2010 Reprint of 1951 Edition. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, (composed from 1522-1524) are a brief set of Christian meditations, prayers and mental exercises, divided in four thematic 'weeks' of variable length, designed to be carried out over a period of 28 to 30 days. They were composed to help to discern Jesus in everyday life. Though the underlying spiritual outlook is Catholic, the exercises are often made nowadays by non-Catholics. The 'Spiritual Exercises' booklet was formally approved in 1548 by Paul III and serves as a foundation document for the Jesuit order.