Manresa Iconography

A.M.D.G. A.M.D.G.
These four letters are the abbreviation for the Latin phrase Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, which translate into English as For the Greater Glory of God. This is the motto of both the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, as well as that of Manresa House of Retreats. This motto is inscribed on the rear wall of Sacred Heart Chapel.

I H S chapel I H S
These letters represent the first three letters in the name Jesus in the Greek language, Iota, Eta, Sigma. The I H S is the central component of the seal of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. A modified rendition of the Jesuit logo is located on the rear wall of Sacred Heart Chapel. The I H S symbol is also to be found on the altar as well as on the ends of all the pews in Sacred Heart Chapel. The use of this imagery calls to mind the words of an ancient prayer entitled The Breastplate of St. Patrick which reads, Christ be before me, Christ be behind me, Christ on my left hand, Christ on my right hand, Christ be in all things king of my heart.

maroon and gold Maroon and Gold
These are the colors used on the sanctuary wall in Sacred Heart Chapel. These colors were selected for this application because they are the official colors of the Loyola family. St. Ignatius of Loyola is both the founder of the Society of Jesus, and the author of a book entitled The Spiritual Exercises. Manresa as a ministry of the Society of Jesus exists exclusively to preach these exercises. The use of the imagery of 3 nails depicted in gold leaf on the sanctuary wall is indented to remind us of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This decoration in the chapel, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is a reminder of the total love Jesus has for all humanity. He loves each of us so very much that he willing went to the cross for us.

M shaped arches "M" shaped arches in the Chapel
The original stylized arches in the shape of the letter “M” were removed in a prior renovation done back in the 1950’s. These decorative arches were restored to Sacred Heart Chapel in the 2009 renovation and restoration. Manresa lore has it that the original arches were intended to pay tribute to both Mary the Mother of God, as well as to the Marist Fathers who staffed St. Mary’s Jefferson College at the time the chapel was constructed. Today some have ascribed yet another meaning to these arches. The “M” stands for Manresa. The original Manresa for which Manresa House of Retreats is named is a town in the Basque country of Spain where St. Ignatius lived and composed much of The Spiritual Exercises.