Today in 1922 Pius XI declared St Ignatius to be the patron of the Spiritual Exercises and other In the encyclical Mens Nostra, published nine years later on the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, Pius was to refer ' to the heavenly graces and the unutterable consolations which we have often experienced when occupied in the Spiritual Exercises'. Encouraging the apsotolate of the Exercises to be widened, and urging lay as well as religious to partake. The Pope recalled much of the fruit of his priesthood had come from retreats, enabling him to know the divine will and to fulfil it. He concluded that a singular resource for the eternal salvation of souls is set in the Spiritual Exercises.
Now it is recognized that among all the methods of “Spiritual Exercises” which very laudably adhere to the principles of sound Catholic asceticism one has ever held the foremost place and adorned by the full and repeated approbation of the Holy See and honored by the praises of men, distinguished for spiritual doctrine and sanctity, has borne abundant fruits of holiness during the space of well nigh four hundred years; we mean the method introduced by St. Ignatius of Loyola, whom we are pleased to call the chief and peculiar Master of “Spiritual Exercises” whose “admirable book of 'Exercises'"ever since it was solemnly approved, praised, and comm the ended by our predecessor Paul III of happy memory,
Pius XI was Pope for 17 years till his death in 1939, he was the first sovereign of Vatican City, An accomplished mountain climber, he was to pioneer many routes up Alpine Peaks and subsequently have the peaks named after him. His legacy as the Pope who served between the two world wars includes, re -founding the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1936, starting Vatican Radio which he entrusted to the Society. Numerous encyclicals including Quadragesimo Anno on the 40th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's ground breaking social encyclical Rerum Novarum, highlighting capitalistic greed of international finance, and social justice issues, and Quas Primas, establishing the feast of Christ the King.