Society of Jesus

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The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

's military background and a perception of its members' willingness to go anywhere in the world and live in extreme conditions. The Society is engaged in evangelization
Evangelization
Evangelization is that process in the Christian religion which seeks to spread the Gospel and the knowledge of the Gospel throughout the world. It can be defined as so:-The birth of Christian evangelization:...

 and apostolic ministry in 112 nations on six continents. The Society's founding principles are contained in the document Formula of the Institute, written by Ignatius of Loyola. Jesuits are known for their work in education (founding schools, colleges, universities and seminaries), intellectual research, and cultural pursuits, and for their missionary
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 efforts. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, and promote social justice
Social justice
Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by...

 and ecumenical dialogue.

Ignatius founded the Society after being wounded in battle and experiencing a religious conversion. He composed the Spiritual Exercises
Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, are a set of Christian meditations, prayers and mental exercises, divided into four thematic 'weeks' of variable length, designed to be carried out over a period of 28 to 30 days...

 to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ In 1534, Ignatius and six other young men, including St. Francis Xavier and Bl. Pierre Favre, gathered and professed vows of poverty, chastity, and later obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope. Rule 13 of Ignatius' Rules for Thinking with the Church said: "That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity[...], if [the Church] shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black." Ignatius' plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by the bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 containing the Formula of the Institute. The opening lines of this founding document would declare that the Society of Jesus was founded to "strive especially for the propagation and defense of the faith and progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine." The Society participated in the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

 and later in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church.

The Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of Madonna Della Strada
Madonna Della Strada
Madonna Della Strada or Santa Maria Della Strada — the Italian for Our Lady of the Way, or Our Lady of the Road — is the name of a late 15th or 16th century image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, enshrined at the Church of the Gesu in Rome, motherchurch of the Society of Jesus religious...

, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it is led by a Superior General
Superior General of the Society of Jesus
The Superior General of the Society of Jesus is the official title of the leader of the Society of Jesus—the Roman Catholic religious order, also known as the Jesuits. He is generally addressed as Father General. The position carries the nickname of Black Pope, after his simple black priest's...

, currently Adolfo Nicolás
Adolfo Nicolás
Father Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, S.J., S.T.D. is a Spanish priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the thirtieth and current Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the largest male religious order in the Church.-Biography:...

.
The headquarters of the Society, its General Curia
Curia
A curia in early Roman times was a subdivision of the people, i.e. more or less a tribe, and with a metonymy it came to mean also the meeting place where the tribe discussed its affairs...

, is in Rome. The historic curia of St Ignatius is now part of the Collegio del Gesù attached to the Church of the Gesù
Church of the Gesu
The Church of the Gesù is the mother church of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order also known as the Jesuits. Officially named , its facade is "the first truly baroque façade", introducing the baroque style into architecture ,. The church served as model for innumerable Jesuit...

, the Jesuit Mother Church
Mother Church
In Christianity, the term mother church or Mother Church may have one of the following meanings:# The first mission church in an area, or a pioneer cathedral# A basilica or cathedral# The main chapel of a province of a religious order...

.

Statistics


The Jesuits today form the largest single religious order
Religious order
A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. The order is composed of initiates and, in some...

 of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church, although they are surpassed by the Franciscan family of first orders OFM
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

s, Capuchins
Order of Friars Minor Capuchin
The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an Order of friars in the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans. The worldwide head of the Order, called the Minister General, is currently Father Mauro Jöhri.-Origins :...

, and Conventuals
Conventual Franciscans
The Order of Friars Minor Conventual , commonly known as the Conventual Franciscans, is a branch of the order of Catholic Friars founded by Francis of Assisi in 1209.-History:...

.
As of 1 January 2007, Jesuits numbered 19,216: 13,491 clerks regular
Clerks Regular
The term Clerks Regular designates a number of Catholic priests who are members of a religious order of priests, but in the strictest sense of the word are not Canons Regular.-Canonical Status:...

 (priests), 3,049 scholastics (students to become priests
Priesthood (Catholic Church)
The ministerial orders of the Catholic Church include the orders of bishops, deacons and presbyters, which in Latin is sacerdos. The ordained priesthood and common priesthood are different in function and essence....

), 1,810 brothers
Brother (Catholic)
A religious brother is a member of a Roman Catholic religious order who commits himself to following Christ in consecrated life of the church by the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience. A layman , he usually lives in a religious community and works in a ministry that suits his talents and gifts...

 (not priests) and 866 novice
Novice
A novice is a person or creature who is new to a field or activity. The term is most commonly applied in religion and sports.-Buddhism:In many Buddhist orders, a man or woman who intends to take ordination must first become a novice, adopting part of the monastic code indicated in the vinaya and...

s. Members serve in 112 nations on six continents with the largest number in India and USA. Their average age was 57.3 years: 63.4 years for priests, 29.9 years for scholastics. and 65.5 years for brothers. The Society is divided into 91 Provinces with 12 dependent Regions: three in Africa, four in the Americas and five in Asia and Oceania. Altogether, they constitute 10 administrative units. (Assistancies).
Jesuits in the World (1 January 2007)
RegionJesuits Percentage
South Asia Assistancy 4,018 20.9%
United States of America 2,952 15.4%
South Europe 2,448 12.7%
West Europe 1,958 10.2%
East Asia-Oceania 1,672 8.7%
South Latin America 1,513 7.9%
Africa 1,430 7.4%
North Latin America 1,374 7.2%
East Europe 1,119 5.8%
Central Europe 732 3.8%


The current Superior General
Superior General of the Society of Jesus
The Superior General of the Society of Jesus is the official title of the leader of the Society of Jesus—the Roman Catholic religious order, also known as the Jesuits. He is generally addressed as Father General. The position carries the nickname of Black Pope, after his simple black priest's...

 of the Jesuits is Spanish: Adolfo Nicolás
Adolfo Nicolás
Father Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, S.J., S.T.D. is a Spanish priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the thirtieth and current Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the largest male religious order in the Church.-Biography:...

. The Society is characterized by its ministries in the fields of missionary
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 work, human rights, social justice
Social justice
Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by...

 and, most notably, higher education. It operates colleges and universities in various countries around the world and is particularly active in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and India. In the United States alone, it maintains over 50 colleges, universities and high schools. A typical conception of the mission of a Jesuit school will often contain such concepts as proposing Christ as the model of human life, the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning and life-long spiritual and intellectual growth.

Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus


Ignatius laid out his original vision for the new order in the Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus, which is "the fundamental charter of the order, of which all subsequent documents were elaborations and to which they had to conform." He ensured that his formula was contained in two papal bulls signed by Pope Paul III in 1540 and by Pope Julius III in 1550. The formula expressed the nature, spirituality, community life and apostolate of the new religious order. Its famous opening statement echoed Ignatius' military background:
"Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the Name of Jesus, and to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, should, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity, poverty and obedience, keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive especially for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching, lectures and any other ministration whatsoever of the Word of God, and further by means of retreats, the education of children and unlettered persons in Christianity, and the spiritual consolation of Christ's faithful through hearing confessions and administering the other sacraments. Moreover, he should show himself ready to reconcile the estranged, compassionately assist and serve those who are in prisons or hospitals, and indeed, to perform any other works of charity, according to what will seem expedient for the glory of God and the common good".

Foundation



On 15 August 1534, Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

 (born Íñigo López de Loyola), a Spaniard of Basque
Basque people
The Basques as an ethnic group, primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country , a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France.The Basques are known in the...

 origin, and six other students at the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

Francisco Xavier
Francis Xavier
Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta was a pioneering Roman Catholic missionary born in the Kingdom of Navarre and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He was a student of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits, dedicated at Montmartre in 1534...

 from Navarre
Kingdom of Navarre
The Kingdom of Navarre , originally the Kingdom of Pamplona, was a European kingdom which occupied lands on either side of the Pyrenees alongside the Atlantic Ocean....

 (modern Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

), Alfonso Salmeron
Alfonso Salmeron
Alfonso Salmeron was a biblical scholar and one of the first Jesuits.-Biography:...

, Diego Laínez
Diego Laynez
Several spellings of his names are in use and some of them can be found in other Wikipedia articlesJames Laynez was a Spanish Jesuit priest and theologian, and the 2nd Superior General of the Society of Jesus.He was born in Almazán in Castile...

, Nicolás Bobadilla
Nicholas Bobadilla
Nicolas Bobadilla was one of the first Jesuits.He was born in Valencia, Spain, and was educated in his own country and in France. He fell under the influence of Ignatius of Loyola while studying at the University of Paris, and became one of the first Jesuits.Bobadilla was an effective preacher,...

 from Spain, Peter Faber
Peter Faber
Blessed Peter Faver was a French Jesuit theologian and a cofounder of the Society of Jesus. He was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church on September 5, 1872.-Biography:Peter Faver , grew up in far east central France...

 from Savoy
Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

, and Simão Rodrigues
Simão Rodrigues
Simão Rodrigues de Azevedo , was a Portuguese Jesuit priest, , one of the co-founders of the Society of Jesus....

 from Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

—met in Montmartre
Montmartre
Montmartre is a hill which is 130 metres high, giving its name to the surrounding district, in the north of Paris in the 18th arrondissement, a part of the Right Bank. Montmartre is primarily known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Cœur on its summit and as a nightclub district...

 outside Paris, in a crypt beneath the church of Saint Denis, now Saint Pierre de Montmartre
Saint Pierre de Montmartre
The Church of Saint Peter of Montmartre is the lesser known of the two main churches on Montmartre in Paris, the other being the 19th-century Sacré-Cœur Basilica...

.

They called themselves the Company of Jesus, and also Amigos En El Señor or "Friends in the Lord", because they felt "they were placed together by Christ." The name had echoes of the military (as in an infantry "company
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

"), as well as of discipleship (the "companions" of Jesus). The word "company" comes ultimately from Latin, cum + pane = "with bread", or a group that shares meals.

In 1537, they traveled to Italy to seek papal approval for their order. Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...

 gave them a commendation, and permitted them to be ordained priests. These initial steps led to the founding of what would be called the Society of Jesus later in 1540. The term societas in Latin is derived from socius, a partner or comrade.

They were ordained at Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 by the bishop of Arbe (24 June). They devoted themselves to preaching and charitable work in Italy, as the Italian War of 1535-1538 renewed between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, Venice, the pope and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 rendered any journey to Jerusalem impossible.

They presented the project to the Pope. After months of dispute, a congregation of cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

s reported favorably upon the Constitution presented, and Paul III confirmed the order through the bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 Regimini militantis ecclesiae ("To the Government of the Church Militant"), on 27 September 1540, but limited the number of its members to sixty. This is the founding document of the Jesuits as an official Catholic religious order.

This limitation was removed through the bull Injunctum nobis (14 March 1543). Ignatius was chosen as the first superior-general. He sent his companions as missionaries around Europe to create schools, colleges, and seminaries.

In fulfilling the mission of the Formula of the Institute of the Society, the first Jesuits concentrated on a few key activities. First, they founded schools throughout Europe. Jesuit teachers were rigorously trained in both classical studies and theology, and their schools reflected this. Second, they sent out missionaries across the globe to evangelize those peoples who had not yet heard the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

, founding missions in widely diverse regions, such as modern-day Paraguay, Japan, Ontario, and Ethiopia. Finally, though not initially formed for the purpose, they aimed to stop Protestantism from spreading and to preserve communion with Rome and the successor of Peter. The zeal of the Jesuits overcame the drift toward Protestantism in Poland-Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 and southern Germany.

Ignatius wrote the Jesuit Constitutions, adopted in 1554, which created a tightly centralized organization and stressed total abnegation and obedience to the Pope and their religious superiors (perinde ac cadaver, "[well-disciplined] like a corpse" as Ignatius put it).

His main principle became the unofficial Jesuit motto: Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam
Ad maiorem Dei gloriam
Ad maiorem Dei gloriam or ad majorem Dei gloriam, also rendered as the abbreviation AMDG, is the Latin motto of the Society of Jesus, a religious order within the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church...

 ("For the greater glory of God"). This phrase is designed to reflect the idea that any work that is not evil can be meritorious for the spiritual life if it is performed with this intention, even things considered normally indifferent.

The Society of Jesus is classified among institutes as a mendicant
Mendicant
The term mendicant refers to begging or relying on charitable donations, and is most widely used for religious followers or ascetics who rely exclusively on charity to survive....

 order of clerks regular
Clerks Regular
The term Clerks Regular designates a number of Catholic priests who are members of a religious order of priests, but in the strictest sense of the word are not Canons Regular.-Canonical Status:...

, that is, a body of priests organized for apostolic
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 work, following a religious
Religious order
A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. The order is composed of initiates and, in some...

 rule
Governance
Governance is the act of governing. It relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists of either a separate process or part of management or leadership processes...

, and relying on alms
Alms
Alms or almsgiving is a religious rite which, in general, involves giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue.It exists in a number of religions. In Philippine Regions, alms are given as charity to benefit the poor. In Buddhism, alms are given by lay people to monks and nuns to...

, or donations, for support.

The term "Jesuit" (of 15th-century origin, meaning one who used too frequently or appropriated the name of Jesus), was first applied to the Society in reproach (1544–52). It was never used by its founder, though members and friends of the Society in time appropriated the name in its positive meaning.

Early works



The Jesuits were founded just before the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

 (or at least before the date those historians with a classical view of the counter reformation hold to be the beginning of the Counter-Reformation), a movement whose purpose was to reform the Catholic Church from within and to counter the Protestant Reformers
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, whose teachings were spreading throughout Catholic Europe.

As part of their service to the Roman Church, the Jesuits encouraged people to continue their obedience to scripture as interpreted by Catholic doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

. Ignatius is known to have written: "...: I will believe that the white that I see is black if the hierarchical Church so defines it."

Ignatius and the early Jesuits did recognize, though, that the hierarchical Church was in dire need of reform. Some of their greatest struggles were against corruption, venality
Venality
Venality is a vice associated with being bribeable or of selling one's services or power, especially when one should act justly instead. In its most recognizable form, dishonesty, venality causes people to lie and steal for their personal advantage, and is related to bribery and nepotism, among...

, and spiritual lassitude within the Roman Catholic Church. Ignatius's insistence on an extremely high level of academic preparation for ministry, for instance, was a deliberate response to the relatively poor education of much of the clergy of his time. The Jesuit vow against "ambitioning prelacies" was a deliberate effort to prevent greed for money or power invading Jesuit circles.

As a result, in spite of their loyalty, Ignatius and his successors often tangled with the pope and the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

. Over the 450 years since its founding, the Society has both been called the papal "elite troops" and been forced into suppression
Suppression of the Jesuits
The Suppression of the Jesuits in the Portuguese Empire, France, the Two Sicilies, Parma and the Spanish Empire by 1767 was a result of a series of political moves rather than a theological controversy. By the brief Dominus ac Redemptor Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus...

.

St. Ignatius and the Jesuits who followed him believed that the reform of the Church had to begin with the conversion of an individual's heart. One of the main tools the Jesuits have used to bring about this conversion has been the Ignatian retreat, called the Spiritual Exercises
Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, are a set of Christian meditations, prayers and mental exercises, divided into four thematic 'weeks' of variable length, designed to be carried out over a period of 28 to 30 days...

. During a four-week period of silence, individuals undergo a series of directed meditation
Meditation
Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit....

s on the life of Christ. During this period, they meet regularly with a spiritual director, who helps them understand whatever call or message God has offered in their meditations.

The retreat follows a "Purgative-Illuminative-Unitive" pattern in the tradition of the spirituality of John Cassian and the Desert Fathers
Desert Fathers
The Desert Fathers were hermits, ascetics, monks, and nuns who lived mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt beginning around the third century AD. The most well known was Anthony the Great, who moved to the desert in 270–271 and became known as both the father and founder of desert monasticism...

. Ignatius' innovation was to make this style of contemplative mysticism
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 available to all people in active life. Further, he used it as a means of rebuilding the spiritual life of the Church. The Exercises became both the basis for the training of Jesuits and one of the essential ministries of the order: giving the exercises to others in what became known as "retreats".

The Jesuits’ contributions to the late Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 were significant in their roles both as a missionary order and as the first religious order to operate colleges and universities as a principal and distinct ministry. By the time of Ignatius' death in 1556, the Jesuits were already operating a network of 74 colleges on three continents. A precursor to liberal education
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

, the Jesuit plan of studies incorporated the Classical teachings of Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

 into the Scholastic
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

 structure of Catholic thought.


In addition to teaching faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

, the Ratio Studiorum
Ratio Studiorum
The Ratio Studiorum often designates the document that formally established the globally influential system of Jesuit education in 1599...

 emphasized the study of Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, classical literature, poetry, and philosophy as well as non-European languages, sciences and the arts. Furthermore, Jesuit schools encouraged the study of vernacular literature
Vernacular literature
Vernacular literature is literature written in the vernacular—the speech of the "common people".In the European tradition, this effectively means literature not written in Latin...

 and rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

, and thereby became important centers for the training of lawyers and public officials.

The Jesuit schools played an important part in winning back to Catholicism a number of European countries which had for a time been predominantly Protestant, notably Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 and Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

. Today, Jesuit colleges and universities are located in over one hundred nations around the world. Under the notion that God can be encountered through created things and especially art, they encouraged the use of ceremony and decoration in Catholic ritual and devotion. Perhaps as a result of this appreciation for art, coupled with their spiritual practice of "finding God in all things", many early Jesuits distinguished themselves in the visual and performing arts
Performing arts
The performing arts are those forms art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some physical art object...

 as well as in music.

Jesuit priests often acted as confessor
Confession
This article is for the religious practice of confessing one's sins.Confession is the acknowledgment of sin or wrongs...

s to kings during the Early Modern Period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

. They were an important force in the Counter-Reformation and in the Catholic missions, in part because their relatively loose structure (without the requirements of living in community, saying the divine office
Liturgy of the hours
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings...

 together, etc.) allowed them to be flexible to meet the needs of the people at the time.

Expansion



Early missions in Japan resulted in the government granting the Jesuits the feudal fiefdom of Nagasaki in 1580. However, this was removed in 1587 due to fears over their growing influence.

Francis Xavier
Francis Xavier
Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta was a pioneering Roman Catholic missionary born in the Kingdom of Navarre and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He was a student of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits, dedicated at Montmartre in 1534...

, one of the original companions of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

, arrived in Goa
Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

, in Western India, in 1541 to consider evangelical service in the Indies. In a 1545 letter to John III of Portugal, he requested an Inquisition to be installed in Goa (see Goa Inquisition)
Goa Inquisition
The Goa Inquisition was the office of the Inquisition acting in the Indian state of Goa and the rest of the Portuguese empire in Asia. It was established in 1560, briefly suppressed from 1774–1778, and finally abolished in 1812. The Goan Inquisition is considered a blot on the history of...

. He died in China after a decade of evangelism in Southern India. Two Jesuit missionaries, Johann Grueber
Johann Grueber
Johann Grueber was an Austrian Jesuit missionary and astronomer in China, and noted explorer.-Life:...

 and Albert Dorville
Albert Dorville
Albert Dorville, was a Belgian Jesuit priest, Missionary in China and cartographer.-Biography:...

, reached Lhasa
Lhasa
Lhasa is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China and the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining. At an altitude of , Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world...

 in Tibet in 1661.

Jesuit mission
Mission (Christian)
Christian missionary activities often involve sending individuals and groups , to foreign countries and to places in their own homeland. This has frequently involved not only evangelization , but also humanitarian work, especially among the poor and disadvantaged...

s in America were very controversial in Europe, especially in Spain and Portugal where they were seen as interfering with the proper colonial enterprises of the royal governments. The Jesuits were often the only force standing between the Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 and slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. Together throughout South America but especially in present-day Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, they formed Christian Native American city-states, called "reductions
Jesuit Reductions
A Jesuit Reduction was a type of settlement for indigenous people in Latin America created by the Jesuit Order during the 17th and 18th centuries. In general, the strategy of the Spanish Empire was to gather native populations into centers called Indian Reductions , in order to Christianize, tax,...

" (Spanish Reducciones, Portuguese Reduções). These were societies set up according to an idealized theocratic
Theocracy
Theocracy is a form of organization in which the official policy is to be governed by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided, or simply pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religious sect or religion....

 model. It is partly because the Jesuits, such as Antonio Ruiz de Montoya
Antonio Ruiz de Montoya
Antonio Ruiz de Montoya was a Jesuit missionary in Paraguay.-Life:Montoya was born at Lima, Peru.Montoya entered the Society of Jesus on 1 November 1606. In the same year he accompanied Father Diego Torres, the first provincial of Paraguay, to this mission.In co-operation with Fathers Cataldino...

, protected the natives (whom certain Spanish and Portuguese colonizers wanted to enslave) that the Society of Jesus was suppressed.

Jesuit priests such as Manuel da Nóbrega
Manuel da Nóbrega
Manuel da Nóbrega was a Portuguese Jesuit priest and first Provincial of the Society of Jesus in colonial Brazil...

 and José de Anchieta
José de Anchieta
José de Anchieta was a Canarian Jesuit missionary to Brazil in the second half of the 16th century. A highly influential figure in Brazil's history in the 1st century after its discovery on April 22, 1500 by a Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral, Anchieta was one of the founders of...

 founded several towns in Brazil in the 16th century, including São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

 and Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, and were very influential in the pacification, religious conversion
Religious conversion
Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religion that differs from the convert's previous religion. Changing from one denomination to another within the same religion is usually described as reaffiliation rather than conversion.People convert to a different religion for various reasons,...

 and education of Indian nations.

Jesuit scholars working in foreign missions were very important in studying their languages and strove to produce Latinized grammar
Grammar
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics,...

s and dictionaries
Dictionary
A dictionary is a collection of words in one or more specific languages, often listed alphabetically, with usage information, definitions, etymologies, phonetics, pronunciations, and other information; or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, also known as a lexicon...

. This was done, for instance, for Japanese (see Nippo jisho
Nippo Jisho
The Nippo Jisho or Vocabvlario da Lingoa de Iapam was a Japanese to Portuguese dictionary published in Nagasaki, Japan in 1603. It contains entries for 32,293 Japanese words in Portuguese. Only four copies of the original 1603 edition exist...

 also known as Vocabvlario da Lingoa de Iapam, (Vocabulary of the Japanese Language) a Japanese–Portuguese dictionary written 1603), Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

 (French Jesuit missionary Alexandre de Rhodes formalized the Vietnamese alphabet
Vietnamese alphabet
The Vietnamese alphabet, called Chữ Quốc Ngữ , usually shortened to Quốc Ngữ , is the modern writing system for the Vietnamese language...

 in use today with his 1651 Vietnamese–Portuguese–Latin dictionary Dictionarium Annamiticum Lusitanum et Latinum
Dictionarium Annamiticum Lusitanum et Latinum
The Dictionarium Annamiticum Lusitanum et Latinum is a trilingual Vietnamese-Portuguese-Latin dictionary written by the French Jesuit lexicographer Alexandre de Rhodes after 12 years in Vietnam, and published by the Propaganda Fide in Rome in 1651 upon Rhodes' visit to Europe.Before Rhodes's work,...

) and Tupi (the main language of Brazil). Jean François Pons
Jean François Pons
Jean François Pons was a French Jesuit who pioneered the study of Sanskrit in the West.He published a survey of Sanskrit literature in 1743, where he described the language as "admirable for its harmony, copiousness, and energy", reporting on the parsimonity of the native grammatical tradition,...

 in the 1740s pioneered the study of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 in the West.

Under Portuguese royal patronage, the order thrived in Goa and until 1759 successfully expanded its activities to education and healthcare. In 1594 they founded the first Roman-style academic institution in the East, St. Paul Jesuit College in Macau. Founded by Alessandro Valignano
Alessandro Valignano
Alessandro Valignano, , was a Jesuit missionary born in Chieti, back then part of the Kingdom of Naples, who helped supervise the introduction of Catholicism to the Far East, and especially to Japan....

, it had a great influence on the learning of Eastern languages (Chinese and Japanese) and culture by missionary Jesuits, becoming home to the first western sinologists such as Matteo Ricci
Matteo Ricci
Matteo Ricci, SJ was an Italian Jesuit priest, and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China Mission, as it existed in the 17th-18th centuries. His current title is Servant of God....

. On 17 December 1759, the Marquis of Pombal, Secretary of State in Portugal, expelled the Jesuits from Portugal and Portuguese possessions overseas.

Jesuit missionaries were active among indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 in New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 in North America. Many of them compiled dictionaries or glossaries of the First Nations
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

 and Native American languages which they learned. For instance, Jacques Gravier
Jacques Gravier
Jacques Gravier was a French Jesuit missionary in the New World. He founded the Illinois mission in 1696, where he administered to the several tribes of the territory...

, vicar general of the Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 Mission
Mission (Christian)
Christian missionary activities often involve sending individuals and groups , to foreign countries and to places in their own homeland. This has frequently involved not only evangelization , but also humanitarian work, especially among the poor and disadvantaged...

 in the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 valley, compiled the most extensive Kaskaskia Illinois–French dictionary
Dictionary
A dictionary is a collection of words in one or more specific languages, often listed alphabetically, with usage information, definitions, etymologies, phonetics, pronunciations, and other information; or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, also known as a lexicon...

 among works of the missionaries before his death in 1708.

Jesuit activity in China



The Jesuit China missions
Jesuit China missions
The history of the missions of the Jesuits in China is part of the history of relations between China and the Western world. The missionary efforts and other work of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, between the 16th and 17th century played a significant role in continuing the transmission of...

 of the 16th and 17th centuries introduced Western science and astronomy, then undergoing its own revolution, to China. The scientific revolution brought by the Jesuits coincided with a time when scientific innovation had declined in China:
Conversely, the Jesuits were very active in transmitting Chinese knowledge and philosophy to Europe. Confucius
Confucius
Confucius , literally "Master Kong", was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period....

's works were translated into European languages through the agency of Jesuit scholars stationed in China. (Which is why Kǒng Fūzǐ is known in the West under his latinized name to this day.)


Matteo Ricci
Matteo Ricci
Matteo Ricci, SJ was an Italian Jesuit priest, and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China Mission, as it existed in the 17th-18th centuries. His current title is Servant of God....

 started to report on the thoughts of Confucius, and father Prospero Intorcetta published the life and works of Confucius into Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 in 1687. It is thought that such works had considerable importance on European thinkers of the period, particularly among the Deists and other philosophical groups of the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 who were interested by the integration of the system of morality of Confucius into Christianity.

Suppression and restoration



The Suppression of the Jesuits in Portugal, France, the Two Sicilies, Parma
Duchy of Parma
The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from that part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul III's illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, centered on the city of Parma....

 and the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 by 1767 was troubling to the Society's defender, Pope Clement XIII
Pope Clement XIII
Pope Clement XIII , born Carlo della Torre di Rezzonico, was Pope from 16 July 1758 to 2 February 1769....

. A decree signed under secular pressure by Pope Clement XIV
Pope Clement XIV
Pope Clement XIV , born Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli, was Pope from 1769 to 1774. At the time of his election, he was the only Franciscan friar in the College of Cardinals.-Early life:...

 in July 1773 suppressed the Order. The suppression was carried out in all countries except Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 and Russia, where Catherine the Great had forbidden the papal
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 decree to be executed. Because millions of Catholics (including many Jesuits) lived in the Polish provinces recently annexed
First Partition of Poland
The First Partition of Poland or First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in 1772 as the first of three partitions that ended the existence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by 1795. Growth in the Russian Empire's power, threatening the Kingdom of Prussia and the...

 by the Kingdom of Prussia and the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, the Society was able to maintain its existence and carry on its work all through the period of suppression. Subsequently, Pope Pius VI
Pope Pius VI
Pope Pius VI , born Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi, was Pope from 1775 to 1799.-Early years:Braschi was born in Cesena...

 would grant formal permission for the continuation of the Society in Russia and Poland. Based on that permission, Pole Stanislaus Czerniewicz
Stanislaus Czerniewicz
Stanislaw Czerniewicz was was a Polish Jesuit...

 was elected superior of the Society in 1782. Pope Pius VII
Pope Pius VII
Pope Pius VII , born Barnaba Niccolò Maria Luigi Chiaramonti, was a monk, theologian and bishop, who reigned as Pope from 14 March 1800 to 20 August 1823.-Early life:...

 during his captivity in France, had resolved to restore the Jesuits universally; and after his return to Rome he did so with little delay: on 7 August 1814, by the bull Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum
Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum
The papal bull Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum issued in 1814 by Pope Pius VII reestablished the Society of Jesus . Pius VII had earlier, with the brief Catholicae Fidei , approved the existence of the Society of Jesus in Russia...

, he reversed the suppression of the Order and therewith, the then Superior in Russia, another Pole, Thaddeus Brzozowski, who had been elected in 1805, acquired universal jurisdiction.
The period following the Restoration of the Jesuits in 1814 was marked by tremendous growth, as evidenced by the large number of Jesuit colleges and universities established in the 19th century. In the United States, 22 of the Society's 28 universities were founded or taken over by the Jesuits during this time. Some claim that the experience of suppression served to heighten orthodoxy
Orthodoxy
The word orthodox, from Greek orthos + doxa , is generally used to mean the adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion...

 among the Jesuits upon restoration. While this claim is debatable, Jesuits were generally supportive of Papal authority within the Church, and some members were associated with the Ultramontanist movement and the declaration of Papal Infallibility
Papal infallibility
Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when in his official capacity he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals...

 in 1870.

In Switzerland, following the defeat of the Sonderbund
Sonderbund
The Sonderbund War of November 1847 was a civil war in Switzerland. It ensued after seven Catholic cantons formed the Sonderbund in 1845 in order to protect their interests against a centralization of power...

 of some Catholic cantons by the other cantons, the constitution
Swiss Federal Constitution
The Federal Constitution of 18 April 1999 is the third and current federal constitution of Switzerland. It establishes the Swiss Confederation as a federal republic of 26 cantons , contains a catalogue of individual and popular rights , delineates the responsibilities of the...

 was modified and Jesuits were banished in 1848. The ban was lifted on 20 May 1973, when 54.9% of voters accepted a referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

 modifying the Constitution.

The 20th century witnessed both aspects of growth and decline. Following a trend within the Catholic priesthood at large, Jesuit numbers peaked in the 1950s and have declined steadily since. Meanwhile the number of Jesuit institutions has grown considerably, due in large part to a late 20th century focus on the establishment of Jesuit secondary schools in inner-city areas and an increase in lay association with the order. Among the notable Jesuits of the 20th century, John Courtney Murray
John Courtney Murray
John Courtney Murray, , was an American Jesuit priest and theologian, who was especially known for his efforts to reconcile Catholicism and religious pluralism, particularly focusing on the relationship between religious freedom and the institutions of a democratically structured modern...

, was called one of the "architects of the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

" and drafted what eventually became the council's endorsement of religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae Personae.

In the Constitution of Norway
Constitution of Norway
The Constitution of Norway was first adopted on May 16, 1814 by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll , then signed and dated May 17...

 form 1814, a relic from the earlier anti-catholic laws of Denmark-Norway, Paragraph 2 originally read, "The Evangelical-Lutheran religion remains the public religion of the State. Those inhabitants, who confess thereto, are bound to raise their children to the same. Jesuits and monastic orders are not permitted. Jews are still prohibited from entry to the Realm." Jews were first allowed in to the Realm in 1851 after the famous Norwegian poet Henrik Wergeland
Henrik Wergeland
Henrik Arnold Thaulow Wergeland was a Norwegian writer, most celebrated for his poetry but also a prolific playwright, polemicist, historian, and linguist...

 had campaigned for it. Monastic orders were permitted 1897, but the ban on Jesuits was only lifted 1956.

Theological developments


In recent years


In Latin America,the Jesuits have had significant influence in the development of liberation theology
Liberation theology
Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

, a movement which has been highly controversial in the Catholic theological community and condemned by Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 on several fundamental aspects.

Under Superior General Pedro Arrupe
Pedro Arrupe
Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. was the twenty eighth Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He was born in Bilbao, Spain.-Education and training:...

, social justice
Social justice
Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by...

 and the preferential option for the poor emerged as dominant themes of the work of the Jesuits. On 16 November 1989, six Jesuit priests (Ignacio Ellacuria
Ignacio Ellacuría
Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J. was a Jesuit priest, philosopher, and theologian who did important work as a professor and rector at the Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas" , a Jesuit university in El Salvador founded in 1965...

, Segundo Montes
Segundo Montes
Segundo Montes, S.J. was a scholar, philosopher, educator, sociologist and Jesuit priest...

, Ignacio Martin-Baro
Ignacio Martín-Baró
Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J. was a scholar, social psychologist, philosopher and Jesuit priest...

, Joaquin López y López, Juan Ramon Moreno, and Amado López); their housekeeper, Elba Ramos; and her daughter, Celia Marisela Ramos, were murdered by the Salvadoran
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

 military on the campus of the University of Central America in San Salvador
San Salvador
The city of San Salvador the capital and largest city of El Salvador, which has been designated a Gamma World City. Its complete name is La Ciudad de Gran San Salvador...

, El Salvador, because they had been labeled as subversives by the government. The assassinations galvanized the Society's peace and justice movements, including annual protests at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation , formerly the United States Army School of the Americas is a United States Department of Defense educational and training facility at Fort Benning near Columbus, Georgia in the United States...

 at Fort Benning, Georgia, United States, where the assassins were trained under US government sponsorship.

On 21 February 2001, Father Avery Dulles, SJ, an internationally known author, lecturer and theologian, was created a Cardinal of the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II. The son of former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, Cardinal Dulles was long known for his carefully reasoned argumentation and fidelity to the teaching office of the Church. An author of 22 books and over 700 theological articles, Cardinal Dulles died on 12 December 2008 at Fordham University, where he taught for twenty years as the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society. He was, at his passing, one of ten Jesuit cardinals in the Catholic Church.

In 2002, Boston College
Boston College
Boston College is a private Jesuit research university located in the village of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA. The main campus is bisected by the border between the cities of Boston and Newton. It has 9,200 full-time undergraduates and 4,000 graduate students. Its name reflects its early...

 president Father William P. Leahy
William P. Leahy
Leahy's memberships include the American Catholic Historical Association, the American Historical Association, the History of Education Society, and the Organization of American Historians....

, SJ, initiated the Church in the 21st century
Church in the 21st Century
- Foundation and History :Initiated by President William P. Leahy, S.J., in September 2002, the Church in the 21st Century initiative was originally conceived as a two-year project to examine the underlying issues raised by the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church...

 program as a means of moving the Church "from crisis to renewal." The initiative has provided the Society with a platform for examining issues brought about by the worldwide Catholic sex abuse cases, including the priesthood, celibacy, sexuality
Human sexuality
Human sexuality is the awareness of gender differences, and the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. Human sexuality can also be described as the way someone is sexually attracted to another person whether it is to opposite sexes , to the same sex , to either sexes , or not being...

, women's roles, and the role of the laity
Laity
In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a religious order .In the past in Christian cultures, the...

.

On 6 January 2005, Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach
Peter Hans Kolvenbach
Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., S.T.D. , was the 29th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the largest male religious order of the Catholic Church.-Life:...

, on the occasion of the Jubilee Year, wrote that the Jesuits "should truly profit from the jubilee year to examine our way of life and taking the means to live more profoundly the charisms received from our Founders."

In April 2005, Thomas J. Reese
Thomas J. Reese
Thomas J. Reese, SJ, brother of Edward A. Reese, SJ, is an American Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, author, and former editor in chief of America, a weekly Catholic magazine....

, SJ, editor of the American Jesuit weekly magazine America
America (magazine)
America is a national weekly magazine published by the American Jesuits that contains news and opinion about Catholicism and how it relates to American politics and cultural life....

, resigned at the request of the Society. The move was widely published in the media as the result of pressure from the Vatican, following years of criticism by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition , and after 1904 called the Supreme...

 on articles touching subjects such as HIV/AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

, religious pluralism
Religious pluralism
Religious pluralism is a loosely defined expression concerning acceptance of various religions, and is used in a number of related ways:* As the name of the worldview according to which one's religion is not the sole and exclusive source of truth, and thus that at least some truths and true values...

, homosexuality and the right of life for the unborn. Following his resignation, Reese spent a year-long sabbatical at Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University is a private, not-for-profit, Jesuit-affiliated university located in Santa Clara, California, United States. Chartered by the state of California and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, it operates in collaboration with the Society of Jesus , whose...

 before being named a fellow
Fellow
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded...

 at the Woodstock Theological Center
Woodstock Theological Center
The Woodstock Theological Center is an independent, nonprofit Catholic theological research institute in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1974, the center takes its name from Woodstock College, a former Jesuit seminary located in Maryland. The center is an affiliate member of the Washington Theological...

 in Washington, D.C..

On 2 February 2006, Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach informed members of the Society of Jesus, that, with the consent of Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

, he intended to step down as Superior General in 2008, the year he would turn 80.

On 22 April 2006, Feast of Our Lady, Mother of the Society of Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI greeted thousands of Jesuits on pilgrimage to Rome, and took the opportunity to thank God "for having granted to your Company the gift of men of extraordinary sanctity and of exceptional apostolic zeal such as St Ignatius of Loyola, St Francis Xavier and Bl Peter Faber." He said "St Ignatius of Loyola was above all a man of God, who gave the first place of his life to God, to his greater glory and his greater service. He was a man of profound prayer, which found its center and its culmination in the daily Eucharistic Celebration."

In May 2006, Benedict XVI also wrote a letter to Superior General Peter Hans Kolvenbach on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Pope Pius XII's encyclical Haurietis aquas
Haurietis Aquas
Haurietis aquas is a landmark encyclical of Pope Pius XII. Written on May 15, 1956, it was attached to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Pope Pius IX. The title is derived from , a verse which alludes to the abundance of the supernatural graces...

, on devotion to the Sacred Heart, because the Jesuits have always been "extremely active in the promotion of this essential devotion". In his 3 November 2006 visit to the Pontifical Gregorian University
Pontifical Gregorian University
The Pontifical Gregorian University is a pontifical university located in Rome, Italy.Heir of the Roman College founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola over 460 years ago, the Gregorian University was the first university founded by the Jesuits...

, Benedict XVI cited the university as "one of the greatest services that the Society of Jesus carries out for the universal Church".
The 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus convened on 5 January 2008 and elected Fr. Adolfo Nicolás
Adolfo Nicolás
Father Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, S.J., S.T.D. is a Spanish priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the thirtieth and current Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the largest male religious order in the Church.-Biography:...

 as the new Superior General on 19 January 2008. A month after, the Pope received members of the General Congregation and urged them to "to continue on the path of this mission in full fidelity to your original charism" and asked them to reflect so as "to rediscover the fullest meaning of your characteristic 'fourth vow' of obedience to the Successor of Peter." For this, he told them to "adhere totally to the Word of God and to the Magisterium's task of preserving the integral truth and unity of Catholic doctrine." This clear identity, according to the Pope, is important so that "many others may share in your ideals and join you effectively and enthusiastically." The Congregation responded with a formal declaration titled "With New Fervor and Dynamism, the Society of Jesus Responds to the Call of Benedict XVI", whereby they confirmed the Society's fidelity to the Pope.

Ignatian spirituality



The spirituality practiced by the Jesuits, called Ignatian spirituality, ultimately based on the Catholic faith and the gospels, is drawn from the "Constitutions", "The Letters", and "Autobiography", and most specially from St. Ignatius' "Spiritual Exercises
Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, are a set of Christian meditations, prayers and mental exercises, divided into four thematic 'weeks' of variable length, designed to be carried out over a period of 28 to 30 days...

", whose purpose is "to conquer oneself and to regulate one's life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment."

Jesuit formation (training)



The formation (training) of Jesuits seeks to prepare men spiritually, academically and practically for the ministries they will be called to offer the Church and world. St. Ignatius
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

 was strongly influenced by the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and wanted Jesuits to be able to offer whatever ministries were most needed at any given moment, and especially, to be ready to respond to missions (assignments) from the Pope. Formation for Priesthood normally takes between 8 and 14 years, depending on the man's background and previous education, and final vows are taken several years after that, making Jesuit formation among the longest of any of the religious orders.

Government of the Society


The Society is headed by a Superior General
Superior general
A Superior General, or General Superior, is the Superior at the head of a whole religious order or congregation.The term is mainly used as a generic term, while many orders and congregations use other specific titles, notably:* Abbot general...

. In the Jesuit Order, the formal title of the Superior General is "Praepositus Generalis", Latin for Provost-General, more commonly called Father General or General, who is elected by the General Congregation for life or until he resigns, is confirmed by the Pope, and has absolute authority in running the Society. The current Superior General of the Jesuits is the Spanish Jesuit, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás
Adolfo Nicolás
Father Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, S.J., S.T.D. is a Spanish priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the thirtieth and current Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the largest male religious order in the Church.-Biography:...

 Pachón who was elected on 19 January 2008.

He is assisted by "assistants", four of whom are "assistants for provident care" and serve as general advisors and a sort of inner council to the superior general, and several other regional assistants each of whom heads an "assistancy", which is either a geographic area (for instance, the North American Assistancy) or an area of ministry (for instance, higher education). The assistants normally reside with the Superior General in Rome. The assistants, together with a number of other advisors, form an advisory council to the General. A vicar general and secretary of the Society run day-to-day administration. The General is also required to have an "admonitor
Admonitor (Jesuits)
In the Society of Jesus an Admonitor is a confidential advisor to the Superior General, to a Provincial or to a Rector whose responsibility is to warn the General honestly and confidentially about what in him he thinks would be for the greater service and glory of God [Const. N°770]...

", a confidential advisor whose specific job is to warn the General honestly and confidentially when he is acting imprudently or is straying toward disobedience to the Pope or heresy. The central staff of the General is known as the Curia.

The order is divided into geographic provinces, each of which is headed by a Provincial Superior, generally called Father Provincial, chosen by the General. He has authority over all Jesuits and ministries in his area, and is assisted by a socius, who acts as a sort of secretary and chief of staff. With the approval of the General, the father provincial appoints a novice master and a master of tertians to oversee formation, and rectors of local houses of Jesuits.

Each individual Jesuit community within a province is normally headed by a rector who is assisted by a "minister", from the Latin for "servant", a priest who helps oversee the community's day-to-day needs.

The General Congregation is a meeting of all of the assistants, provincials and additional representatives who are elected by the professed Jesuits of each province. It meets irregularly and rarely, normally to elect a new superior general and/or to take up some major policy issues for the order. The General meets more regularly with smaller councils composed of just the provincials.

Habit and dress


Jesuits do not have an official habit. In the Constitutions of the Society, it gives these instructions concerning clothing; "The clothing too should have three characteristics: first, it should be proper; second, conformed to the usage of the country of residence; and third, not contradictory to the poverty we profess..." (Const. 577)

Historically, a "Jesuit-style cassock
Cassock
The cassock, an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle-length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, Lutheran Church and some ministers and ordained officers of Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Ankle-length garment is the meaning of the...

" became standard issue: it wrapped around the body and was tied with a cincture, rather than the customary buttoned front, a tuftless biretta
Biretta
The biretta is a square cap with three or four peaks or horns, sometimes surmounted by a tuft. Traditionally the three peaked biretta is worn by Roman Catholic clergy and some Anglican and Lutheran clergy. The four peaked biretta is worn as academic dress by those holding a doctoral degree from a...

 (only diocesan clergy wore tufts), and a ferraiolo
Ferraiolo
The ferraiolo or ferraiuolo is a type of cape traditionally worn by clergy in the Roman Catholic Church on formal, non-liturgical occasions. Also known as a ferraiolone...

 (cape). As such, though Jesuit garb appeared distinctive, and became identifiable over time, it was the common priestly dress of Ignatius' day. During the missionary periods of North America, the various native peoples referred to Jesuits as "Blackrobes" because of their black cassocks.

Today, most Jesuits in the USA wear the Roman collar and black clothing of ordinary priests, although some still wear the black cassock
Cassock
The cassock, an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle-length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, Lutheran Church and some ministers and ordained officers of Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Ankle-length garment is the meaning of the...

.

Controversies


The Monita Secreta
Monita Secreta
The Monita Secreta was a code of instructions alleged to be addressed by Claudio Acquaviva, the fifth general of the Society of Jesus, to its various superiors, and laying down the methods to be adopted for the increase of its power and influence...

, also known as the "Secret Instructions of the Jesuits" was published (1612 and 1614) in Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

, and is alternately alleged to have been written by either Claudio Acquaviva
Claudio Acquaviva
Claudio Acquaviva was an Italian Jesuit priest elected in 1581 the 5th Superior General of the Society of Jesus...

, the fifth general of the society, or by Jerome Zahorowski. The document appears to lay down the methods to be adopted for the acquisition of greater power and influence for the order and for the Roman Catholic Church. Scholars generally agree that the Secreta were merely fabricated to give the Jesuits a sinister reputation and it has become widely considered a forgery.

Henry Garnet
Henry Garnet
Henry Garnet , sometimes Henry Garnett, was a Jesuit priest executed for his complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Born in Derbyshire, he was educated in Nottingham and later at Winchester College, before moving to London in 1571 to work for a publisher...

, one of the leading English Jesuits, was hanged for misprision of treason
Misprision of treason
Misprision of treason is an offence found in many common law jurisdictions around the world, having been inherited from English law. It is committed by someone who knows a treason is being or is about to be committed but does not report it to a proper authority...

 because of his knowledge of the Gunpowder Plot
Gunpowder Plot
The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in earlier centuries often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.The plan was to blow up the House of...

. The plan had been an attempt to kill King James I of England and VI of Scotland
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

, his family, and most of the Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 aristocracy in a single attack by blowing up the Houses of Parliament
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

 in 1605; another Jesuit, Oswald Tesimond
Oswald Tesimond
Oswald Tesimond was a Jesuit born in either Northumberland or York who, while not a direct conspirator, had some involvement in the Gunpowder Plot....

, managed to escape arrest for involvement in the same plot.

Jesuits have also been accused of using casuistry
Casuistry
In applied ethics, casuistry is case-based reasoning. Casuistry is used in juridical and ethical discussions of law and ethics, and often is a critique of principle- or rule-based reasoning...

 to obtain justifications for the unjustifiable (See: formulary controversy
Formulary controversy
The Formulary Controversy, in 17th century France, pitted the Jansenists against the Jesuits. It gave rise to Blaise Pascal's Lettres Provinciales, the condemnation by the Vatican of Casuistry, and the final dissolution of organised Jansenism.- Context :...

; Blaise Pascals' Lettres Provinciales
Lettres provinciales
The Lettres provinciales are a series of eighteen letters written by French philosopher and theologian Blaise Pascal under the pseudonym Louis de Montalte...

). In English, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, "Jesuitical" has acquired a secondary meaning of "equivocating". Modern Jesuits have also been criticized by many including Jack Chick
Jack Chick
Jack Thomas Chick is an American publisher, writer, and comic book artist of fundamentalist Christian tracts and comic books...

, Avro Manhattan
Avro Manhattan
Avro Manhattan was a writer and philosopher, primarily known for his criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church . Having covered various political topics throughout his career, Manhattan is perhaps best remembered as the author of several works analyzing the Vatican's role in world politics and...

, Alberto Rivera
Alberto Rivera
Alberto Magno Romero Rivera was an anti-Catholic religious activist who was the source of many of fundamentalist Christian author Jack Chick's conspiracy theories about the Vatican....

, and the late former Jesuit priest, Malachi Martin
Malachi Martin
Malachi Brendan Martin Ph.D. was a Catholic priest, theologian, writer on the Catholic Church, and professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute. He held three doctorates and was the sole author of sixteen books covering religious and geopolitical topics, which were published in eight...

.

Although in the first 30 years of the existence of the Society there were a large number of Jewish conversos in the order, a campaign by anti-conversos led to the Decree de genere in 1593 which proclaimed Jewish (and Muslim) ancestry, no matter how distant, an insurmountable impediment for admission to the Society. This stayed in force until 1946.

Within the Catholic Church, there has existed a sometimes tense relationship between Jesuits and the Vatican
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 due to questioning of official Church teaching and papal directives, such as those on abortion, birth control
Birth control
Birth control is an umbrella term for several techniques and methods used to prevent fertilization or to interrupt pregnancy at various stages. Birth control techniques and methods include contraception , contragestion and abortion...

, women deacons, homosexuality, and liberation theology
Liberation theology
Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

.

However, the last two Popes have appointed Jesuits to notable positions within the Church. For instance, John Paul II appointed Roberto Tucci
Roberto Tucci
Roberto Tucci, SJ is a Roman Catholic Cardinal and theologian. He was created Cardinal by Pope John Paul II on 21 February 2001....

, S.J., to the College of Cardinals, after serving for many years as the chief organizer of papal trips and public events. In all, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have appointed 10 Jesuit Cardinal
Jesuit Cardinal
Jesuit priests at the time of their solemn and final profession in the Society of Jesus promise: I will never strive or ambition, not even indirectly, to be chosen or promoted to any prelacy or dignity in or outside the Society; and I will do my best never to consent to my election unless I am...

s. Benedict XVI has appointed several Jesuits to positions of prominence in his curia, such as Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer
Luis Ladaria Ferrer
Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J. is a Spanish Jesuit archbishop. He currently serves as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Roman Curia, while still teaching at the Pontifical Gregorian University and remaining an active member of the International Theological...

, S.J. as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition , and after 1904 called the Supreme...

, and Rev. Federico Lombardi
Federico Lombardi
Federico Lombardi, SJ is an Italian Roman Catholic priest and the current director of the Holy See Press Office.-Early life and ordination:...

, S.J., Vatican Press Secretary.

Jesuits rescue efforts during the Holocaust


Twelve Jesuit priests have been formally recognized by Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament....

, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, for risking their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust of World War II: Roger Braun (1910–1981) of France; Pierre Chaillet (1900–1972) of France; Jean-Baptist De Coster (1896–1968) of Belgium; Jean Fleury
Jean Fleury
Jean Fleury was a 16th century French naval officer and privateer. He is best known for the capture of two out of the three Spanish galleons carrying the Aztec treasure from Mexico to Spain in 1522...

 (1905–1982) of France; Emile Gessler (1891–1958) of Belgium; Jean-Baptiste Janssens
Jean-Baptiste Janssens
Jean-Baptiste Janssens was the twenty-seventh Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He was born in Mechelen, Belgium.-Early Life and schooling:...

 (1889–1964) of Belgium; Alphonse Lambrette (1884–1970) of Belgium; Emile Planckaert (b. 1906–2006) of France; Jacob Raile (1894–1949) of Hungary; Henri Revol (1904–1992) of France; Adam Sztark (1907–1942) of Poland; and Henri Van Oostayen (1906–1945) of Belgium.

Several other Jesuits are known to have rescued or given refuge to Jews during that period.
A plaque commemorating the 152 Jesuit priests who gave of their lives during the Holocaust was installed at Rockhurst University
Rockhurst University
Rockhurst University is a private, coeducational Jesuit university located in Kansas City, Missouri, founded in 1910 as Rockhurst College. The school adheres to the motto etched into the stone of the campus bell tower: "Learning, Leadership, and Service in the Jesuit Tradition." It is one of 28...

, a Jesuit university, in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

, United States, in April 2007, the first such plaque in the world.

Famous Jesuits




Notable Jesuits include missionaries, educators, scientists, artists and philosophers. Among many distinguished early Jesuits was St. Francis Xavier, a missionary to Asia who converted more people to Catholicism than anyone before. José de Anchieta
José de Anchieta
José de Anchieta was a Canarian Jesuit missionary to Brazil in the second half of the 16th century. A highly influential figure in Brazil's history in the 1st century after its discovery on April 22, 1500 by a Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral, Anchieta was one of the founders of...

 and Manuel da Nóbrega
Manuel da Nóbrega
Manuel da Nóbrega was a Portuguese Jesuit priest and first Provincial of the Society of Jesus in colonial Brazil...

, founders of the city of São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

, Brazil, were also Jesuit priests. Another famous Jesuit was St. Jean de Brebeuf, a French missionary who was martyred in what was once New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 (now Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

) in Canada during the 17th century.
One other very famous Jesuit was Gerard Manley Hopkins, the famous poet.

Jesuit Educational institutions


Although the work of the Jesuits today embraces a wide variety of apostolates, ministries, and civil occupations, they are probably most well known for their educational work. Since the inception of the order, Jesuits have been teachers. Today, there are Jesuit-run universities, colleges, high schools and middle or elementary schools in dozens of countries. Jesuits also serve on the faculties of both Catholic and secular schools as well.

Highlight of Jesuit University


In the United States, the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities are located in 19 states across the country.


Jesuit Universities include:

Publications


Jesuits are also known for their involvement in publications. La Civiltà Cattolica
La Civiltà Cattolica
La Civiltà Cattolica is a Rome based Italian biweekly magazine printed by the Jesuits. The bimonthly journal was founded in 1850 with papal funding by order of the Pope and readers have recognised it as representing contemporary Vatican opinion. It has been praised and highly regarded by readers...

, a periodical produced in Rome by the Jesuits, has often been used as a semi-official platform for popes and Vatican officials to float ideas for discussion or hint at future statements or positions. In the United States, America
America (magazine)
America is a national weekly magazine published by the American Jesuits that contains news and opinion about Catholicism and how it relates to American politics and cultural life....

 magazine has long had a prominent place in intellectual Catholic circles, and the Jesuits produce Company, a periodical specifically about Jesuit activities. Most Jesuit colleges and universities have their own presses which produce a variety of books, book series, textbooks and academic publications as well. Ignatius Press
Ignatius Press
Ignatius Press, named for Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order, is a Catholic publishing house based in San Francisco, California, USA. It was founded in 1978 by Father Joseph Fessio SJ, a Jesuit priest and former pupil of Pope Benedict XVI...

, staffed by Jesuits, is an independent publisher of Catholic books, most of which are of the popular academic or lay-intellectual variety.

In Australia, the Jesuits produce a number of magazines, including Eureka Street
Eureka Street
Eureka Street is an Australian magazine concerned with public affairs, arts, and theology started in 1989 by Michael Kelly SJ, Morag Fraser, and Adrian Lyons SJ. It was published in paper format for 15 years and was an opinion-forming magazine for many of those years...

, Madonna, Australian Catholics, and Province Express.

Literature & Jesuit Studies


In Canada, Fr. William Lonc has produced a total of thirty-six English and French translations of Jesuit Canadiana (memoirs, mission diaries, Huron & Quebec Relations). The collection features the works of the following authors: Campeau
Campeau
Campeau may refer to:* Charles-Édouard Campeau , politician* Frank Campeau , actor* Jean Campeau , businessman and politician* Lucien Campeau , cardiologist* Robert Campeau , businessman...

, Latourelle, Côté
Côté
Côté or Coté is a surname, and may refer to:* Alain Côté , Canadian ice hockey player* Alain Côté Côté or Coté is a surname, and may refer to:* Alain Côté (ice hockey b. 1957), (born 1957) Canadian ice hockey player* Alain Côté Côté or Coté is a surname, and may refer to:* Alain Côté (ice hockey...

, Cadieux, Lonc-Pearen, Cholenec, Martin
Martin
Martin may refer to:-In Europe:Croatia* Martin, Croatia, a village in SlavoniaSlovakia*Martin, SlovakiaSpain*Martín, a tributary of the Ebro river*Martín del Río, a town in Aragón, SpainSwitzerland*Martin , a town in Val Poschiavo...

, Chaumonot, Brébeuf, Lalemant, Rageneau, Biard
Biard
Biard is a commune in the Vienne department in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France.The Boivre river runs through it.commune in the Vienne department in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France.-Population:-External links:****...

, Le Jeune, Shanahan
Shanahan
The Shanahan surname might refer to:*Brendan Shanahan, a Canadian hockey player*Brendan Shanahan , an Australian journalist and writer*Holly Shanahan, a New Zealand actress*Jeremiah F. Shanahan Roman Catholic Bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania...

, Nabarra and Du Ranquet.

Jesuit buildings


Pictured here is the Sanctuary of Loyola in Azpeitia
Azpeitia
Azpeitia is a town and municipality within the province of Gipuzkoa, in the Basque Country of Spain, located on the Urola river a few kilometres east of Azkoitia. Its population is 13,708 . It is located 16 miles southwest of Donostia/San Sebastián.Azpeitia is the birth place of Ignatius of Loyola...

, Spain, the main Jesuit shrine in the birth place of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

Popular culture

  • The Mission 1986 award winning film in which 18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal.
  • Black Robe
    Black Robe
    Black Robe is a historical novel by Brian Moore based on the Jesuit missionaries in New France. It was published in 1985.The novel takes place in the 17th century in New France. It follows Father Laforgue, a French Jesuit priest traveling up river to repopulate the mission to the Huron Indians...

     1991 film about a Jesuit in the 17th century Quebec and his struggles with the Algonquin tribe.
  • The Exorcist
    The Exorcist
    The Exorcist is a novel of supernatural suspense by William Peter Blatty, published by Harper & Row in 1971. It was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University, a Jesuit school...

     Novel and film set at Georgetown University and Fordham University, two Jesuit schools, with two Jesuit priests as exorcists. The novel and screenplay were written by William Peter Blatty, a 1950 graduate of Georgetown.
  • Possessed (2000 film)
    Possessed (2000 film)
    Possessed is the name of a 2000 Showtime original movie starring Timothy Dalton, based on events appearing in the book Possessed by Thomas B. Allen, which is inspired by the exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim;...

     a film based on a book by Thomas B. Allen (author)
    Thomas B. Allen (Author)
    Thomas B. Allen is an American author and historian. He resides in Bethesda, MD. He is also the father of science fiction writer Roger MacBride Allen. Allen is a contributing editor to National Geographic.-Publication and film:...

     concerning the same events that inspired The Exorcist
    The Exorcist
    The Exorcist is a novel of supernatural suspense by William Peter Blatty, published by Harper & Row in 1971. It was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University, a Jesuit school...

    .
  • The Sparrow 1996 science fiction novel about a Jesuit mission to an alien world. (See also its 1998 sequel, Children of God
    Children of God (novel)
    Children of God is the second book, and the second science fiction novel, written by author Mary Doria Russell. It is the sequel to the award-winning novel, The Sparrow.- Plot summary :...

    .)
  • A Case of Conscience
    A Case of Conscience
    A Case of Conscience is a science fiction novel by James Blish, first published in 1958. It is the story of a Jesuit who investigates an alien race that has no religion; they are completely without any concept of God, an afterlife, or the idea of sin; and the species evolves through several forms...

     1958 science fiction novel about a Jesuit mission to an alien world.
  • The Vicomte de Bragelonne
    The Vicomte de Bragelonne
    The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later is a novel by Alexandre Dumas. It is the third and last of the d'Artagnan Romances, following The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After. It appeared first in serial form between 1847 and 1850...

     Novel, by Alexandre Dumas, in which Aramis
    Aramis
    C. René d'Aramis de Vannes is a fictional character in the novels The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas, père...

    , once musketeer
    Musketeer
    A musketeer was an early modern type of infantry soldier equipped with a musket. Musketeers were an important part of early modern armies, particularly in Europe. They sometimes could fight on horseback, like a dragoon or a cavalryman...

     now turned Jesuit, plays a key role.
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialised in the magazine The Egoist from 1914 to 1915, and published first in book format in 1916 by B. W. Huebsch, New York. The first English edition was published by the Egoist Press in February 1917...

     1916 novel by James Joyce
    James Joyce
    James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

     in which the protagonist, Stephen Dedalus
    Stephen Dedalus
    Stephen Dedalus is James Joyce's literary alter ego, appearing as the protagonist and antihero of his first, semi-autobiographical novel of artistic existence A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and an important character in Joyce's Ulysses...

     is educated at Jesuit schools Clongowes Wood College
    Clongowes Wood College
    Clongowes Wood College is a voluntary secondary boarding school for boys, located near Clane in County Kildare, Ireland. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1814, it is one of Ireland's oldest Catholic schools, and featured prominently in James Joyce's semi-autobiographical novel A Portrait of the...

     and Belvedere College
    Belvedere College
    Belvedere College SJ is a private secondary school for boys located on Great Denmark Street, Dublin, Ireland. It is also known as St. Francis Xavier's College....

     while growing up in Ireland.
  • The Magic Mountain
    The Magic Mountain
    The Magic Mountain is a novel by Thomas Mann, first published in November 1924. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential works of 20th century German literature....

     1924 novel by Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

     has an intellectual Jesuit named Naphta who represents one side in the book's philosophical conflict.
  • The Jesuit 1973 novel by John Gallahue about a Jesuit's mission to 1930s Russia.
  • Angélique
    Angelique (series)
    Angelique is series of 13 French historical adventure books by the novelist duo Anne and Serge Golon. The first 10 books have been adapted into English while numbers 11-13 have not...

     Novel series, by Sergeanne Golon, One of Angélique's brothers became an influential Jesuit. While in the later part of the series when Angélique finally reunited with her family in the New World, both she and her husband, Joffrey de Peyrac, were constantly persecuted by the manipulative
    Psychological manipulation
    Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at the other's expense, such methods could be considered exploitative,...

      and fanatical Jesuit Sébastien d'Orgeval.
  • The Man In The Iron Mask Movie in which Jeremy Irons
    Jeremy Irons
    Jeremy John Irons is an English actor. After receiving classical training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Irons began his acting career on stage in 1969, and has since appeared in many London theatre productions including The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the...

     plays Aramis
    Aramis
    C. René d'Aramis de Vannes is a fictional character in the novels The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas, père...

    , who is the general of the Order of Jesuits.
  • Mason & Dixon
    Mason & Dixon
    Mason & Dixon is a postmodernist novel by American author Thomas Pynchon published in 1997. It centers on the collaboration of the historical Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in their astronomical and surveying exploits in Cape Colony, Saint Helena, Great Britain and along the Mason-Dixon line in...

     1997 novel by Thomas Pynchon
    Thomas Pynchon
    Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. is an American novelist. For his most praised novel, Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon received the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature...

     about the team of men who surveyed the Mason-Dixon Line
    Mason-Dixon line
    The Mason–Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. It forms a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and...

    , in which the Jesuits are at the center of a vast conspiracy to regain Church control of science.
  • "The Star
    The Star (short story)
    "The Star" is a science fiction short story by English writer Arthur C. Clarke. It appeared in the science fiction magazine Infinity Science Fiction in 1955 and won the Hugo award in 1956. The story was also published as "Star of Bethlehem"...

    " 1955 science fiction short story by Arthur C. Clarke
    Arthur C. Clarke
    Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein,...

     about a Jesuit who discovers amongst the rubble of a dead star the archival vault of a civilization which paid the ultimate price so that a star could shine above Bethlehem. In 1956, it won a Hugo award
    Hugo Award
    The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards...

     for best short story. The New Twilight Zone
    The New Twilight Zone
    The Twilight Zone is the first of two revivals of Rod Serling's acclaimed 1950/60s television series of the same name. It ran for two seasons on CBS before producing a final season for syndication.-Series history:...

     1985 episode of "The Star
    The Star (The Twilight Zone)
    "The Star" is the third and final segment of the thirteenth episode from the first season of the television series The New Twilight Zone.-Synopsis:...

    ," based on Clarke's short story, ended in a more upbeat fashion.

Further reading

  • Desideri (1932). An Account of Tibet: The Travels of Ippolito Desideri 1712–1727. Ippolito Desideri. Edited by Filippo De Filippi. Introduction by C. Wessels. Reproduced by Rupa & Co, New Delhi. 2005

Catholic Church documents


Jesuit documents


Media

  • The BBC Radio 4 In Our Time programme on 18 January 2007 was devoted to the early history and educational role of the Jesuits; the programme's website offers a free podcast and 'listen again' service In Our Time website
  • Jesuits Saints and Blessed