our [the Society’s] history” and would provide “a universal and truly chronological history of the things worthy of remembrance.”[1. Chronicon 1:7] The work thus contains accounts of the activities of the early Jesuits, in Europe and beyond, as they labored to act in service of the greater glory of God.

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