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Society of Jesus

Religious order founded by Saint Ignatius Loyola

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Society of Jesus (COMPANY OF JESUS, JESUITS), a religious order founded by Saint Ignatius Loyola (q.v.). Designated by him “The Company of Jesus” to indicate its true leader and its soldier spirit, the title was latinized into “Societas Jesu” in the Bull of Paul III approving its formation and the first formula of its Institute (“Regimini militantis ecclesiae”, September 27, 1540). The term “Jesuit” (of fifteenth-century origin, meaning one who used too freely or appropriated the name of Jesus), was first applied to the Society in reproach (1544-52), and was never employed by its founder, though members and friends of the Society in time accepted the name in its good sense. The Society ranks among religious institutes as a mendicant order of clerks regular, that is, a body of priests organized for apostolic work, following a religious rule, and relying on alms for their support (Bulls of Pius V, “Dum Indefessae”, July 7, 1571; Gregory XIII, “Ascendente Domino” (q.v.), May 25, 1584].

As has been explained under the title “Ignatius Loyola”, the founder began his self-reform, and the enlistment of followers, entirely prepossessed with the idea of the imitation of Christ, and without any plan for a religious order or purpose of attending to the needs of the days. Unexpectedly prevented from carrying out this original idea, he offered his services and those of his followers to the pope, “Christ upon Earth”, who at once employed them in such works as were most pressing at the moment. It was only after this and just before the first companions broke up to go at the pope’s command to various countries, that the resolution to found an order was taken, and that Ignatius was commissioned to draw up Constitutions. This he did slowly and methodically; first introducing rules and customs, and seeing how they worked. He did not codify them for the first six years. Then three years were given to formulating laws, the wisdom of which had been proved by experiment. In the last six years of the saint’s life the Constitutions so composed were finally revised and put into practice everywhere. This sequence of events explains at once how the Society, though devoted to the following of Christ, as though there were nothing else in the world to care for, is also so excellently adapted to the needs of the day. It began to attend to them before it began to legislate; and its legislation was the codification of those measures which had been proved by experience to be apt to preserve its preliminary religious principle among men actually devoted to the requirements of the Church in days not unlike our own.

The Society was not founded with the avowed intention of opposing Protestantism. Neither the papal letters of approbation, nor the Constitutions of the order mention this as the object of the new foundation. When Ignatius began to devote himself to the service of the Church, he had probably not heard even the names of the Protestant Reformers. His early plan was rather the conversion of Mohammedans, an idea which, a few decades after the final triumph of the Christians over the Moors in Spain, must have strongly appealed to the chivalrous Spaniard. The name “Societas Jesu” had been borne by a military order approved and recommended by Pius II in 1459, the purpose of which was to fight against the Turks and aid in spreading the Christian faith. The early Jesuits were sent by Ignatius first to pagan lands or to Catholic countries; to Protestant countries only at the special request of the pope, and to Germany, the cradleland of the Reformation, at the urgent solicitation of the imperial ambassador. From the very beginning the missionary labors of Jesuits among the pagans of India, Japan, China, Canada, Central and South America were as important as their activity in Christian countries. As the object of the Society was the propagation and strengthening of the Catholic Faith everywhere, the Jesuits naturally endeavored to counteract the spread of Protestantism. They became the main instruments of the Counter-Reformation; the reconquest of southern and western Germany and Austria for the Church, and the preservation of the Catholic faith in France and other countries were due chiefly to their exertions.


The official publication which comprises all the regulations of the Society, its codex legum, is entitled “Institutum Societatis Jesu”, of which the latest edition was issued at Rome and Florence, 1869-91 (for full bibliography see Sommervogel, V, 75-115; IX, 609-611; for commentators see X, 705-710). The Institute contains: (I) The special Bulls and other pontifical documents approving the Society and canonically determining or regulating its various works, and its ecclesiastical standing and relations.—Besides those already mentioned, other important Bulls are those of: Paul III, “Injunctum nobis”, March 14, 1543; Julius III, “Exposcit debitum”, July 21, 1550; Pius V, “Aequum reputamus”, January 17, 1565; Pius VII, “Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum”, August 7, 1814; Leo XIII, “Dolemus inter alia”, July 13, 1880. (2) The Examen Generale and Constitutions.—The Examen contains subjects to be explained to postulants and points on which they are to be examined. The Constitutions are divided into ten parts: (a) admission; (b) dismissal; (c) novitiate; (d) scholastic training; (e) profession and other grades of membership; (f) religious vows and other obligations as observed in the Society; (g) missions and other ministries; (h) congregations, local and general assemblies as a means of union and uniformity; (i) the general and chief superiors; (j) preservation of the spirit of the Society. Thus far in the Institute all is by St. Ignatius, who has also added “Declarations” of various obscure parts. Then come: (3) Decrees of General Congregations, which have equal authority with the Constitutions; (4) Rules, general and particular, etc.; (5) Formulae or order of business for the congregations; (6) Ordinations of generals, which have the same authority as the rules; (7) Instructions, some for superiors, others for those engaged in the missions or other works of the Society;(8) Industriae, or special counsels for superiors; (9) The Book of the Spiritual Exercises; and (10) the Ratio Studiorum (q.v.), which have directive force only.

The Constitutions as drafted by Ignatius and adopted finally by the first congregation of the Society, 1558, have never been altered. Ill-informed writers have stated that Lainez, the second general, made considerable changes in the saint’s conception of the order; but Ignatius’s own last recension of the Constitutions, lately reproduced in facsimile (Rome, 1908), exactly agrees with the text of the Constitutions now in force, and contains no word by Lainez, not even in the Declarations, or glosses added to the text, which are all the work of Ignatius. The text in use in the Society is a Latin version prepared under the direction of the third congregation, and subjected to a minute comparison with the Spanish original preserved in the Society‘s archives, during the fourth congregation (1581).

These Constitutions were written after long deliberation between Ignatius and his companions in founding the Society, as at first it seemed to them that they might continue their work without the aid of a special Rule. They were the fruit of long experience and of serious meditation and prayer. Throughout they are inspired by an exalted spirit of charity and of zeal for souls. They contain nothing unreasonable. To appreciate them, however, requires a knowledge of canon law as applied to monastic life and also of their history in the light of the times for which they were framed. Usually those who find fault with them either have never read them or else have misinterpreted them. Monod, for instance, in his introduction to Bohmer’s essay on the Jesuits (“Les jesuites”, Paris, 1910, pp. 13, 14) recalls how Michelet mistranslated the words of the Constitutions, p. VI, c. 5, obligationem ad peccatum, and made it appear that they require obedience even to the commission of sin, as if the text were obligatio ad peccandum, whereas the obvious meaning and purpose of the text is precisely to show that the transgression of the rules is not in itself sinful. Monod enumerates such men as Arnauld, Wolf, Lange, Ranke in the first edition of his “History”, Masser and Droysen, Philippson and Charbonnel, as having repeated the same error, although it had been refuted frequently since 1824, particularly by Gieseler, and corrected by Ranke in his second edition. Whenever the Constitutions enjoin what is already a serious moral obligation, or superiors, by virtue of their authority, impose a grave obligation, transgression is sinful; but this is true of such transgressions not only in the Society but out of it. Moreover such commands are rarely given by the superiors and only when the good of the individual member or the common good imperatively demands it. The rule throughout is one of love inspired by wisdom, and it must be interpreted in the spirit of charity which animates it. This is especially true of its provisions for the affectionate relations of members with superiors and with one another, by the manifestation of conscience, more or less practiced in every religious order, and by mutual correction when this may be necessary. It also applies to the methods employed to ascertain the qualifications of members for various offices or ministries.

The chief authority is vested in the general congregation, which elects the general, and could, for certain grave causes, depose him. This body could also (though there has never yet been an occasion for so doing) add new Constitutions, and abrogate old ones. Usually this congregation is convened on the occasion of the death of a general, in order to elect his successor, and to make provisions for the government and welfare of the Society. It may also be called at other times for grave reasons. It consists of the general, when alive, and his assistants, the provincials, and two deputies from each province or territorial division of the society elected by the superiors and older professed members. Thus authority in the Society eventually rests on a democratic basis. But as there is no definite time for calling the general congregation, which in fact rarely occurs except to elect a new general, the exercise of authority is usually in the hands of the general, in whom is vested the fullness of administrative power, and of spiritual authority. He can do anything within the scope of the Constitutions, and can even dispense with them for good causes, though he cannot change them. He resides at Rome, and has a council of assistants, five in number at present, one each for Italy, France, Spain and countries of Spanish origin, one for Germany, Austria, Poland, Belgium, Hungary, Holland, and one for English-speaking countries—England, Ireland, United States, Canada, and British colonies (except India). These usually hold office until the death of the general. Should the general through age or infirmity become incapacitated for governing the Society, a vicar is chosen by a general congregation to act for him. At his death he names one so to act until the congregation can meet and elect his successor.

Next to him in order of authority come the provincials, the heads of the Society, whether for an entire country, as England, Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Mexico, or, where these units are too large or too small to make convenient provinces they may be subdivided or joined together. Thus there are now four provinces in the United States: California, MarylandNew York, Missouri, New Orleans. In all there are now twenty-seven provinces. The provincial is appointed by the general, with ample administrative faculties. He too has a council of “consultors” and an “admonitor”, appointed by the general. Under the provincial come the local superiors. Of these, rectors of colleges, provosts of professed houses, and masters of novices are appointed by the general; the rest by the provincial. To enable the general to make and control so many appointments, a free and ample correspondence is kept up, and everyone has the right of private communication with him. No superior, except the general, is named for life. Usually provincials and rectors of colleges hold office for three years.

Members of the Society fall into four classes: (1) Novices (whether received as lay brothers for the domestic and temporal services of the order, or as aspirants to the priesthood), who are trained in the spirit and discipline of the order, prior to making the religious vows. (2) At the end of two years the novices make simple but perpetual vows, and, if aspirants to the priesthood, become formed scholastics; they remain in this grade as a rule from two to fifteen years, in which time they will have completed all their studies, pass (generally) a certain period in teaching, receive the priesthood, and go through a third year of novitiate or probation (the tertianship). According to the degree of discipline and virtue, and to the talents they display (the latter are normally tested by the examination for the Degree of Doctor of Theology), they may now become formed coadjutors or professed members of the order. (3) Formed coadjutors, whether formed lay brothers or priests make vows, which, though not solemn, are perpetual on their part; while the Society, on its side, binds itself to them, unless they should commit some grave offense. (4) The professed are all priests, who make, besides the three usual solemn vows of religion, a fourth, of special obedience to the pope in the matter of missions, undertaking to go wherever they are sent, without even requiring money for the journey. They also make certain additional, but non-essential, simple vows, in the matter of poverty, and the refusal of external honors. The professed of the four vows constitute the kernel of the Society; the other grades are regarded as preparatory or as subsidiary to this. The chief offices can be held by the professed alone; and though they may be dismissed, yet they must be received back, if willing to comply with the conditions that may be prescribed. Otherwise they enjoy no privileges, and many posts of importance, such as the government of colleges, may be held by members of other grades. For special reasons some are occasionally professed of three vows and they have certain but not all the privileges of the other professed. All live in community alike as regards food, apparel, lodging, recreation, and all are alike bound by the rules of the Society.

There are no secret Jesuits. Like other orders the Society can, if it will, make its friends participators in its prayers and in the merits of its good works; but it cannot make them members of the order, unless they live the life of the order. There is indeed the case of St. Francis Borgia, who made some of the probations in an unusual way, outside the houses of the order. But this was in order that he might be free to conclude certain business matters and other affairs of state, and thus appear the sooner in public as a Jesuit, not that he might remain permanently outside the common life.

Novitiate and Training.—Candidates for admission come not only from the colleges conducted by the Society, but from other schools. Frequently post-graduate or professional students, and those who have already begun their career in business or professional life, or even in the priesthood, apply for admission. Usually the candidate applies in person to the provincial, and if he considers him a likely subject he refers him for examination to four of the more experienced fathers. They question him about the age, health, position, occupation of his parents, their religion and good character, their dependence on his services; about his own health, obligations, such as debts, or other contractual relations; his studies, qualifications, moral character, personal motives as well as the external influences that may have led him to seek admission. The results of their questioning and of their own observation they report severally to the provincial, who weighs their opinions carefully before deciding for or against the applicant. Any notable bodily or mental defect in the candidate, serious indebtedness or other obligation, previous membership in another religious order even for a day, indicating instability of vocation, unqualifies for admission. Undue influence, particularly if exercised by members of the order, would occasion stricter scrutiny than usual into the personal motives of the applicant.

Candidates may enter at any time, but usually there is a fixed day each year for their admission, towards the close of the summer holidays, in order that all may begin their training, or probation, together. They spend the first ten days considering the manner of life they are to adopt and its difficulties, the rules of the order, the obedience required of its members. They then make a brief retreat, meditating on what they have learned about the Society and examining closely their own motives and hopes of perseverance in the new mode of life. If all be satisfactory to them and the superior or director who has charge of them, they are admitted as novices, wear the clerical costume (as there is no special Jesuit habit), and begin in earnest the life of members of the Society. They rise early, make a brief visit to the chapel, a meditation on some subject selected the night before, assist at Mass, review their meditation, breakfast, and then prepare for the day’s routine. This consists of manual labor, in or out of doors, reading books on spiritual topics, ecclesiastical history, biography, particularly of men or women distinguished for zeal and enterprise in missionary or educational fields. There is a daily conference by the master of novices on some detail of the Institute, notes of which all are required to make, so as to be ready, when asked, to repeat the salient points.

Wherever it is possible some are submitted to certain tests of their vocation and usefulness: to teaching catechism in the village churches; to attendance on the sick in hospitals; to going about on a pilgrimage or missionary journey without money or other provision. As soon as possible all make the spiritual exercises for thirty days. This is really the chief test of a vocation, as it is also in epitome the main work of the two years of the novitiate and for that matter of the entire life of a Jesuit. On these exercises the Constitutions, the life, and activity of the Society are based, so that they are really the chief factor in forming the character of a Jesuit. In accordance with the ideals set forth in these exercises, of disinterested conformity with God‘s will, and of personal love of Jesus Christ, the novice is trained diligently in a meditative study of the truths of religion, in the habit of self-knowledge, in a constant scrutiny of his motives and of the actions inspired by them, in the correction of every form of self-deceit, illusion, plausible pretext, and in the education of his will, particularly in making choice of what seems best after careful deliberation and without self-seeking. Deeds, not words, are insisted upon as proof of genuine service, and a mechanical, emotional, or fanciful piety is not tolerated. As the novice gradually thus becomes master of his judgment and will, he grows more and more capable of offering to God the reasonable service enjoined by St. Paul, and seeks to follow the Divine will, as manifested by Jesus Christ, by His vicar on earth, by the bishops appointed to rule His Church, by his more immediate or religious superiors, and by the civil powers rightfully exercising authority. This is what is meant by Jesuit obedience, the characteristic virtue of ‘the order, such a sincere respect for authority as to accept its decisions and comply with them, not merely by outward performance but in all sincerity with the conviction that compliance is best, and that the command expresses for the time the will of God, as nearly as it can be ascertained.

The noviceship lasts two years. On its completion the novice makes the usual vows of religion, the simple vow of chastity in the Society having the force of a diriment impediment to matrimony. During the noviceship but a brief time daily is devoted to reviewing previous studies. The noviceship over, the scholastic members, i.e. those who are to become priests in the Society, follow a special course in classics and mathematics lasting two years, usually in the same house with the novices. Then, in another house and neighborhood, three years are given to the study of philosophy, about five years to teaching in one or other of the public colleges of the Society, four years to the study of theology, priestly orders being conferred after the third, and, finally, one year more to another probation or noviceship, intended to help the young priest to renew his spirit of piety and to learn how to utilize to the best of his ability all the learning and experience he has acquired. In exceptional cases, as in that of a priest who has finished his studies before entering the order, allowance is made, and the training period need not last over ten years, a good part of which is spent in active ministry.

The object of the order is not limited to practising any one class of good works, however laudable (as preaching, chanting office, doing penance, etc.) but to study, in the manner of the Spiritual Exercises, what Christ would have done, if He were living in our circumstances, and to carry out that ideal. Hence elevation and largeness of aim. Hence the motto of the Society: “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam”. Hence the selection of the virtue of obedience as the characteristic of the order, to be ready for any call and to keep unity in every variety of work. Hence, by easy sequence, the omission of office in choir, of a specially distinctive habit, of unusual penances. Where the Protestant Reformers aimed at reorganizing the Church at large according to their particular conceptions, Ignatius began with interior self-reform; and after that had been thoroughly established, then the earnest preaching of self-reform to others. That done, the Church would not, and did not, fail to reform herself. Many religious distinguished themselves as educators before the Jesuits; but the Society was the first order which enjoined by its very Constitutions devotion to the cause of education. It was, in this sense, the first “teaching order”.

The ministry of the Society consists chiefly in preaching; teaching catechism, especially to children; administering the sacraments, especially penance and the Eucharist; conducting missions in parishes on the lines of the Spiritual Exercises; directing those who wish to follow these exercises in houses of retreat, seminaries, or convents; taking care of parishes or of collegiate churches; organizing pious confraternities, sodalities, unions of prayer, Bona Mors associations in their own and in other parishes; teaching in schools of every grade—academic, seminary, university; writing books, pamphlets, periodical articles; going on foreign missions among uncivilized peoples. In liturgical functions the Roman Rite is followed. The proper exercise of all these functions is provided for by rules carefully framed by the general congregations or the generals. All these regulations command the greatest respect on the part of every member. In practice the superior for the time being is the living rule—not that he can alter or abrogate any rule, but because he must interpret and determine its application. In this fact and in its consequences, the Society differs from every religious order antecendent to its foundation; to this principally it owes its life, activity, and power to adapt its Institute to modern conditions without need of change in that instrument or of reform in the body itself.

The story of the foundation of the Society is told in the article Saint Ignatius Loyola. Briefly, after having inspired his companions Peter Faber, Francis Xavier, James Lainez, Alonso Salmeron, Nicolas Bobadilla, Simon Rodriguez, Claude Le Jay, Jean Codure, and Paschase Brouet with a desire to dwell in the Holy Land imitating the life of Christ, they first made vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre, Paris, on August 15, 1534, adding a vow to go to the Holy Land after two years. When this was found to be impracticable, after waiting another year, they offered their services to the pope, Paul III. Fully another year was passed by some in university towns in Italy, by the others at Rome, where, after encountering much opposition and slander, all met together to agree on a mode of life by which they might advance in evangelical perfection and help others in the same task. The first formula of the Institute was submitted to the pope and approved of viva voce, September 3, 1539, and formally, September 27, 1540.


(1) Saint Ignatius Loyola (q.v.), April 19, 1541-July 31, 1556. The Society spread rapidly and at the time of St. Ignatius’s death had twelve provinces: Italy, Sicily, Portugal, Aragon, Castile, Andalusia, Upper Germany, Lower Germany, France, India (including Japan), Brazil, and Ethiopia, the last-mentioned province lasting but a short time. It met with opposition at the University of Paris; while in Spain it was severely attacked by Melchior Cano.

(2) James Lainez (q.v.), July 2, 1558-January 19, 1565. Lainez served two years as vicar-general, and was chosen general in the first general congregation, retarded till 1558 (June 19-September 10), owing to the unfortunate war between Paul IV and Philip II. Paul IV gave orders that the Divine Office should be recited in choir, and also that the generalate should only last for three years. The pope died on August 18, 1559, and his orders were not renewed by his successor, Pius IV; indeed he refused Father Lainez leave to resign when his first triennium closed. Through Pius’s nephew, St. Charles Borromeo, the Society now received many privileges and openings, and progress was rapid. Father Lainez himself was sent to the “Colloquy of Poissy”, and to the Council of Trent (1563-4), Saint Francis Borgia being left in Rome as his vicar-general. At the death of Lainez the Society numbered 3500 members in 18 provinces and 130 houses.

(3) Saint Francis Borgia (q.v.), July 2, 1565-October 1, 1572. One of the most delicate tasks of his government was to negotiate with Pope St. Pius V, who desired to reintroduce the singing of Office. This was in fact begun in May, 1569, but only in professed houses, and it was not to interfere with other work. Pius also ordained (Christmas, 1566) that no candidate of any religious order for the priesthood should be ordained until after his profession; and this indirectly caused much trouble to the Society, with its distinct grades of professed and non-professed priests. All had therefore to be professed of three vows, until Gregory XIII (December, 1572) allowed the original practice to be restored. Under his administration the foreign missionary work of the order greatly increased and prospered. New missions were opened by the Society in Florida, Mexico, and Peru.

(4) Everard Mercurian, Belgian, April 23, 1573—August 1, 1580. Fr. Mercurian was born in 1514 in the village of Marcour (Luxemburg), whence his name, which he signed Everard de Marcour. He became the first non-Spanish general of the Society. Pope Gregory XIII, without commanding, had expressed his desire for this change. This, however, caused great dissatisfaction and opposition among a number of Spanish and Portuguese members, which came to a crisis during the generalate of Father Mercurian’s successor, Father Claudius Acquaviva. Father Tolet was entrusted with the task of obtaining the submission of Michael Baius to the decision of the Holy See; he succeeded, but his success served later to draw on the Society the hatred of the Jansenists. Father Mercurian, when general, brought the Rules to their final form, compiling the “Summary of the Constitutions” from the manuscripts of St. Ignatius, and drawing up the “Common Rules” of the Society, and the particular rules for each office. He was greatly interested in the foreign missions and established the Maronite and English missions, and sent to the latter Blessed Edmund Campion and Father Robert Persons. Father Everard Mercurian passed thirty-two years in the Society, and died at the age of sixty-six. At that time the Society numbered 5000 members in eighteen provinces.

(5) Claudius Acquaviva, or Acquaviva (q.v.), Neapolitan, February 19, 1581—January 31, 1615 (for the disputations on grace, see Congregatio de Auxiliis). After Ignatius, Acquaviva was perhaps the ablest ruler of the Society. As a legislator he reduced to its present form the final parts of the Institute, and the Ratio Studiorum (q.v.). He had also to contend with extraordinary obstacles both from without and within. The Society was banished from France and from Venice; there were grave differences with the King of Spain, with Sixtus V, with the Dominican theologians; and within the Society the rivalry between Spaniard and Italian led to unusual complications and to the calling of two extraordinary general congregations (fifth and sixth). The origin of these troubles is perhaps eventually to be sought in the long wars of religion, which gradually died down after the canonical absolution of Henry IV, 1595 (in which Fathers Georges, Toledo, and Possevinus played important parts). The fifth congregation in 1593 supported Acquaviva steadily against the opposing parties, and the sixth, in 1608, completed the union of opinions. Paul V had in 1606 reconfirmed the Institute, which from now onwards may be considered to have won a stable position in the Church at large, until the epoch of the Suppression and the Revolution. Missions were established in Canada, Chile, Paraguay, the Philippine Islands, and China. At Father Acquaviva‘s death the Society numbered 13,112 members in 32 provinces and 559 houses.

(6) Mutius Vitelleschi (q.v.), Roman, November 15, 1615—February 9, 1645. His generalate was one of the most pacific and progressive, especially in France and Spain; but the Thirty Years’ War worked havoc in Germany. The canonization of Sts. Ignatius and Francis Xavier (1622) and the first centenary of the Society (1640) were celebrated with great rejoicings. The great mission of Paraguay began, that of Japan was stamped out in blood. England was raised in 1619 to the rank of a province of the order, having been a mission until then. Missions were established in Tibet (1624), Tonkin (1627), and the Maranhao (1640).

(7) Vincent Caraffa (q.v.), Neapolitan, January 7, 1646—June 8, 1649. A few days before Father Caraffa’s election as general, Pope Innocent X published a brief “Prospero felicique statui”, in which he ordered a general congregation of the Society to be held every nine years; it was ordained also that no office in the Society except the position of master of novices should be held for more than three years. The latter regulation was revoked by Innocent’s successor, Alexander VII, on January 1, 1658; and the former by Benedict XIV in 1746 by the Bull “Devotam”, many dispensations having been granted in the meantime.

(8) Francis Piccolomini, of Siena, December 21, 1649—June 17, 1651; before his election as general he had been professor of philosophy at the Roman College; he died at the age of sixty-nine, having passed fifty-three years in the Society.

(9) Aloysius Gottifredi, Roman, January 21, 1652—March 12, 1652; Father Gottifredi died at the house of the professed Fathers, Rome, within two months after his election, and before the Fathers assembled for the election and congregation had concluded their labor. He had been a professor of theology and rector of the Roman College, and later secretary of the Society under Father Mutius Vitelleschi.

(10)Goswin Nickel, German, b. at Julich in 1582; March 17, 1652—July 31, 1664. During these years the struggle with Jansenism was growing more and more heated. The great controversy on the Chinese Rites (1645) was continued (see Matteo Ricci). Owing to his great age Father Nickel obtained from the eleventh congregation the appointment of Father John Paul Oliva as vicar-general (on June 7, 1661), with the approval of Alexander VII.

(11) John Paul Oliva, Genoese (elected vicar cum jure successionis on June 7, 1661), July 31, 1664-November 26, 1681. During his generalate the Society established a mission in Persia, which at first met with great success, four hundred thousand converts being made within twenty-five years; in 1736, however, the mission was destroyed by violent persecution. Father Oliva‘s generalate occurred during one of the most difficult periods in the history of the Society, as the controversies on Jansenism, the droit de regale, and moral theology were being carried on by the opponents of the Society with the greatest acrimony and violence. Father John Paul Oliva labored earnestly to keep up the Society‘s high reputation for learning, and in a circular letter sent to all the houses of study urged the cultivation of the oriental languages.

(12) Charles de Noyelle, Belgian, July 5, 1682-December 12, 1686. Father de Noyelle was born at Brussels on July 28, 1615; so great was his reputation for virtue and prudence that at his election he received unanimous vote of the congregation. He had been assistant for the Germanic provinces during more than twenty years; he died at the age of seventy, after fifty years spent in the Society. Just about the time of his election, the dispute between Louis XIV of France and Pope Innocent XI had culminated in the publication of the “Declaration du clerge de France” (March 19, 1682). This placed the Society in a difficult position in France, as its spirit of devotion to the papacy was not in harmony with the spirit of the “Declaration”. It required all the ingenuity and ability of Pere La Chaise and Father de Noyelle to avert a disaster. Innocent XI was dissatisfied with the position the Society adopted, and threatened to suppress the order, proceeding even so far as to forbid the reception of novices.

(13) Thyrsus Gonzalez (q.v.), Spaniard, July 6, 1687—October 27, 1705. He interfered in the controversy between Probabilism (q.v.) and Probabiliorism, attacking the former doctrine with energy in a book published at Dillingen in 1691. As Probabilism was on the whole in favor in the Society, this caused discussions, which were not quieted until the fourteenth congregation, 1696, when, with the pope’s approval, liberty was left to both sides. Father Gonzalez in his earlier days had labored with great fruit as a missionary, and after his election as general encouraged the work of popular home missions. His treatise “De infallibilitate Romani pontificis in definiendis fidei et morum controversiis”, which was a vigorous attack on the doctrines laid down in the “Declaration du clerge de France“, was published at Rome in 1689 by order of Pope Innocent XI; however, Innocent’s successor, Alexander VII, caused the work to be withdrawn, as its effect had been to render the relations between France and the Holy See more difficult. Father Gonzalez labored earnestly to spread devotion to the saints of the Society; he died at the age of eighty-four, having passed sixty-three years in the order, during nineteen of which he was general.

(14) Michelangelo Tamburini, of Modena, January 31, 1706-February 28, 1730. The long reign of Louis XIV, so favorable to the Jesuits in many respects, saw the beginning of those hostile movements which were to lead to the Suppression. The king’s autocratic powers, his Gallicanism, his insistence on the repression of the Jansenists by force, the way he compelled the Society to take his part in the quarrel with Rome about the regale (1684-8), led to a false situation in which the parts might be reversed, when the all-powerful sovereign might turn against them, or by standing neutral leave them the prey of others. This was seen at his death, 1715, when the regent banished the once influential father confessor Le Tellier, while the gallicanizing Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal de Noailles, laid them under an interdict (1716-29). Father Tamburini before his election as general had taught philosophy and theology for twelve years and had been chosen by Cardinal Renaud d’Este as his theologian; he had also been provincial of Venice, secretary-general of the Society, and vicar-general. During the disputes concerning the Chinese Rites (q.v.), the Society was accused of resisting the orders of the Holy See. Father Tamburini protested energetically against this calumny, and when in 1711 the procurators of all the provinces of the Society were assembled at Rome, he had them sign a protest which he dedicated to Pope Clement XI. The destruction of Port-Royal and the condemnation of the errors of Quesnel by the Bull “Unigenitus” (1711) testified to the accuracy of the opinions adopted by the Society in these disputes. Father Tamburini procured the canonization of Saints Aloysius Gonzaga and Stanislaus Kostka, and the beatification of St. John Francis Regis. During his generalate the mission of Paraguay reached its highest degree of success; in one year no fewer than seventy-seven missionaries left for it; the missionary labors of St. Francis de Geronimo and Blessed Anthony Baldinucci in Italy, and Venerable Manuel Padial in Spain, enhanced the reputation of the Society. Father Tamburini died at the age of eighty-two, having spent sixty-five years in religion. At the time of his death the Society contained 37 provinces, 24 houses of professed Fathers, 612 colleges, 59 novitiates, 340 residences, 200 mission stations; in addition one hundred and fifty-seven seminaries were directed by the Jesuits.

(15) Francis Retz, Austrian (born at Prague, in 1673), March 7, 1730-November 19, 1750. Father Retz was elected general unanimously, his able administration contributed much to the welfare of the Society; he obtained the canonization of St. John Francis Regis. Father Retz’s generalate was perhaps the quietest in the history of the order. At the time of his death the Society contained 39 provinces, 24 houses of professed Fathers, 669 colleges,61 novitiates, 335 residences, 273 mission stations, 176 seminaries, and 22,589 members, of whom 11,293 were priests.

(16) Ignatius Visconti, Milanese, July 4, 1751-May 4, 1755. It was during this generalate that the accusations of trading were first made against Father Antoine de La Valette, who was recalled from Martinique in 1753 to justify his conduct. Shortly before dying, Father Visconti allowed him to return to his mission, where the failure of his commercial operations, somewhat later, gave an opportunity to the enemies of the Society in France to begin a warfare that ended only with the Suppression (see below). Trouble with Pombal also began at this time. Father Visconti died at the age of seventy-three.

(17) Aloysius Centurioni, Genoese, November 30, 1755—October 2, 1757. During his brief generalate the most noteworthy facts were the persecution by Pombal of the Portuguese Jesuits and the troubles caused by Father de La Valette’s commercial activities and disasters. Father Centurioni died at Castel Gandolfo, at the age of seventy-two.

(18) Lorenzo Ricci (q.v.), Florentine, May 21, 1758, till the Suppression in 1773. In 1759 the Society contained 41 provinces, 270 mission posts, and 171 seminaries. Father Ricci founded the Bavarian province of the order in 1770. His generalate saw the slow death agony of the Society; within two years the Portuguese, Brazilian, and East Indian provinces and missions were destroyed by Pombal; close to two thousand members of the Society were cast destitute on the shores of Italy and imprisoned in fetid dungeons in Portugal. France, Spain, and the Two Sicilies followed in the footsteps of Pombal. The Bull “Apostolicum” of Clement XIII in favor of the Society produced no fruit. Clement XIV at last yielded to the demand for the extinction of the Society. Father Ricci was seized, and cast a prisoner into the Castel San Angelo, where he was treated as a criminal till death ended his sufferings on November 24, 1775. In 1770 the Society contained 42 provinces, 24 houses of professed Fathers, 669 colleges, 61 novitiates, 335 residences, 273 mission stations, and about 23,000 members.


A. Italy

The history of the Jesuits in Italy was in general very peaceful. The only serious disturbances were those arising from the occasional quarrels of the civil governments with the ecclesiastical powers. Ignatius’s first followers were immediately in great request to instruct the faithful, and to reform the clergy, monasteries, and convents. Though there was little organized or deep-seated mischief, the amount of lesser evils was immense; the possibility here and there of a catastrophe was evident. While the preachers and missionaries evangelized the country, colleges were established at Padua, Venice, Naples, Bologna, Florence, Parma, and other cities. On April 20, 1555, the University of Ferrara addressed to the Sorbonne a most remarkable testimony in favor of the order. St. Charles Borromeo was, after the popes, perhaps the most generous of all their patrons, and they freely put their best talents at his disposal. (For the difficulties about his seminary and with Fr. Guilio Mazarino, see Sylvain, “Hist. de S. Charles”, iii, 53.) Juan de Vega, ambassador of Charles V at Rome, had learnt to know and esteem Ignatius there, and when he was appointed Viceroy of Sicily he brought Jesuits with him. A college was opened at Messina; success was marked, and its rules and methods were afterwards copied in other colleges. After fifty years the Society counted in Italy 86 houses and 2550 members. The chief trouble in Italy occurred at Venice in 1606, when Paul V laid the city under interdict for serious breaches of ecclesiastical immunities. The Jesuits and some other religious retired from the city, and the Senate, inspired by Paolo Sarpi, the disaffected friar, passed a decree of perpetual banishment against them. In effect, though peace was made ere long with the pope, it was fifty years before the Society could return. Italy during the first two centuries of the Society was still the most cultured country of Europe, and the Italian Jesuits enjoyed a high reputation for learning and letters. The elder Segneri is considered the first of Italian preachers, and there are a number of others of the first class. Maffei, Torsellino, Strada, Pallavicino, and Bartoli (q.v.) have left historical works which are still highly prized. Between Bellarmine (d. 1621) and Zaccharia (d. 1795) Italian Jesuits of note in theology, controversy, and subsidiary sciences are reckoned by the score. They also claim a large proportion of the saints, martyrs, generals, and missionaries. (See also Aloysius Bellecius; Giovanni Vincenzo Bolgeni; Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich; Antonius Possevinus; Scaramelli; Domenico Viva.) Italy was divided into five provinces, with the following figures for the year 1749 (shortly before the beginning of the movement for the Suppression of the Society): Rome, 848; Naples, 667; Sicily, 775; Venice, 707; Milan, 625; total, 3622 members, about one-half of whom were priests, with 178 houses.

B. Spain

Though the majority of Ignatius’s companions were Spaniards, he did not gather them together in Spain, and the first Jesuits paid only passing visits there. In 1544, however, Father Araoz, cousin of St. Ignatius and a very eloquent preacher, came with six companions, and then their success was rapid. On September 1, 1547, Ignatius established the province of Spain with seven houses and about forty religious; St. Francis Borgia joined in 1548; in 1550 Lainez accompanied the Spanish troops in their African campaign. With rapid success came unexpected opposition. Melchoir Cano, O.P., a theologian of European reputation, attacked the young order, which could make no effective reply, nor could anyone get the professor to keep the peace. But, very unpleasant as the trial was, it eventually brought advantage to the order, as it advertised it well in university circles, and moreover drew out defenders of unexpected efficiency, as Juan de la Pena of the Dominicans, and even their general, Fra Francisco Romeo. The Jesuits continued to prosper, and Ignatius subdivided (September 29, 1554) the existing province into three, containing twelve houses and 139 religious. Yet there were internal troubles both here and in Portugal under Simon Rodriguez, which gave the founder anxieties. In both countries the first houses had been established before the Constitutions and rules were committed to writing. It was inevitable therefore that the discipline introduced by Araoz and Rodriguez should have differed somewhat from that which was being introduced by Ignatius at Rome. In Spain, the good offices of Borgia and the visits of Father Nadal did much to effect a gradual unification of system, though not without difficulty. These troubles, however, affected the higher officials of the order rather than the rank and file, who were animated by the highest motives. The great preacher Ramirez is said to have attracted 500 vocations to religious orders at Salamanca in the year 1564, about fifty of them to the Society. There were 300 Spanish Jesuits at the death of Ignatius in 1556; and 1200 at the close of Borgia’s generalate in 1572. Under the non-Spanish generals who followed there was an unpleasant recrudescence of the nationalistic spirit. Considering the quarrels which daily arose between Spain and other nations, there can be no wonder at such ebullitions. As has been explained under Acquaviva. Philip of Spain lent his aid to the discontented parties, of whom the virtuous Jose de Acosta was the spokesman, Fathers Hernandez, Dionysius Vasquez, Henriquez, and Mariana the real leaders. Their ulterior object was to procure a separate commissary-general for Spain. This trouble was not quieted till the fifth congregation, 1593, after which ensued the great debates de auxiliis with the Dominicans, the protagonists on both sides being Spaniards. (See Congregatio de Auxiliis; Controversies on Grace.)

Serious as these troubles were in their own sphere, they must not be allowed to obscure the fact that in the Society, as in all Catholic organizations of that day, Spaniards played the greatest roles. When we enumerate their great men and their great works, they defy all comparison. This consideration gains further force when we remember that the success ofthe Jesuits in Flanders and in the parts of Italy then united with the Spanish crown was largely due to Spanish Jesuits; and the same is true of the Jesuits in Portugal, which country with its far-stretching colonies was also under the Spanish Crown from 1581 to 1640, though neither the organization of the Portuguese Jesuits nor the civil government of the country itself was amalgamated with those of Spain. But it was in the more abstract sciences that the Spanish genius shone with its greatest lustre; Toledo (d.1596), Molina (1600), de Valentia (1603), Vasquez (1604), Suarez (1617), Ripalda (1648), de Lugo (1660) (qq.v.)—these form a group of unsurpassed brilliance, and there are quite a number of others almost equally remarkable. In moral theology, Sanchez (1610), Azor (1603), Salas (1612), Castro Palao (1633), Torres (Turrianus, 1635), Escobar y Mendoza (1669). In Scripture, Maldonado (1583), Salmeron (1585), Francisco Ribera (1591), Prado (1595), Pereira (1610), Sancio (1628), Pineda (1637). In secular literature mention may be made especially of Jose Francisco de Isla (q.v.), and Baltasar Gracian (1584-1658), author of the “Art of Worldly Wisdom” (El oraculo) and “El criticon”, which seems to have suggested the idea of “Robinson Crusoe” to Defoe.

Following the almost universal custom of the later seventeenth century, the kings of Spain generally had Jesuit confessors; but their attempts at reform were too often rendered ineffective by court intrigues. This was especially the case with the Austrian, Father, later Cardinal, Everard Nidhard (confessor of Maria Anna of Austria), and Pere Daubenton, confessor of Philip V. After the era of the great writers, the chief glory of the Spanish

Jesuits is to be found in their large and flourishing foreign missions in Peru, Chile, New Granada, the Philippines, Paraguay, Quito, which will be noticed under “Missions”, below. They were served by 2171 Jesuits at the time of the Suppression. Spain itself in 1749 was divided into five provinces: Toledo with 659 members, Castile, 718; Aragon, 604; Seville, 662; Sardinia, 300; total, 2943 members (1342 priests) in 158 houses.

C. Portugal

At the time when Ignatius founded his order Portugal was in her heroic age. Her rulers were men of enterprise, her universities were full of life, her trade routes extended over the then known world. The Jesuits were welcomed with enthusiasm and made good use of their opportunities. St. Francis Xavier, traversing Portuguese colonies and settlements, proceeded to make his splendid missionary conquests. These were continued by his confreres in such distant lands as Abyssinia, the Congo, South Africa, China, and Japan, by Fathers Nunhes, Silveira, Acosta, Fernandes, and others. At Coimbra, and afterwards at Evora, the Society made the most surprising progress under such professors as Pedro de Fonseca (d. 1599), Luis Molina (d. 1600), Christovao Gil, Sebastiao de Abreu, etc., and from here also comes the first comprehensive series of philosophical and theological textbooks for students (see Conimbricenses). With the advent of Spanish monarchy, 1581, the Portuguese Jesuits suffered no less than the rest of their country. Luis Carvalho joined the Spanish opponents of Father Acquaviva, and when the Apostolic collector, Ottavio Accoramboni, launched an interdict against the Government of Lisbon, the Jesuits, especially Diego de Areda, became involved in the undignified strife. On the other hand they played an honorable part in the restoration of Portugal‘s liberty in 1640; and on its success the difficulty was to restrain King Joao IV from giving Father Manuel Fernandes a seat in the Cortes, and employing others in diplomatic missions. Amongst these Fathers was Antonio Vieira, one of Portugal‘s most eloquent orators. Up to the Suppression Portugal and her colonists supported the following missions, of which further notices will be found elsewhere, Goa (originally India), Malabar, Japan, China, Brazil, Maranhao. The Portuguese province in 1749 numbered 861 members (384 priests) in 49 houses. (See also Antonio Vieira; Gabriel Malagrida.)

D. France

The first Jesuits, though almost all Spaniards, were trained and made their first vows in France, and the fortunes of the Society in France have always been of exceptional importance for the body at large. In early years its young men were sent to Paris to be educated there as Ignatius had been. They were hospitably received by Guillaume du Prat, Bishop of Clermont, whose hotel grew into the College de Clermont (1550), afterwards known as Louis-le-Grand. Padre Viola was the first rector, but the public classes did not begin till 1564. The Parlement of Paris and the Sorbonne resisted vehemently the letters patent, which Henry II and, after him, Francis II and Charles IX, had granted with little difficulty. Meantime the same Bishop of Clermont had founded a second college at Billom in his own diocese, which was opened on July 26, 1556, before the first general congregation. Colleges at Mauriac and Pamiers soon followed, and between 1565 and 1575 others at Avignon, Chambery, Toulouse, Rodez, Verdun, Nevers, Bordeaux, Pont-a-Mousson; while Fathers Coudret, Auger, Roger, and Pelletier distinguished themselves by their apostolic labors. The utility of the order was also shown in the Colloquies at Poissy (1561) and St-Germain-en-Laye by Fathers Lainez and Possevinus, and again by Father Brouet, who, with two companions, gave his life in the service of the plague-stricken at Paris in 1562; while Father Maldonado lectured with striking effect both at Paris and Bourges.

Meantime serious trouble was growing up with the University of Paris due to a number of petty causes, jealousy of the new teachers, rivalry with Spain, Gallican resentment at the enthusiastic devotion of the Jesuits to Rome, with perhaps a spice of Calvinism. A lawsuit for the closing of Clermont College was instituted before the Parlement, and Estienne Pasquier, counsel for the university, delivered a celebrated plaidoyer against the Jesuits. The Parlement, though then favorable to the order, was anxious not to irritate the university, and came to an indecisive settlement (April 5, 1565). The Jesuits, in spite of the royal license, were not to be incorporated in the university, but they might continue their lectures. Unsatisfied with this, the university retaliated by preventing the Jesuit scholars from obtaining degrees; and later (1573-6), a feud was maintained against Father Maldonado (q.v.), which was eventually closed by the intervention of Gregory XIII, who had also in 1572 raised the College of Pont-a-Mousson to the dignity of a university. But meantime the more or less incessant wars of religion were devastating the land, and from time to time several Jesuits, especially Auger and Manare, were acting as army chaplains. They had no connection with the Massacre of St. Bartholomew (1572); but Maldonado was afterwards deputed to receive Henry of Navarre (afterwards Henry IV) into the Church, and in many places the Fathers were able to shelter fugitives in their houses; and by remonstrance and intercession they saved many lives.

Immediately after his coronation (1575) Henry III chose Father Auger for his confessor, and for exactly two hundred years the Jesuit court confessor became an institution in France; and, as French fashions were then influential, every Catholic Court in time followed the precedent. Considering the difficulty of any sort of control over autocratic sovereigns, the institution of a court confessor was well adapted to the circumstances. The occasional abuses of the office which occurred are chiefly to be attributed to the exorbitant powers vested in the autocrat, which no human guidance could save from periods of decline and degradation. But this was more clearly seen later on. A crisis for French Catholicism was near when, after the death of Francois, Duke of Anjou, 1584, Henri de Navarre, now an apostate, stood heir to the throne, which the feeble Henry III could not possibly retain for long. Sides were taken with enthusiasm, and La sainte ligue was formed for the defense of the Church (see The League; House of Guise; France). It was hardly to be expected that the Jesuits to a man should have remained cool, when the whole populace was in a ferment of excitement. It was morally impossible to keep the Jesuit friends of the exaltes on both sides from participating in their extrememeasures. Auger and Claude Matthieu were respectively in the confidence of the two contending parties, the Court and the League. Father Acquaviva succeeded in with-drawing both from France, though with great difficulty and considerable loss of favor on either side. One or two he could not control for some time, and of these the most remarkable was Henri Samerie, who had been chaplain to Mary Stuart, and became later army chaplain in Flanders. For a year he passed as diplomatic agent from one prince of the League to another, evading, by their means and the favor of Sixtus V, all Acquaviva‘s efforts to get him back to regular life. But in the end discipline prevailed; and Acquaviva‘s orders to respect the consciences of both sides enabled the Society to keep friends with all.

Henry IV made much use of the Jesuits (especially Toledo, Possevinus, and Commolet), although they had favored the League, to obtain canonical absolution and the conclusion of peace; and in time (1604) took Pere Coton (q.v.) as his confessor. This, however, is an anticipation. After the attempt on Henry’s life by Jean Chastel (December 27, 1594), the Parlement of Paris took the opportunity of attacking the Society with fury, perhaps in order to disguise the fact that they had been among the most extreme of the Leaguers, while the Society was among the more moderate. It was pretended that the Society was responsible for Chastel’s crime, because he had once been their student: though in truth he was then at the university. The librarian of the Jesuit College, Jean Guignard, was hanged, January 7, 1595, because an old book against the king was found in a cupboard of his room. Antoine Arnauld, the elder, brought into his plaidoyer before the Parlement every possible calumny against the Society, and the Jesuits were ordered to leave Paris in three days and France in a fortnight. The decree was executed in the districts subject to the Parlement of Paris, but not elsewhere. The king, not being yet canonically absolved, did not then interfere. But the pope, and many others, pleaded earnestly for the revocation of the decree against the order. The matter was warmly debated, and eventually Henry himself gave the permission for its readmission, on September 1, 1603. He now made great use of the Society, founded for it the great College of La Fleche, encouraged its missions at home, in Normandy and Beam, and the commencement of the foreign missions in Canada and the Levant.

The Society immediately began to increase rapidly, and counted thirty-nine colleges, besides other houses, and 1135 religious before the king fell under Ravaillac’s dagger (1610). This was made the occasion for new assaults by the Parlement, who availed themselves of Mariana’s book “De rege” to attack the Society as defenders of tyrannicide. Suarez’s “Defensio fidei” was burnt in 1614. The young king, Louis XIII, was too weak to curb the parlementaires, but both he and the people of France favored the Society so effectively that at the time of his death in 1643 their numbers had trebled. They now had five provinces, and that of Paris alone counted over 13,000 scholars in its colleges. The confessors during this reign were changed not unfrequently by the manoeuvres of Richelieu, and include Peres Arnoux de Seguiron, Suffren, Caussin (q.v.), Sirmond, Dinet. Richelieu’s policy of supporting the German Protestants against Catholic Austria (which Caussin resisted) proved the occasion for angry polemics. The German Jesuit Jacob Keller was believed (though proof of authorship is altogether wanting) to have written two strong pamphlets, “Mysteria politica” and “Admonitio ad Ludovicum XIII”, against France. The books were burned by the hangman, as in 1626 was a work of Father Santarelli, which touched awkwardly on the pope’s power to pronounce against princes.

The politico-religious history of the Society under Louis XIV centers round Jansenism (see Cornelius Jansen) and the lives of the king’s confessors, especially Peres Annat (1645-60), Ferrier (1660-74), La Chaise (q.v.) (1674-1709), and Michel Le Tellier, (q.v.), (1709-15). On May 24, 1656, Blaise Pascal (q.v.) published the first of his “Provinciales”. The five propositions of Jansenius having been condemned by papal authority, Pascal could no longer defend them openly, and found the most effective method of retaliation was satire, raillery, and countercharge against the Society. He concluded with the usual evasion that Jansenius did not write in the sense attributed to him by the pope. The”Provinciales” were the first noteworthy example in the French language of satire written in studiously polite and moderate terms; and their great literary merit appealed powerfully to the French love of cleverness. Too light to be effectively answered by refutation, they were at the same time sufficiently envenomed to do great and lasting harm; although they have frequently been proved to misrepresent the teaching of the Jesuits by omissions, alterations, interpolations, and false contexts, notably by Dr. Karl Weiss, of Gratz, “P. Antonio de Escobar y Mendoza als Moraltheologe in Pascals Beleuchtung and im Lichte der Wahrheit”.

The cause of the Jesuits was also compromised by the various quarrels of Louis XIV with Innocent XI, especially concerning the regale and the Gallivan articles of 1682. (See Louis XIV and INNOCENT XI. The different standpoints of these articles may help to illustrate the differences of view prevalent within the order on this subject.) At first there was a tendency on both sides to spare the French Jesuits. They were not at that time asked to subscribe to the Gallican articles, while Innocent overlooked their adherence to the king, in hopes that their moderation might bring about peace. But it was hardly possible that they should escape all troubles under a domination so pressing. Louis conceived the idea of uniting all the French Jesuits under a vicar, independent of the general in Rome. Before making this known, he recalled all his Jesuit subjects, and all, even the assistant, Pere Fontaine, returned to France. Then he proposed the separation, which Thyrsus Gonzalez firmly refused. The provincials of the five French Jesuit provinces implored the king to desist, which he eventually did. It has been alleged that a papal decree forbidding the reception of novices between 1684-6 was issued in punishment of the French Jesuits giving support to Louis (Cretineau-Joly). The matter is alluded to in the Brief of Suppression; but it is still obscure, and would seem rather to be connected with the Chinese rites than with the difficulties in France. Except for the interdict on their schools in Paris, 1716-29, by Cardinal de Noailles, the fortunes of the order were very calm and prosperous during the ensuing generation. In 1749 the French Jesuits were divided into five provinces with members as follows: France, 891; Aquitaine, 437; Lyons, 773; Toulouse, 655; Champagne, 594; total, 3350 (1763 priests) in 158 houses.

E. Germany

The first Jesuit to labor here was Blessed Peter Faber (q.v.), who won to their ranks Blessed Peter Canisius (q.v.), to whose lifelong diligence and eminent holiness the rise and prosperity of the German provinces are especially due. In 1556 there were two provinces, South Germany (Germania Superior, up to and including Mainz) and North Germany (Rhenana, or Germania Inferior, including Flanders). The first residence of the Society was at Cologne (1544), the first college at Vienna (1552). The Jesuit colleges were soon so popular that they were demanded on every side, faster than they could be supplied, and the greater groups of these became fresh provinces. Austria branched off in 1563, Bohemia in 1623, Flanders had become two separate provinces by 1612, and Rhineland also two provinces in 1626. At that time the five German-speaking provinces numbered over 100 colleges and academies. But meanwhile all Germany was in turmoil with the Thirty Years War, which had so far gone, generally, in favor of the Catholic powers. In 1629 came the Restitutionsedikt (see Counter-Reformation), by which the emperor redistributed with papal sanction the old church property, which had been recovered from the usurpation of the Protestants. The Society received large grants, but was not much benefited thereby. Some bitter controversies ensued with the ancient holders of the properties, who were often Benedictines; and many of the acquisitions were lost again during the next period of the war.

The sufferings of the order during the second period were grievous. Even before the war they had been systematically persecuted and driven into exile by the Protestant princes, whenever these had the opportunity. In 1618 they were banished from Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia; and after the advent of Gustavus Adolphus the violence to which they were liable was increased. The fanatical proposal of banishing them for ever from Germany was made by him in 1631, and again at Frankfort in 1633; and this counsel of hatred acquired a hold which it still exercises over the German Protestant mind. The initial successes of the Catholics of course excited further antipathies, especially as the great generals Tilly, Wallenstein, and Piccolomini had been Jesuit pupils. During the siege of Prague, 1648, Father Plachy successfully trained a corps of students for the defense of the town, and was awarded the mural crown for his services. The province of Upper Rhine alone lost seventy-seven Fathers in the field-hospitals or during the fighting. After the Peace of Westphalia, 1648, the tide of the Counter-Reformation had more or less spent itself. The foundation period had passed, and there are few external events to chronicle. The last notable conversion was that of Prince Frederick Augustus of Saxony (1697), afterwards King of Poland. Fathers Vota and Salerno (afterwards a cardinal) were intimately connected with his conversion. Within the walls of their colleges and in the churches throughout the country the work of teaching, writing, and preaching continued unabated, while the storms of controversy rose and fell, and the distant missions, especially China and the Spanish missions of South America, claimed scores of the noblest and most high-spirited. To this period belong Philipp Jenigen (d. 1704) and Franz Hunolt (d. 1740), perhaps the greatest German Jesuit preachers; Tschupick, Joseph Schneller, and Ignatius Wurz acquired an almost equally great reputation in Austria. In 1749 the German provinces counted as follows: Germania Superior, 1060; Lower Rhine, 772; Upper Rhine, 497; Austria, 1772; Bohemia, 1239; total, 5340 members (2558 priests) in 307 houses. (See also the Index volume under title’ “Society of Jesus”, and such names as Becan, Byssen, Brouwer, Drechsel, Lohner, etc.)

Hungary was included in the province of Austria. The chief patron of the order was Cardinal Pazmany (q.v.). The conversion of Sweden was several times attempted by German Jesuits, but they were not allowed to stay in the country. King John III, however, who had married a Polish princess, was actually converted (1578) through various missions by Fathers Warsiewicz and Possevinus, the latter accompanied by the English Father William Good; but the king had not the courage to persevere. Queen Christina (q.v.) in 1654 was brought into the Church, largely through the ministration of Fathers Macedo and Casati, having given up her throne for this purpose. The Austrian Fathers maintained a small residence at Moscow from 1684 to 1718, which had been opened by Father Vota. (See Antonius Possevinus.)

F. Poland

Bl. Peter Canisius, who visited Poland in the train of the legate Mantuato in 1558, succeeded in animating King Sigismund to energetic defense of Catholicism, and Bishop Hosius of Ermland founded the college of Braunsberg in 1584, which with that of Vilna (1569) became centers of Catholic activity in northeastern Europe. King Stephen Bathory, an earnest patron of the order, founded a Ruthenian College at Vilna in 1575. From 1588 Father Peter Skarga (d. 1612) made a great impression by his preaching. There were violent attacks against the Society in the revolution of 1607, but after the victory of Sigismund III the Jesuits more than recovered the ground lost; and in 1608 the province could be subdivided into Lithuania and Poland. The animus against the Jesuits however vented itself at Cracow in 1612, through the scurrilous satire entitled “Monita Secreta” (q.v.). King Casimir, who had once been a Jesuit, favored the Society not a little; so too did Sobieski, and his campaign to relieve Vienna from the Turks (1683) was due in part to the exhortations of Father Vota, his confessor. Among the great Polish missionaries are numbered Benedict Herbst (d. 1593) and Bl. Blessed Andrew Bobola (q.v.). In 1756 the Polish provinces were readjusted into four:—Greater Poland; Lesser Poland; Lithuania; Massovia, counting in all 2359 religious. The Polish Jesuits, besides their own missions, had others in Stockholm, Russia, the Crimea, Constantinople, and Persia. (See University of Cracow.)

G. Belgium

The first settlement was at Louvain in 1542, whither the students in Paris retired on the declaration of war between France and Spain. In 1556 Ribadeneira obtained legal authorization for the Society from Philip II, and in 1564 Flanders became a separate province. Its beginnings, however, were by no means uniformly prosperous. The Duke of Alva was cold and suspicious, while the wars of the revolting provinces told heavily against it. At the Pacification of Ghent (1576) the Jesuits were offered an oath against the rulers of the Netherlands, which they firmly refused, and were driven from their houses. But this at last won for them Philip’s favor, and under Alexander Farnese fortune turned completely in their favor. Father Oliver Manare became a leader fitted for the occasion, whom Acquiviva himself greeted as “Pater Provinciae”. In a few years a number of well-established colleges had been founded, and in 1612 the province had to be subdivided. The Flandro-Belgica counted sixteen colleges and the Gallo-Belgica eighteen. All but two were day-schools, with no preparatory classes for small boys. They were worked with comparatively small staffs of five or six, sometimes only three professors, though their scholars might count as many hundreds. Teaching was gratuitous, but a sufficient foundation for the support of the teachers was a necessary preliminary. Though preparatory and elementary education was not yet in fashion, the care taken in teaching catechism was most elaborate. The classes were regular, and at intervals enlivened with music, ceremonies, mystery-plays, and processions. These were often attended by the whole magistracy in robes of state, while the bishop himself would attend at the distribution of honors. A special congregation was formed at Antwerp in 1628, to organize ladies and gentlemen, nobles and bourgeois, into Sunday-school teachers, and in that year their classes counted in all 3000 children. Similar organizations existed all over the country. The first communion classes formed an extension of the catechisms. In Bruges, Brussels, and Antwerp between 600 and 1600 attended the communion classes.

Jesuit congregations of the Blessed Virgin were first instituted at Rome by a Belgian Jesuit, Jean Leunis, in 1563. His native country soon took them up with enthusiasm. Each college had normally four:—(I) for scholars (more often two, one for older, one for younger); (2) for young men on leaving; (3) for grown-up men (more often several)—for working-men, for tradesmen, professional classes, nobles, priests, doctors, etc., etc.; (4) for small boys. In days before hospitals, workhouses, and elementary education were regularly organized, and supported by the State; before burial-clubs, trade-unions, and the like provided special help for the workingman, these sodalities discharged the functions of such institutions, in homely fashion perhaps, but gratuitously, bringing together all ranks for the relief of indigence. Some of these congregations were exceedingly popular, and their registers still show the names of the first artists and savants of the time (Teniers, Van Dyck, Rubens, Lipsius, etc.). Archdukes and kings and even four emperors are found among the sodalists of Louvain. Probably the first permanent corps of army chaplains was that established by Farnese in 1587. It consisted of ten to twenty-five chaplains, and was styled the “Missio castrensis,” and lasted as an institution till 1660. The “Missio navalis” was a kindred institution for the navy. The Flandro-Belgian province numbered 542 in 1749 (232 priests) in 30 houses: Gallo-Belgian, 471 (266 priests) in 25 houses.

H. England

Founded at Rome after the English Schism had commenced, the Society had great difficulty in finding an entrance into England, though Ignatius and Ribadeneira visited the country in 1531 and 1558, and prayers for its conversion have been recited throughout the order from 1553 to the present day (now under the common designation of “Northern Nations”). Other early Jesuits exerted themselves on behalf of the English seminary at Douai and of the refugees at Louvain. The effect of Elizabeth‘s expulsion of Catholics from Oxford, 1562-75, was that many took refuge abroad. Some scores of young men entered the Society, several of these volunteered for foreign missions, and thus it came about that the forerunner of those legions of Englishmen who go into India to carve out careers was the English Jesuit missionary, Thomas Stephens. John Yate (alias Vincent, b. 1550; d. after 1603) and John Meade (see John Almeida) were pioneers of the mission to Brazil. The most noteworthy of the first recruits were Thomas Darbishire and William Good, followed in time by Blessed Blessed Edmund Campion (q.v.) and Robert Persons. The latter was the first to conceive and elaborate the idea of the English mission, which, at Dr. Allen’s request, was undertaken in December, 1578.

Before this the Society had undertaken the care of the English College, Rome (see English College in Rome), by the pope’s command, March 19, 1578. But difficulties ensued, owing to the miseries inherent in the estate of the religious refugees. Many came all the way to Rome expecting pensions, or scholarships from the rector, who at first became, in spite of himself, the dispenser of Pope Gregory’s alms. But the alms soon failed, and several scholars had to be dismissed as unworthy. Hence disappointments and storms of grumbling, the records of which read sadly by the side of the consoling accounts of the martyrdoms of men like Campion, Cottam, Southwell, Walpole, Page, and others and the labors of a Heywood, Weston, or Gerard. Persons and Crichton too, falling in with the idea, so common abroad, that a counter-revolution in favor of Mary Stuart would not be difficult, made two or three political missions to Rome and Madrid (1582-84) before realizing that their schemes were not feasible (see Persons). After the Armada (q.v.), Persons induced Philip to establish more seminaries, and hence the foundations at Valladolid, St-Omer, and Seville (1589, 1592, 1593), all put in charge of the English Jesuits. On the other hand they suffered a setback in the so-called Appellant controversy (1598-1602), which French diplomacy in Rome eventually made into an opportunity for operating against Spain. (See Blackwell; Garnet.) The assistance of France and the influence of the French Counter-Reformation were now on the whole highly beneficial. But many who took refuge at Paris became accustomed to a Gallican atmosphere, and hence perhaps some of the regalist views about the Oath of Allegiance and some of the excitement in the debate over the jurisdiction of the Bishops of Chalcedon, of which more below. The feeling of tension continued until the missions of Pazani, Conn, and Rosetti, 1635-41. Though the first of these was somewhat hostile, he was recalled in 1637, and his successors brought about a peace, too soon to be interrupted by the Civil War, 1641-60.

Before 1606 the English Jesuits had founded houses for others, but neither they nor any other English order had yet erected houses for themselves. But during the so-called “Foundation Movement”, due to many causes but especially perhaps to the stimulus of the Counter-Reformation (q.v.) in France, a full equipment of institutions was established in Flanders. The novitiate, begun at Louvain in 1606, was moved to Liege in 1614, and in 1622 to Watten. The house at Liege was continued as the scholasticate, and the house of third probation was at Ghent 1620. The “mission” was made in 1619 a vice-province, and on January 21, 1623, a province, with Fr. Richard Blount as first provincial; and in 1634 it was able to undertake the foreign mission of Maryland (see below) in the old Society. The English Jesuits at this period also reached their greatest numbers. In 1621 they were 211, in 1636, 374. In the latter year their total revenue amounted to 45,086 scudi (almost £11,000). After the Civil War both members and revenue fell off very considerably. In 1649 there were only 264 members, and 23,055 scudi revenue (about £5760); in 1645 the revenue was only 17,405 scudi (about £4350).

Since Elizabeth‘s time the martyrs had been few—one only, the Venerable Edmund Arrowsmith (q.v.), in the reign of Charles I. On October 26, 1623, had occurred “the Doleful Evensong”. A congregation had gathered for vespers in the garrets of the French embassy in Blackfriars, when the floor gave way. Fathers Drury and Rediate with 61 (perhaps 100) of the congregation were killed. On March 14, 1628, seven Jesuits were seized at St. John’s, Clerkenwell, with a large number of papers. These troubles, however, were light, compared with the sufferings during the Commonwealth, when the list of martyrs and confessors went up to ten. As the Jesuits depended so much on the country families, they were sure to suffer severely by the war, and the college at St-Omer was nearly beggared. The old trouble about the Oath of Allegiance was revived by the Oath of Abjuration, and “the three questions” proposed by Fairfax, August 1, 1647 (see Thomas White). The representatives of the secular and regular clergy, amongst them Father Henry More, were called upon at short notice to subscribe to them. They did so, More thinking he might, “considering the reasons of the preamble”, which qualified the words of the oath considerably. But the provincial, Fr. Silesdon, recalled him from England, and he was kept out of office for over a year; a punishment which, even if drastic for his offense, cannot be regretted, as it providentially led to his writing the history of the English Jesuits down to the year 1635(“Hist. missionis anglicanae Soc. Jesu, ab anno salutis MDLXXX”, St-Omer, 1660).

With the Restoration, 1660, came a period of greater calm, followed by the worst tempest of all, Oates’s Plot (q.v.), when the Jesuits lost eight on the scaffold and thirteen in prison in five years, 1678-83. Then the period of greatest prosperity under King James II (1685-8). He gave them a college, and a public chapel in Somerset House, made Father Petre his almoner, and on November 11, 1687, a member of his Privy Council. He also chose Father Warner as his confessor, and encouraged the preaching and controversies which. were carried on with no little fruit. But this spell of prosperity lasted only a few months; with the Revolution of 1688 the Fathers regained their patrimony of persecution. The last Jesuits to die in prison were Fathers Poulton and Aylworth (1690-1692). William III’s repressive legislation did not have the intended effect of exterminating the Catholics, but it did reduce them to a proscribed and ostracized body. Thenceforward the annals of the English Jesuits show little that is new or striking, though their number and works of charity were well maintained. Most of the Fathers in England were chaplains to gentlemen’s families, of which posts they held nearly a hundred during the eighteenth century.

The church law under which the English Jesuits worked was to some extent special. At first indeed all was undefined, seculars and regulars living in true happy-family style. As, however, organization developed, friction between parts could not always be avoided, and legislation became necessary. By the institution of the archpriest (March 7, 1598), and by the subsequent modifications of that institution (April 6, 1599; August 17, 1601; and October 5, 1602), various occasions for friction were removed, and principles of stable government were introduced. As soon as Queen Henrietta Maria seemed able to protect a bishop in England, bishops of Chalcedon in partibus infidelium were sent, in 1623 and 1625. The second of these, Dr. Richard Smith, endeavored, without having the necessary faculty from Rome, to introduce the episcopal approbation of confessors. This led to the Brief “Britannia”, May 9, 1631, which left the faculties of regular missionaries in their previous immediate dependence on the Holy See. But after the institution of vicars Apostolic in 1685, by a Decree of October 9, 1695, regulars were obliged to obtain approbation from the bishop. There were of course many other matters that needed settlement, but the difficulties of the position in England and the distance from Rome made legislation slow and difficult. In 1745 and 1748 Decrees were obtained, against which appeals were lodged; and it was not till May 31, 1753, that the “Reguliae missionis” were laid down by Benedict XIV in the Constitution “Apostolicum ministerium”, which regulated ecclesiastical administration until the issue of the Constitution “Romanos Pontifices” in 1881. In the year of the Suppression, 1773, the English Jesuits numbered 274. (See Edward Coffin; Joseph Creswell; English Confessors and Martyrs; Henry More; Penal Laws; Robert Persons; Sir Edward Petre; Plowden; Louis De Sabran; Venerable Robert Southwell; John Spenser; Thomas Stephens; Sebastian Redford.)

I. Ireland

One of the first commissions which the popes entrusted to the Society was that of acting as envoys to Ireland. Fathers Salmeron and Brouet managed to reach Ulster during the Lent of 1542; but the immense difficulties of the situation after Henry VIII‘s successes of 1541 made it impossible for them to live there in safety, much less to discharge the functions or to commence the reforms which the pope had entrusted to them. Under Queen Mary the Jesuits would have returned had there been men ready. There were indeed already a few Irish novices, and of these David Woulfe returned to Ireland on January 20, 1561, with ample Apostolic faculties. He procured candidates for the sees emptied by Elizabeth, kept open a grammar school for some years, and sent several novices to the order; but he was finally imprisoned, and had to withdraw to the Continent. A little later the “Irish mission” was regularly organized under Irish superiors, beginning with Fr. Richard Fleming (d. 1590), professor at Clermont College, and then Chancellor of the University of Pont-a-Mousson. In 1609 the mission numbered seventy-two, forty of whom were priests, and eighteen were at work in Ireland. By 1617 this latter number had increased to thirty-eight; the rest were for the most part in training among their French and Spanish confreres. The foundation of colleges abroad, at Salamanca, Santiago, Seville, and Lisbon, for the education of the clergy, was chiefly due to Father Thomas White (d. 1622). They were consolidated and long managed by Fr. James Archer of Kilkenny, afterwards missionary in Ulster and chaplain to Hugh O’Neill. The Irish College at Poitiers was also under Irish Jesuit direction, as was that of Rome for some time (see Irish College in Rome).

The greatest extension in Ireland was naturally during the dominance of the Confederation (1642-54), with which Father Matthew O’Hartigan was in great favor. Jesuit colleges, schools, and residences then amounted to thirteen, with a novitiate at Kilkenny. During the Puritan domination the number of Jesuits fell again to eighteen; but in 1685, under James II, there were twenty-eight with seven residences. After the Revolution their numbers fell again to six, then rose to seventeen in 1717, and to twenty-eight in 1755. The Fathers sprang mostly from the old Anglo-Norman families, but almost all the missionaries spoke Irish, and missionary labor was the chief occupation of the Irish Jesuits. Fr. Robert Rochford set up a school at Youghal as early as 1575; university education was given in Dublin in the reign of Charles I, until the buildings were seized and handed over to Trinity College; and Father John Austin kept a flourishing school in Dublin for twenty-two years before the Suppression.

Some account of the work of Jesuits in Ireland will be found in the articles on Fathers Christopher Holywood and Henry Fitzsimon; but it was abroad, from the nature of the case, that Irish genius of that day found its widest recognition. Stephen White, Luke Wadding, cousin of his famous Franciscan namesake, at Madrid; Ambrose and Peter Wadding at Dillingen and Gratz respectively; J. B. Duiggin and John Lombard at Ypres and Antwerp; Thomas Cornerford at Compostella; Paul Sherlock at Salamanca; Richard Lynch (1611-76) at Valladolid and Salamanca; James Kelly at Poitiers and Paris; Peter Plunkett at Leghorn. Among the distinguished writers were William Bathe, whose “Janua lingua-rum” (Salamanca, 1611) was the basis of the work of Commenius. Bernard Routh (b. at Kilkenny, 1695) was a writer in the “Memoires de Trevoux” (1734-43), and assisted Montesquieu on his deathbed. In the field of foreign missions O’Fihily was one of the first apostles of Paraguay, and Thomas Lynch was provincial of Brazil at the time of the Suppression. At this time also Roger Magloire was working in Martinique, and Philip O’Reilly in Guiana. But it was the mission-field in Ireland itself of which the Irish Jesuits thought most, to which all else in one way or other led up: Their labors were principally spent in the walled cities of the old English Pale. Here they kept the faith vigorous, in spite of persecutions, which, if sometimes intermitted, were nevertheless long and severe. The first Irish Jesuit martyr was Edmund O’Donnell, who suffered at Cork in 1575. Others on that list of honor are: Dominic Collins, a lay brother, Youghal, 1602; William Boyton, Cashel, 1647; Fathers Netterville and Bathe, at the fall of Drogheda, 1649. Fr. David Galway worked among the scattered and persecuted Gaels of the Scottish Isles and Highlands, until his death in 1643. (See also Thomas Fitzsimons; William Malone; Edmund O’Donnell; Peter Talbot; Irish Confessors and Martyrs.)

J. Scotland

Father Nicholas de Gouda was sent to visit Mary Queen of Scots in 1562 to invite her to send bishops to the Council of Trent. The power of the Protestants made it impossible to achieve this object, but de Gouda conferred with the queen and brought back with him six young Scots, who were to prove the founders of the mission. Of these Edmund Hay soon rose to prominence and was rector of Clermont College, Paris. In 1584 Crichton returned with Father James Gordon, uncle to the Earl of Huntly, to Scotland; the former was captured, but the latter was extraordinarily successful, and the Scottish mission proper may be said to have begun with him, and Father Edmund Hay and John Drury, who came in 1585. The Earl of Huntly became the Catholic leader, and the fortunes of his party passed through many a strange turn. But the Catholic victory of Glenlivet, in 1594, aroused the temper of the Kirk to such a pitch that James, though averse to severity, was forced to advance against the Catholic lords and eventually Huntly was constrained to leave the country and, then returning, he submitted to the Kirk in 1597. This put a term to the spread of Catholicism; Father James Gordon had to leave in 1595, but Father Abercromby succeeded in reconciling Anne of Denmark, who, however, did not prove a very courageous convert. Meantime the Jesuits had been given the management of the Scots College founded by Mary Stuart in Paris, which was successively removed to Pont-A-Mousson and to Douai. In 1600 another college was founded at Rome and put under them, and there was also a small one at Madrid.

After reaching the English throne James was bent on introducing episcopacy into Scotland, and to reconcile the Presbyterians to this he allowed them to persecute the Catholics to their hearts’ content. By their barbarous “excommunication”, the suffering they inflicted was incredible. The soul of the resistance to this cruelty was Father James Anderson, who, however, becoming the object of special searches, had to be withdrawn in 1611. In 1614 Fathers Venerable John Ogilvie (q.v.) and James Moffat were sent in, the former suffering martyrdom at Glasgow, March 10, 1615. In 1620 Father Patrick Anderson (q.v.) was tried, but eventually banished. After this, a short period of peace, 1625-7, ensued, followed by another persecution 1629-30, and another period of peace before the rising of the Covenanters and the civil wars, 1638-45. There were about six Fathers in the mission at this time, some chaplains with the Catholic gentry, some living the then wild life of the Highlanders, especially during Montrose’s campaigns. But after Philiphaugh (1645) the fortunes of the royalists and the Catholics underwent a sad change. Among those who fell into the hands of the enemy was Father Andrew Leslie, who has left a lively account of his prolonged sufferings in various prisons. After the Restoration (1660) there was a new period of peace in which the Jesuit missionaries reaped a considerable harvest, but during the disturbances caused by the Covenanters (q.v.) the persecution of Catholics was renewed. James II favored them as far as he could, appointing Fathers James Forbes and Thomas Patterson chaplains at Holyrood, where a school was also opened. After the Revolution the Fathers were scattered, but returned, though with diminishing numbers.


No sphere of religious activity is held in greater esteem among the Jesuits than that of the foreign missions; and from the beginning men of the highest gifts, like St. Francis Xavier, have been devoted to this work. Hence perhaps it is that a better idea may be formed of the Jesuit missions by reading the lives of its great missionaries, which will be found under their respective names (see Index vol.), than from the following notice, in which attention has to be confined to general topics.

A. India

When the Society began, the great colonizing powers were Portugal and Spain. The career of Saint Francis Xavier (q.v.), so far as its geographical direction and limits were concerned, was largely determined by the Portuguese settlements in the East and the trade routes followed by Portuguese merchants. Arriving at Goa in 1542, he evangelized first the western coast and Ceylon, in 1545 he was in Malacca, in 1549 in Japan. At the same time he pushed forward his few assistants and catechists into other centers; and in 1552 set out for China, but died at the year’s end on an island off the coast. Xavier’s work was carried on, with Goa as headquarters, and Father Barzwus as successor. Father Antonio Criminali, the first martyr of the Society, had suffered in 1549, and Father Mendez followed in 1552. In 1579 Blessed Rudolph Acquaviva visited the Court of Akbar the Great, but without permanent effect. The great impulse of conversions came after Ven. Robert de Nobili (q.v.) declared himself a Brahmin Sannjasi, and lived the life of the Brahmins (1606). At Tanjore and elsewhere he now made immense numbers of converts, who were allowed to keep the distinctions of their castes, with many religious customs; which, however, were eventually (after much controversy) condemned by Benedict XIV in 1744. This condemnation produced a depressing effect on the mission, though at the very time Fathers Lopez and Acosta with singular heroism devoted themselves for life to the service of the Pariahs. The Suppression of the Society, which followed soon after, completed the desolation of a once prolific missionary field. (See Malabar Rites.) From Goa too were organized missions on the east coast of Africa. The Abyssinian mission under Fathers Nunhes, Oviedo, and Paes lasted with varied fortunes for over a century, 1555-1690 (see Abyssinia). The mission on the Zambesi under Fathers Silveira, Acosta, and Fernandez was but short-lived; so too was the work of Father Govea in Angola. In the seventeenth century the missionaries penetrated into Tibet, Fathers Desideri and Freyre reaching Lhasa. Others pushed out in the Persian mission from Ormus as far as Ispahan. About 1700 the Persian missions counted 400,000 Catholics. The southern and eastern coasts of India, with Ceylon, were comprised after 1610 in the separate province of Malabar, with an independent French mission at Pondicherry. Malabar numbered forty-seven missionaries (Portuguese) before the Suppression, while the French missions counted 22. (See Johann Ernst Hanxleden.)

B. Japan

The Japanese mission (see Japan) gradually developed into a province, but the seminary and seat of government remained at Macao. By 1582 the number of Christians was estimated at 200,000 with 250 churches and 59 missionaries, of whom 23 were priests, and 26 Japanese had been admitted to the Society. But 1587 saw the beginnings of persecution, and about the same period began the rivalries of nations and of competing orders. The Portuguese crown had been assumed by Spain, and Spanish merchants introduced Spanish Dominicans and Franciscans. Gregory XIII at first forbade this (January 28, 1585), but Clement VIII and Paul V (December 12, 1600; June 11, 1608) relaxed and repealed the prohibition; and the persecution of TaIco-sama quenched in blood whatever discontent might have arisen in consequence. The first great slaughter of 26 missionaries at Nagasaki took place on February 5, 1597. Then came fifteen years of comparative peace, and gradually the number of Christians rose to about 1,800,000 and the Jesuit missionaries to 140 (63 priests). In 1612 the persecution broke out again, increasing in severity till 1622, when over 120 martyrs suffered. The “great martyrdom” took place on September 20, when Blessed Charles Spinola (q.v.) suffered with representatives of the Dominicans and the Franciscans. For the twenty ensuing years the massacre continued without mercy, all Jesuits who landed being at once executed. In 1644 Father Gaspar de Amaral was drowned in attempting to land, and his death brought to a close the century of missionary efforts which the Jesuits had made to bring the Faith to Japan. The name of the Japanese province was retained, and it counted 57 subjects in 1760; but the mission was really confined to Tonkin and Cochin-China, whence stations were established in Annam, Siam, etc. (see Indo-China; Japanese Martyrs).

C. China

A detailed account of this mission from 1552 to 1773 will be found under China (III, 672-4) and Martyrs in China. and in lives of the missionaries Bouvet, Brancati, Carneiro, Cibot, Fridelli, Gaubil, Gerbillon, Herdtrich, Hinderer, Mailla, Martini, Matteo Ricci, Schall von Bell, and Verbiest (qq. v.). From 1581, when the mission was organized, it consisted of Portuguese Fathers. They established four colleges, one seminary, and some forty stations under a vice-provincial, who resided frequently in Pekin; at the suppression there were 54 Fathers. From 1687 there was a special mission of the French Jesuits to Pekin, under their own superior; at the Suppression they numbered 23.

D. Central and South America

The missions of Central and Southern America were divided between Portugal and Spain (see America). In 1549 Father Nombrega and five companions, Portuguese, went to Brazil. Progress was slow at first, but when the languages had been learnt, and the confidence of the natives acquired, progress became rapid. Blessed Ignacio de Azevedo and his thirty-nine companions were martyred on their way thither in 1570. The missions, however, prospered steadily under such leaders as and John Almeida (qq. v.) (Meade). In 1630 there were 70,000 converts. Before the Suppression the whole country had been divided into missions, served by 445 Jesuits in Brazil, and 146 in the vice-province of Maranhao.

E. Paraguay

Of the Spanish missions, the most noteworthy is Paraguay (see Guarani Indians; Missions Among the Abipones; Argentine Republic (Argentina); Reductions of Paraguay). The province contained 564 members (of whom 385 were priests) before the Suppression, with 113,716 Indians under their charge.

F. Mexico

Even larger than Paraguay was the missionary province of Mexico, which included California, with 572 Jesuits and 122,000 Indians. (See also California Missions; Mexico. pp. 258, 266, etc; Pedro De Anazco; Francisco Saverio Clavigero; Pedro Diaz; Francis Bennon Ducrue; etc.) The conflict as to jurisdiction (1647) with Juan de Palafox y Mendoza (q.v.), Bishop of La Puebla, led to an appeal to Rome which was decided by Innocent X in 1648, but afterwards became a cause celebre. The other Spanish missions, New Granada (Colombia), Chile, Peru, Quito (Ecuador), were administered by 193, 242, 526, and 209 Jesuits respectively (see Francisco Xavier Alegre; Araucanian; Arawaks; Jacinto Barrasa (or Barraza); Moxos Indians).

G. United States

Father Andrew White (q.v.) and four other Jesuits from the English mission arrived in territory now comprised in the State of Maryland, March 25, 1634, with the expedition of Cecil Calvert (q.v.) For ten years they ministered to the Catholics, of the colony, converted many of its Protestant pioneers, and conducted missions among the Indians along Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River, the Patuxents, Anacostans, and Piscataways, which last were especially friendly. In 1644 the colony was invaded by the Puritans from the neighboring settlement of Virginia and Father White was sent in chains to England, tried for being a Catholic, and on his release took refuge in Belgium. Although the Catholic colonists soon regained control, they were constantly menaced by their Puritan neighbors and by malcontents in the colony itself, who finally in 1692 succeeded in seizing the government, and in enacting penal laws against the Catholics, and particularly against their Jesuit priests, which kept growing more and more intolerable until the colony became the State of Maryland in November, 1776. During the 140 years between their arrival in Maryland and the Suppression of the Society, the missionaries, averaging four in number the first forty years and then gradually increasing to twelve and finally to about twenty, continued to work among the Indians and the settlers in spite of every vexation and disability, though prevented from increasing in number and extending their labors during the dispute with Cecil Calvert over retaining the tract of land, Mattapany, given to them by the Indians, relief from taxation on lands devoted to religious or charitable purposes, and the usual ecclesiastical immunity for themselves and their households. The controversy ended in the cession of the Mattapany tract, the missionaries retaining the land they had acquired by the conditions of plantation. Prior to the Suppression they had established missions in Maryland, at St. Thomas, White Marsh, St. Inigoes, Leonardtown, still (1912) under the care of Jesuits, and also at Deer Creek, Frederick, and St. Joseph‘s Bohemia Manor, besides the many less permanent stations among the Indians in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Conewago, Lancaster, Goshenhoppen, and excursion stations as far as New York where two of their number, Fathers Harvey and Harrison, assisted for a time by Father Gage, had, under Governor Dongan, ministered as chaplains in the forts and among the white settlers, and attempted unsuccessfully to establish a school, between 1683-89, when they were forced to retire by an anti-Catholic administration.

The Suppression of the Society altered but little the status of the Jesuits in Maryland. As they were the only priests in the mission, they still remained at their posts, most of them, the nine English members, until death, all continuing to labor under Father John Lewis, who after the Suppression had received the powers of vicar-general from Bishop Challoner of the London District. Only two of them survived until the restoration of the Society—Robert Molyneux and John Bolton. Many of those who were abroad, laboring in England or studying in Belgium, returned to work in the mission. As a corporate body they still retained the properties from which they derived support for their religious ministrations. As their numbers decreased some of the missions were abandoned, or served for a time by other priests but maintained by the revenues of the Jesuit properties even after the Restoration of the Society. Though these properties were regarded as reverting to it through its former members organized as the Corporation of Roman Catholic Clergymen, a yearly allowance from the revenues made over to Archbishop Carroll became during Bishop Marechal’s administration (1817-34) the basis of a claim for such a payment in perpetuity and the dispute thus occasioned was not settled until 1838, under Archbishop Eccleston.

H. French Missions

The French missions had as bases the French colonies in Canada, the Antilles, Guiana, and India; while French influence in the Mediterranean led to the missions of the Levant, in Syria, among the Maronites (q.v.), etc. (See also Diocese of Saint Thomas of Guiana; Haiti; Diocese of Martinique; China. III, 673.) The Canadian mission is described under Canada. and Catholic Indian Missions of Canada. (See also the accounts of the mission given in the articles on Indian tribes like the Abenakis, Apaches, Cree, Hurons, Iroquois, Ottawas; and in the biographies of the missionaries Bailloquet, Brebeuf, Casot, Chabanel, Chastellain, Chaumonot, Cholonec, Crepieul, Dablon, Druillettes, Garnier, Goupil, Jogues, Lafitau, Lagrene, Jacques-P. Lallemant, Lamberville, Lauzon, Le Moyne, Rale, etc.) In 1611 Fathers Biard and Masse arrived as missionaries at Port Royal, Acadia. Taken prisoners by the English from Virginia, they were sent back to France in 1614. In 1625 Fathers Masse, Brebeuf, and Charles Lalemant came to work in and about Quebec, until 1629, when they were forced to return to France after the English captured Quebec. Back again in 1632 they began the most heroic missionary period in the annals of America. They opened a college at Quebec in 1635, with a staff of most accomplished professors from France. For forty years men quite as accomplished, laboring under incredible hardships, opened missions among the Indians on the coast, along the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay, and on Hudson Bay; among the Iroquois, Neutral Nation, Petuns, Hurons, Ottawas, and later among the Miamis, Illinois, and among the tribes east of the Mississippi as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. When Canada became a British possession in 1763, these missions could no longer be sustained though many of them, especially those that formed part of parochial settlements, had gradually been taken over by secular priests. The college at Quebec was closed in 1768. At the time of the Suppression there were but twenty-one Jesuits in Canada, the last of whom, Rev. John J. Casot, died in 1800. The mission has become famous for its martyrs, eight of whom, Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Daniel, Gamier, Chabanel, Jogues and his lay companions Goupil and Lalande, were declared venerable on February 27, 1912. It has also become noted for its literary remains, especially for the works of the missionaries in the Indian tongues, for their explorations, especially that of Marquette, and for its “Relations”.

I. Jesuit Relations

The collections known as the “Jesuit Relations” consist of letters written from members of the Society in the foreign mission fields to their superiors and brethren in Europe, and contain accounts of the development of the missions, the labors of the missionaries, and the obstacles which they encountered in their work. In March, 1549, when St. Francis Xavier confided the mission of Ormus to Father Gaspar Barzaeus, he included among his instructions the commission to write from time to time to the college at Goa, giving an account of what was being done in Ormus. His letter to Joam Beira (Malacca, June 20, 1549) recommends similar accounts being sent to St. Ignatius at Rome and to Father Simon Rodriguez at Lisbon and is very explicit concerning both the contents and the tone of these accounts. These instructions were the guide for the future “Relations” sent from all the foreign missions of the order. The “Relations” were of three kinds: Intimate and personal accounts sent to the father-general, to a relative, a friend, or a superior, which were not meant for publication at that time, if ever. There were also annual letters, intended only for members of the order, manuscript copies of which were sent from house to house. Extracts and analyses of these letters were compiled in a volume entitled: “Litterae annuae Societatis Jesu ad patres et fratres ejusdem Societatis”. The rule forbade the communication of these letters to persons not members of the order, as is indicated by the title. The publication of the annual letters began in 1581, was interrupted from 1614 to 1649, and came to an end in 1654, though the provinces and missions continued to send such letters to the father-general. The third class of letters, or “Relations” properly so called, were written for the public and intended for printing. Of this class were the famous “Relations de la Nouvelle-France“, begun in 1616 by Father Biard. The series for 1626 was written by Father Charles Lalemant. Forty-one volumes constitute the series of 1632-72, thirty-nine of which bear the title “Relations”, and two (1645-55and 1658-59) “Lettres de la Nouvelle-France“. The cessation of these publications was the indirect outcome of the controversy concerning Chinese Rites, as Clement X forbade (April 16, 1673) missionaries to publish books or writings concerning the missions without the written consent of Propaganda.


We now approach the most difficult part of the history of the Society. Having enjoyed very high favor among Catholic peoples, kings, prelates, and popes for two and a half centuries, it suddenly becomes an object of frenzied hostility, is overwhelmed with obloquy, and overthrown with dramatic rapidity. Every work of the Jesuits—their vast missions, their noble colleges, their churches—all is taken from them or destroyed. They are banished, and their order suppressed, with harsh and denunciatory words even from the pope. What makes the contrast more striking is that their protectors for the moment are former enemies—the Russians and Frederick of Prussia. Like many intricate problems, its solution is best found by beginning with what is easy to understand. We look forward a generation and we see that every one of the thrones, the pope’s not excluded, which had been active in the Suppression, is overwhelmed. France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy become, indeed still are, a prey to the extravagances of the Revolutionary movement. The Suppression of the Society was due to the same causes which in further development brought about the French Revolution. These causes varied somewhat in different countries. In France many influences combined, as we shall see, from Jansenism and Free-thought to the then prevalent impatience with the old order of things (see France. VI, 172). Some have thought that the Suppression was primarily due to these currents of thought. Others attribute it chiefly to the absolutism of the Bourbons. For, though in France the king was averse to the Suppression, the destructive forces acquired their power because he was too indolent to exercise control, which at that time he alone possessed. Outside France it is plain that autocracy, acting through high-handed ministers, was the determining cause.

A. Portugal

In 1750 Joseph I of Portugal appointed Sebastian Joseph Carvalho, afterwards Marquis of Pombal (q.v.), as his first minister. Carvalho’s quarrel with the Jesuits began over an exchange of territory with Spain. San Sacramento was exchanged for the seven Reductions of Paraguay, which were under Spain. The Society‘s wonderful missions there were coveted by the Portuguese, who believed that the Jesuits were mining gold. So the Indians were ordered to quit their country, and the Jesuits endeavored to lead them quietly to the distant land allotted to them. But owing to the harsh conditions imposed, the Indians rose in arms against the transfer, and the so-called war of Paraguay ensued, which, of course, was disastrous to the Indians. Then step by step the quarrel with the Jesuits was pushed to extremities. The weak king was persuaded to remove them from Court; a war of pamphlets against him was commenced; the Fathers were first forbidden to undertake the temporal administration of the missions, and then they were deported from America.

On April 1, 1758, a Brief was obtained from the aged pope, Pope Benedict XIV (q.v.), appointing Cardinal Saldanha to investigate the allegations against the Jesuits, which had been raised in the King of Portugal‘s name. But it does not follow that the pope had forejudged the case against the order. On the contrary, if we take into view all the letters and instructions sent to the cardinal, we see that the pope was distinctly sceptical as to the gravity of the alleged abuses. He ordered a minute inquiry, but one conducted so as to safeguard the reputation of the Society. All matters of serious importance were to be referred back to himself. The pope died five weeks later on May 3. On May 15, Saldanha, having received the Brief only a fortnight before, omitting the thorough, house-to-house visitation which had been ordered, and pronouncing on the issues which the pope had reserved to himself, declared that the Jesuits were guilty of having exercised illicit, public, and scandalous commerce both in Portugal and in its colonies. Three weeks later, at Pombal’s instigation, all faculties were withdrawn from the Jesuits throughout the Patriarchate of Lisbon. Before (q v.) had become pope (July 6, 1758) the work of the Society had been destroyed, and in 1759 it was civilly suppressed. The last step was taken in consequence of a plot against the chamberlain Texeiras, but suspected to have been aimed at the king, and of this the Jesuits were supposed to have approved. But the grounds of suspicion were never clearly stated, much less proved. The height of Pombal’s persecution was reached with the burning (1761) of the saintly Father Malagrida (q.v.) ostensibly for heresy; while the other Fathers, who had been crowded into prisons, were left to perish by the score. Intercourse between the Church of Portugal and Rome was broken off till 1770.

B. France

The suppression in France was occasioned by the injuries inflicted by the English navy on French commerce in 1755. The Jesuit missionaries held a heavy stake in Martinique. They did not and could not trade, that is, buy cheap to sell dear, any more than any other religious. But they did sell the products of their great mission farms, in which many natives were employed, and this was allowed, partly to provide for the current expenses of the mission, partly in order to protect the simple, childlike natives from the common plague of dishonest intermediaries. Pere Antoine La Valette, superior of the Martinique mission, managed these transactions with no little success, and success encouraged him to go too far. He began to borrow money in order to work the large undeveloped resources of the colony, and a strong letter from the governor of the island dated 1753 is extant in praise of his enterprise. But on the outbreak of war, ships conveying goods of the estimated value of 2,000,000 livres were captured and he suddenly became a bankrupt for a very large sum. His creditors were egged on to demand payment from the procurator of the Paris province: but he, relying on what certainly was the letter of the law, refused responsibility for the debts of an independent mission, though offering to negotiate for a settlement, of which he held out assured hopes. The creditors went to the courts, and an order was made (1760) obliging the Society to pay, and giving leave to distrain in case of non-payment.

The Fathers, on the advice of their lawyers, appealed to the Grand’chambre of the Parlement of Paris. This turned out to be an imprudent step. For not only did the Parlement support the lower court, May 8, 1761, but, having once got the case into its hands, the Society‘s enemies in that assembly determined to strike a great blow at the order. Enemies of every sort combined. The Jansenists were numerous among the gens-de-robe, and at that moment were especially keen to be revenged on the orthodox party. The Sorbonnists, too, the university rivals of the great teaching order, joined in the attack. So did the Gallicans, the Philosophes, and Encyclopedistes. Louis XV was weak, and the influence of his Court divided; while his wife and children were earnestly in favor of the Jesuits, his able first minister, the Duc de Choiseul (q.v.), played into the hands of the Parlement, and the royal mistress, Madame de Pompadour, to whom the Jesuits had refused absolution, was a bitter opponent. The determination of the Parlement of Paris in time bore down all opposition. The attack on the Jesuits, as such, was opened by the Jansenistic Abbe Chauvelin, April 17, 1762, who denounced the Constitutions of the Jesuits as the cause of the alleged defalcations of the order. This was followed by the compte-rendu on the Constitutions, 3—July 7, 1762, full of misconceptions, but not yet extravagant in hostility. Next day Chauvelin descended to a vulgar but efficacious means of exciting odium by denouncing the Jesuits’ teaching and morals, especially on the matter of tyrannicide.

In the Parlement the Jesuits’ case was now desperate. After a long conflict with the Crown, in which the indolent minister-ridden sovereign failed to assert his will to any purpose, the Parlement issued its well-known “Extracts des assertions”, a blue-book, as we might say, containing a congeries of passages from Jesuit theologians and canonists, in which they were alleged to teach every sort of immorality and error, from tyrannicide, magic, and Arianism to treason, Socinianism, and Lutheranism. On August 6, 1762, the final arret was issued condemning the Society to extinction, but the king’s intervention brought eight months’ delay. In favor of the Jesuits there had been some striking testimonies, especially from the French clergy in the two convocations summoned on November 30, 1761, and May 1, 1762. But the series of letters and addresses published by Clement XIII afford a truly irrefragable attestation in favor of the order. Nothing, however, availed to stay the Parlement. The king’s counter-edict delayed indeed the execution of its arret, and meantime a compromise was suggested by the Court. If the French Jesuits would stand apart from the order, under a French vicar, with French customs, the crown would still protect them. In spite of the dangers of refusal, the Jesuits would not consent; and upon consulting the pope, he (not Ricci) used the since famous phrase, Sint ut sunt. tut non sint (de Ravignan, “Clement XIII”, I, 105, the words are attributed to Ricci also). Louis’s intervention hindered the execution of the arret against the Jesuits until April 1, 1763. The colleges were then closed, and by a further arret of March 9, 1764, the Jesuits were required to renounce their vows under pain of banishment. Only three priests and a few scholastics accepted the conditions. At the end of November, 1764, the king unwillingly signed an edict dissolving the Society throughout his dominions, for they were still protected by some provincial parlements as Franche-Comte, Alsace, and Artois. But in the draft of the edict he cancelled numerous clauses, which implied that the Society was guilty; and, writing to Choiseul, he concluded with the weak but significant words: “If I adopt the advice of others for the peace of my realm, you must make the changes I propose, or I will do nothing. I say no more, lest I should say too much”.

C. Spain, Naples, and Parma

The Suppression in Spain and its quasi-dependencies, Naples and Parma, and in the Spanish colonies was carried through by autocratic kings and ministers. Their deliberations were conducted in secrecy, and they purposely kept their reasons to themselves. It is only of late years that a clue has been traced back to Bernardo Tanucci, the anti-clerical minister of Naples, who acquired a great influence over Charles III before that king passed from the throne of Naples to that of Spain. In this minister’s correspondence are found all the ideas which from time to time guided the Spanish policy. Charles, a man of good moral character, had entrusted his Government to the Count Aranda and other followers of Voltaire; and he had brought from Italy a finance minister, whose nationality made the government unpopular, while his exactions led in 1766 to rioting and to the publication of various squibs, lampoons, and attacks upon the administration. An extraordinary council was appointed to investigate the matter, as it was declared that people so simple as the rioters could never have produced the political pamphlets. They proceeded to take secret informations, the tenor of which is no longer known; but records remain to show that in September the council had resolved to incriminate the Society, and that by January 29, 1767, its expulsion was settled. Secret orders, which were to be opened at midnight between the first and second of April, 1767, were sent to the magistrates of every town where a Jesuit resided. The plan worked smoothly. That morning 6000 Jesuits were marching like convicts to the coast, where they were deported first to the Papal States, and ultimately to Corsica.

Tanucci pursued a similar policy in Naples. On November 3 the religious, again without trial, and this time without even an accusation, were marched across the frontier into the Papal States and threatened with death if they returned. It will be noticed that in these expulsions the smaller the state the greater the contempt of the ministers for any forms of law. The Duchy of Parma was the smallest of the so-called Bourbon Courts, and so aggressive in its anti-clericalism that Clement XIII addressed to it (January 30, 1768) a monitorium, or warning, that its excesses were punishable with ecclesiastical censures. At this all parties to the Bourbon “Family Compact” turned in fury against the Holy See, and demanded the entire destruction of the Society. As a preliminary Parma at once drove the Jesuits out of its territories, confiscating as usual all their possessions.

D. Clement XIV

From this time till his death (February 2, 1769) Clement XIII was harassed with the utmost rudeness and violence. Portions of his States were seized by force, he was insulted to his face by the Bourbon representatives, and it was made clear that, unless he gave way, a great schism would ensue, such as Portugal had already commenced. The conclave which followed lasted from February 15 to May, 1769. The Bourbon Courts, through the so-called “crown cardinals”, succeeded in excluding any of the party, nicknamed Zelanti, who would have taken a firm position in defense of the order, and finally elected Lorenzo Ganganelli, who took the name of Clement XIV. It has been stated by Cretineau-Joly (Clement XIV p. 260) that Ganganelli, before his election, engaged himself to the crown cardinals by some sort of stipulation that he would suppress the Society, which would have involved an infraction of the conclave oath. This is now disproved by the statement of the Spanish agent Azpuru, who was specially deputed to act with the crown cardinals. He wrote on May 18, just before the election, “None of the cardinals has gone so far as to propose to anyone that the Suppression should be secured by a written or spoken promise”; and just after May 25 he wrote, “Ganganelli neither made a promise, nor refused it”. On the other hand it seems he did write words, which were taken by the crown cardinals as an indication that the Bourbons would get their way with him (de Bernis’s letters of July 28 and November 20, 1769).

No sooner was Clement on the throne than the Spanish Court backed by the other members of the “Family Compact”, renewed their overpowering pressure. On August 2, 1769, Choiseul wrote a strong letter demanding the Suppression within two months; and the pope now made his first written promise that he would grant the measure, but he declared that he must have more time. Then began a series of transactions, which some have not unnaturally interpreted as devices to escape by delays from the terrible act of destruction, towards which Clement was being pushed. He passed more than two years in treating with the Courts of Turin, Tuscany, Milan, Genoa, Bavaria, etc., which would not easily consent to the Bourbon projects. The same ulterior object may perhaps be detected in some of the minor annoyances now inflicted on the Society. From several colleges, as those of Frascati, Ferrara, Bologna, and the Irish College at Rome, the Jesuits were, after a prolonged examination, ejected with much show of hostility. And there were moments, as for instance after the fall of Choiseul, when it really seemed as though the Society might have escaped; but eventually the obstinacy of Charles III always prevailed.

In the middle of 1772 Charles sent a new ambassador to Rome, Don Joseph Monino, afterwards Count Florida Blanca, a strong, hard man, “full of artifice, sagacity, and dissimulation, and no one more set on the suppression of the Jesuits”. Heretofore the negotiations had been in the hands of the clever, diplomatic Cardinal de Bernis, French ambassador to the pope. Monino now took the lead, de Bernis coming in afterwards as a friend to urge the acceptance of his advice. At last, on September 6, Monino gave in a paper suggesting a line for the pope to follow, which he did in part adopt, in drawing up the Brief of Suppression. By November the end was coming in sight, and in December Clement put Monino into communication with a secretary; and they drafted the instrument together, the minute being ready by January 4, 1773. By February 6 Monino had got it back from the pope in a form to be conveyed to the Bourbon Courts, and by June 8, their modifications having been taken account of, the minute was thrown into its final form and signed. Still the pope delayed, until Monino constrained him to get copies printed; and as these were dated, no delay was possible beyond that date, which was August 16, 1773. A second Brief was issued to determine the manner in which the Suppression was to be carried out. To secure secrecy one regulation was introduced which led, in foreign countries, to some unexpected results. The Brief was not to be published Urbi et Orbi, but only to each college or place by the local bishop. At Rome, the father-general was confined first in the English College, then in Castel S. Angelo, with his assistants. The papers of the Society were handed over to a special commission, together with its title deeds and store of money, 40,000 scudi (about $50,000), which belonged almost entirely to definite charities. An investigation of the papers was begun, but never brought to any issue.

In the Brief of Suppression the most striking feature is the long list of allegations against the Society, with no mention of what is favorable; the tone of the Brief is very adverse. On the other hand the charges are recited categorically; they are not definitely stated to have been proved. The object is to represent the order as having occasioned perpetual strife, contradiction, and trouble. For the sake of peace the Society must be suppressed. A full explanation of these and other anomalous features cannot yet be given with certainty. The chief reason for them no doubt is that the Suppression was an administrative measure, not a judicial sentence based on judicial inquiry. We see that the course chosen avoided many difficulties, especially the open contradiction of preceding popes, who had so often praised or confirmed the Society. Again, such statements were less liable to be controverted; and there were different ways of interpreting the Brief, which commended themselves to Zelanti and Borbonici respectively. The last word on the subject is doubtless that of St. Alphonsus di Liguori—”Poor Pope! What could he do in the circumstances in which he was placed, with all the sovereigns conspiring to demand this Suppression? As for ourselves, we must keep silence, respect the secret judgment of God, and hold ourselves in peace”.

VI. THE INTERIM (1773-1814)

The execution of the Brief of Suppression having been largely left to the local bishops, there was room for a good deal of variety in the treatment which the Jesuits might receive in different places. In Austria and Germany they were generally allowed to teach (but with secular clergy as superiors); often they became men of mark as preachers, like Beauregard, Muzzarelli, and Alexandre Lanfant (b. at Lyons, September 6, 1726, and massacred in Paris, September 3, 1793) and writers like Francois-Xavier de Feller (q.v.), Zaccharia, Ximenes. The first to receive open official approbation of their new works were probably the English Jesuits, who in 1778 obtained a Brief approving their well-known Academy of Liege (now at Stonyhurst). But in Russia, and until 1780 in Prussia, the Empress Catherine and King Frederick II desired to maintain the Society as a teaching body. They forbade the local bishops to promulgate the Brief until their placet was obtained. Bishop Massalski in White Russia, September 19, 1773, therefore ordered the Jesuit superiors to continue to exercise jurisdiction till further notice. On February 2, 1780, with the approbation of Bishop Siestrzencewicz’s Apostolic visitor, a novitiate was opened. To obtain higher sanction for what had been done, the envoy Benislaski was sent by Catherine to Rome. But it must be remembered that the animus of the Bourbon Courts against the Society was still unchecked; and in some countries, as in Austria under Joseph II, the situation was worse than before. There were many in the Roman Curia who had worked their way up by their activity against the order, or held pensions created out of former Jesuit property. Pius VI declined to meet Catherine’s requests. All he could do was to express an indefinite assent by word of mouth, without issuing any written documents, or observing the usual formalities; and he ordered that strict secrecy should be observed about the whole mission. Benislaski received these messages on March 12, 1783, and later gave the Russian Jesuits an attestation of them (July 24, 1785).

On the other hand, it can cause no wonder that the enemies of the Jesuits should from the first have watched the survival in White Russia with jealousy, and have brought pressure to bear upon the pope to ensure their suppression. He was constrained to declare that he had not revoked the Brief of Suppression, and that he regarded as an abuse anything done against it, but that the Empress Catherine would not allow him to act freely (June 29, 1783). These utterances were not in real conflict with the answer given to Benislaski, which only amounted to the assertion that the escape from the Brief by the Jesuits in Russia was not schismatical, and that the pope approved of their continuing as they were doing. Their existence therefore was legitimate or at least not illegitimate, though positive approval in legal form did not come till Pius VII’s Brief “Catholicae Fidei” (March 7, 1801). Meantime the same or similar causes to those which brought about the Suppression of the Society were leading to the disruption of the whole civil order. The French Revolution (1789) was overthrowing every throne that had combined against the Jesuits, and in the anguish of that trial many were the cries for the reestablishment of the order. But amid the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars, during the prolonged captivities of Pius VI (1798-1800) and of Pius VII (1809-14), such a consummation was impossible. The English Jesuits, however (whose academy at Liege, driven over to England by the French invasion of 1794, had been approved by a Brief in 1796), succeeded in obtaining oral permission from Pius VII for their aggregation to the Russian Jesuits, May 27, 1803. The permission was to be kept secret, and was not even communicated by the pope to Propaganda. Next winter, its prefect, Cardinal Borgia, wrote a hostile letter, not indeed cancelling the vows taken, or blaming what had been done, but forbidding the bishops “to recognize the Jesuits”, or “to admit their privileges”, until they obtained permission from the Congregation of Propaganda.

Considering the extreme difficulties of the times, we cannot wonder at orders being given from Rome which were not always quite consistent. Broadly speaking, however, we see that the popes worked their way towards a restoration of the order by degrees. First, by approving community life, which had been specifically forbidden by the Brief of Suppression (this was done for England in 1778). Second, by permitting vows (for England in 1803). Third, by restoring the full privileges of a religious order (these were not recognized in England until 1829). The Society was extended by Brief from Russia to the Kingdom of Naples, July 30, 1804; but on the invasion of the French in 1806, all houses were dissolved, except those in Sicily. The superior in Italy during these changes was the Venerable Giuseppe Maria Pignatelli (q.v.). In their zeal for the reestablishment of the Society some of the ex-Jesuits united themselves into congregations, which might, while avoiding the now unpopular name of Jesuits, preserve some of its essential features. Thus arose the Fathers of the Faith (Peres de la Foi), founded with papal sanction by Nicolas Paccanari in 1797. A somewhat similar congregation, called the “Fathers of the Sacred Heart”, had been commenced in 1794 in Belgium, under Pere Charles de Broglie, who was succeeded by Pere Joseph Varin as superior. By wish of Pius VI, the two congregations amalgamated, and were generally known as the Paccanarists. They soon spread into many lands; Paccanari, however, did not prove a good superior, and seemed to be working against a reunion with the Jesuits still existing in Russia; this caused Pere Varin and others to leave him. Some of them entered the Society in Russia at once; and at the Restoration the others joined en masse. (See Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.)


Pius VII had resolved to restore the Society during his captivity in France; and after his return to Rome did so with little delay, August 7, 1814, by the Bull “Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum,” and therewith the general in Russia, Thaddaeus Brzozowski, acquired universal jurisdiction. After the permission to continue given by Pius VI, the first Russian congregation had elected as vicar-general Stanislaus Czerniewicz (October 17, 1782-July 7, 1785), who was succeeded by Gabriel Lenkiewicz (September 27, 1785—November 10, 1798) and Francis Kareu (February 1, 1799-July 20, 1802). On the receipt of the Brief “Catholic Fidei”, of March 7, 1801, his title was changed from vicar-general to general. Gabriel Gruber succeeded (October 10, 1802-March 26, 1805), and was followed by Thaddaeus Brzozowski (September 2, 1805). Almost simultaneously with the death of the latter, February 5, 1820, the Russians, who had banished the Jesuits from St. Petersburg in 1815, expelled them from the whole country. It seems a remarkable providence that Russia, contrary to all precedent, should have protected the Jesuits just at the time when all other nations turned against them, and reverted to her normal hostility when the Jesuits began to find toleration elsewhere. Upon the decease of Brzozowski, Father Petrucci, the vicar, fell under the influence of the still powerful anti-Jesuit party at Rome, and proposed to alter some points in the Institute. The twentieth general congregation took a severe view of his proposals, expelled him from the order, and elected Father Aloysius Fortis (October 18, 1820-January 27, 1829) (q.v.); John Roothaan succeeded (July 9, 1829-May 8, 1853); and was followed by Peter Beckx (q.v.) (July 2, 1853-March 4, 1887). Anton Maria Anderledy, vicar-general on May 11, 1884, became general on Fr. Beckx’s death and died on January 18, 1892; Luis Martin (October 2, 1892-April 18, 1906). Father Martin commenced a new series of histories of the Society, to be based on the increased materials now available, and to deal with many problems about which older annalists, Orlandini and his successors, were not curious. Volumes by Astrain, Duhr, Fouqueray, Hughes, Kroess, Tacchi-Venturi have appeared. The present general, Francis Xavier Wernz, was elected on September 8, 1906.

Though the Jesuits of the nineteenth century cannot show a martyr-roll as brilliant as that of their predecessors, the persecuting laws passed against them surpass in number, extent, and continuance those endured by previous generations. The practical exclusion from university teaching, the obligation of military service in many countries, the wholesale confiscations of religious property, and the dispersion of twelve of its oldest and once most flourishing provinces are very serious hindrances to religious vocations. On a teaching order such blows fall very heavily. The cause of trouble has generally been due to that propaganda of irreligion which was developed during the Revolution and is still active through Freemasonry in those lands in which the Revolution took root.

A. France

This is plainly seen in France. In that country the Society began after 1815 with the direction of some petits seminaires and congregations, and by giving missions. They were attacked by the Liberals, especially by the Comte de Montlosier in 1823 and their schools, one of which, St-Acheul, already contained 800 students, were closed in 1829. The Revolution of July (1830) brought them no immediate relief; but in the visitation of cholera in 1832 the Fathers pressed to the fore, and so began to recover influence. In 1845 there was another attack by Thiers, which drew out the answer of de Ravignan (q.v.). The Revolution of 1848 at first sent them again into exile, but the liberal measures which succeeded, especially the freedom of teaching, enabled them to return and to open many schools (1850). In the later days of the Empire greater difficulties were raised, but with the advent of the Third Republic (1870) these restrictions were removed and progress continued, until, after threatening measures in 1878, came the decree of March 29 1880, issued by M. Jules Ferry. This brought about a new dispersion and the substitution of staffs of non-religious teachers in the Jesuit colleges. But the French Government did not press their enactments, and the Fathers returned by degrees; and before the end of the century their houses and schools in France were as prosperous as ever. Then came the overwhelming Associations laws of M. Waldeck-Rousseau, leading to renewed though not complete dispersions and to the reintroduction of non-religious staffs in the colleges. The right of the order to hold property was also violently suppressed; and, by a refinement of cruelty, any property suspected of being held by a congregation may now be confiscated, unless it is proved not to be so held. Other clauses of this law penalize any meeting of the members of a congregation. The order is under an iron hand from which no escape is, humanly speaking, possible. For the moment nevertheless public opinion disapproves of its rigid execution, and thus far, in spite of all sufferings, of the dispersal of all houses, the confiscation of churches, and the loss of practically all property and schools, the numbers of the order have been maintained, nay slightly increased, and so too have the opportunities for work, especially in literature and theology, etc. (See also Auguste Carayon; Deschamps; Stanislas Du Lac; Pierre Olivaint; Gustave Xavier Lacroix de Ravignan.)

B. Spain

In Spain the course of events has been similar. Recalled by Ferdinand VII in 1815, the Society was attacked by the Revolution of 1820; and twenty-five Jesuits were slain at Madrid in 1822. The Fathers, however, returned after 1823 and took part in the management of the military school and the College of Nobles at Madrid (1827). But in 1834 they were again attacked at Madrid, fourteen were killed, and the whole order was banished on July 4, 1835, by a Liberal ministry. After 1848 they began to return and were resettled after the Concordat, November 26, 1852. At the Revolution of 1868 they were again banished (October 12), but after a few years they were allowed to come back, and have since made great progress. At the present time, however, another expulsion is threatened (1912). In Portugal the Jesuits were recalled in 1829, dispersed again in 1834; but afterwards returned. Though they were not formally sanctioned by law they had a large college and several churches, from which, however, they were driven out in October, 1910, with great violence and cruelty.

C. Italy

In Italy they were expelled from Naples (1820-21); but in 1836 they were admitted to Lombardy. Driven out by the Revolution of 1848 from almost the whole peninsula, they were able to return when peace was restored, except to Turin. Then with the gradual growth of United Italy they were step by step suppressed again by law everywhere, and finally at Rome after 1871. But though formally suppressed and unable to keep schools, except on a very small scale, the law is so worded that it does not press at every point, nor is it often enforced with acrimony. Numbers do not fall off, and activities increase. In Rome they have charge inter alia of the Gregorian University, the “Institutum Biblicum”, and the German and Latin-American Colleges.

D. Germanic Provinces

Of the Germanic Provinces, that of Austria may be said to have been recommenced by the immigration of many Polish Fathers from Russia to Galicia in 1820; and colleges were founded at Tarnopol, Lemberg, Linz (1837), and Innsbruck in 1838, in which they were assigned the theological faculty in 1856. The German province properly so called could at first make foundations only in Switzerland at Brieg (1814) and Freiburg (1818). But after the Sonderbund they were obliged to leave, being then 264 in number (111 priests). They were now able to open several houses in the Rhine provinces, etc., making steady progress till they were ejected during Bismarck’s Kulturkampf (1872), when they numbered 755 members (351 priests). They now count 1150 (with 574 priests) and are known throughout the world by their many excellent publications. (See Charles Antoniewicz (Botoz); Joseph Deharbe; Peter Hasslacher; Tilmann Pesch; Peter Roh.)

E. Belgium

The Belgian Jesuits were unable to return to their country till Belgium was separated from Holland in 1830. Since then they have prospered exceedingly. In 1832, when they became a separate province, they numbered 105; at their seventy-five years jubilee, in 1907, they numbered 1168. In 1832, two colleges with 167 students: in 1907, 15 colleges with 7465 students. Congregations of the Blessed Virgin, originally founded by a Belgian Jesuit, still flourish. In Belgium 2529 such congregations have been aggregated to the Prima Primaria at Rome, and of these 156 are under Jesuit direction. To say nothing of missions and of retreats to convents, dioceses, etc., the province had six houses of retreats, in which 245 retreats were given to 9840 persons. Belgium supplies the foreign mission of Eastern Bengal and the Diocese of Galle in Ceylon. In the bush-country of Chota Nagpur there began, in 1887, a wonderful movement of the aborigines (Koles and Ouraons) towards the Church, and the Catholics in 1907 numbered 137,120 (i.e. 62,385 baptized and 74,735 catechumens). Over 35,000 conversions had been made in 1906, owing to the penetration of Christianity into the district of Jashpur. Besides this there are excellent colleges at Darjeeling and at Kurseong; at Kandy in Ceylon the Jesuits have charge of the great pontifical seminary for educating native clergy for the whole of India. In all they have 442 churches, chapels, or stations, 479 schools, 14,467 scholars, with about 167,000 Catholics, and 262 Jesuits, of whom 150 are priests. The Belgian Fathers have also a flourishing mission on the Congo, in the districts of Kwango and Stanley Pool, which was begun in 1893; in 1907 the converts already numbered 31,402.

F. England

Nowhere did the Jesuits get through the troubles inevitable to the Interim more easily than in conservative England. The college at Liege continued to train their students in the old traditions, while the English bishops permitted the ex-Jesuits to maintain their missions and a sort of corporate discipline. But there were difficulties in recognizing the restored order, lest this should impede emancipation (see Roman Catholic Relief Bill), which remained in doubt for so many years. Eventually Leo XII on January 1, 1829, declared the Bull of restoration to have force in England. After this the Society grew, slowly at first, but more rapidly afterwards. It had 73 members in 1815, 729 in 1910. The principal colleges are Stonyhurst (St. Omers, 1592, migrated to Bruges, 1762, to Liege, 1773, to Stonyhurst, 1794); Mount St. Mary’s (1842); Liverpool (1842); Beaumont (1861); Glasgow (1870); Wimbledon, London (1887); Stamford Hill, London (1894); Leeds (1905). In 1910 the province had in England and Scotland, besides the usual novitiate and houses of study, two houses for retreats, 50 churches or chapels, attended by 148 priests. The congregations amounted to 97,641; baptisms, 3746; confessions, 844,079; Easter confessions, 81,065; Communions, 1,303,591; converts, 725; extreme unctions, 1698; marriages, 782; children in elementary schools, 18,328. The Guiana mission (19 priests) has charge of about 45,000 souls; the Zambesi mission (35 priests), 4679 souls. (See also the articles Morris; Plowden; Porter; Joseph Stevenson; Henry James Coleridge; Thomas Morton Harper.)

G. Ireland

There were 24 ex-Jesuits in Ireland in 1776, but by 1803 only two. Of these Father O’Callaghan renewed his vows at Stonyhurst in 1803, and he and Father Betagh, who was eventually the last survivor, succeeded in finding some excellent postulants who made their novitiate in Stonyhurst, their studies at Palermo, and returned between 1812 and 1814, Father Betagh, who had become Vicar-General of Dublin, having survived to the year 1811. Father Peter Kenny (d. 1841) was the first superior of the new mission, a man of remarkable eloquence, who when visitor of the Society in America (1830-1833) preached by invitation before Congress. From 1812-13 he was vice-president of Maynooth College under Dr. Murray, then coadjutor Bishop of Dublin. The College of Clongowes Wood was begun in 1813; Tullabeg in 1818 (now a house of both probations); Dublin (1841); Mungret (Apostolic School, 1883). In 1883, too, the Irish bishops entrusted to the Society the University College, Dublin, in connection with the late Royal University of Ireland. The marked superiority of this college to the richly endowed Queen’s Colleges of Belfast, Cork, and Galway contributed much to establish the claim of the Irish Catholics to adequate university education. When this claim had been met by the present National University, the University College was returned to the Bishops. Five Fathers now hold teaching posts in the new university, and a hostel for students is being provided. Under the Act of Catholic Emancipation (q.v.) 58 Jesuits were registered in Ireland in 1830. In 1910 there were 367 in the province, of whom 100 are in Australia, where they have 4 colleges at and near Melbourne and Sydney, and missions in South Australia.

H. United States of America

Under the direction of Bishop Carroll the members of the Corporation of Roman Catholic Clergymen in Maryland were the chief factors in founding and maintaining Georgetown College (q.v.) from 1791 to 1805, when they resumed their relations with the Society still existing in Russia, and were so strongly reinforced by other members of the order from Europe that they could assume full charge of the institution, which they have since retained. On the Restoration of the Society in 1814 these nineteen fathers constituted the mission of the United States. For a time (1808 to 1817) some of them were employed in the Diocese of New York just erected, Father Anthony Kohlmann (q.v.) administering the diocese temporarily, the others engaging in school and parish work. In 1816 Gonzaga College, Washington, D.C., was founded. In 1833 the mission of the United States became a province under the title of Maryland. Since then the history of the province is a record of development proportionate with the growth of Catholicity in the various fields specially cultivated by the Society. The colleges of the Holy Cross, Worcester (founded in 1843), Loyola College, Baltimore (1852), Boston College (1863) have educated great numbers of young men for the ministry and liberal professions. Up to 1879 members of the Society had been laboring in New York as part of the New YorkCanada mission. In that year they became affiliated with the first American province under the title of MarylandNew York. This was added to the old province, besides several residences and parishes, the colleges of St. Francis Xavier and St. John (now Fordham University), New York City, and St. Peter’s College, Jersey City, New Jersey. St. Joseph‘s College, Philadelphia, was chartered in 1852 and the Brooklyn College opened in 1908. In the same year Canisius College, and two parishes in Buffalo, and one parish in Boston for German Catholics, with 88 members of the German province were affiliated with this province, which has now (1912) 863 members with 12 colleges and 13 parishes, 1 house of higher studies for the members of the Society, 1 novitiate, in the New England and Middle States, and in the Virginias, with the Mission of Jamaica, British West Indies.

The Missouri province began as a mission from Maryland in 1823. Father Charles Van Quicken-borne, a Belgian, led several young men of his own nationality who were eager to work among the Indians, among them De Smet (q.v.), Van Assche, and Verhaegen. As a rule the tribes were too nomadic to evangelize, and the Indian schools attracted only a very small number of pupils. The missions among the Osage and Pottawatomie were more permanent and fruitful. It was with experience gathered in these fields that Father De Smet started his mission in the Rocky Mountains in 1840. A college, now St. Louis University, was opened in 1829. For ten years, 1838-48, a college was maintained at Grand Coteau, Louisiana; in 1840 St. Xavier’s was opened at Cincinnati. With the aid of seventy-eight Jesuits, who came from Italy and Switzerland in the years of revolution 1847-8, two colleges were maintained, St. Joseph‘s, Bardstown, 1848 until 1861, another at Louisville, Kentucky, 1849-57. In this last year a college was opened at Chicago. The mission became a province in 1863, and since then colleges have been opened at Detroit, Omaha, Milwaukee, St. Mary’s (Kansas). By the accession of part of the Buffalo mission when it was separated from the German province in 1907, the Missouri province acquired an additional 180 members, and colleges at Cleveland, Toledo, and Prairie du Chien, besides several residences and missions. Its members work in the territory west of the Alleghenies as far as Kansas and Omaha, and from the Lakes to the northern line of Tennessee and Oklahoma, and also in the Mission of British Honduras (q.v.).

New Orleans.—For five years, 1566-1571, members of the Peruvian province labored among the Indians along the coast of Florida, where Father Martinez was massacred near St. Augustine in 1566. They penetrated into Virginia, where eight of their number were massacred by Indians at a station named Axaca, supposed to be on the Rappahannock River. Later, Jesuits from Canada, taking as their share of the Louisiana territory the Illinois country and afterwards from the Ohio River to the gulf east of the Mississippi, worked among the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Natchez and Yazoo. Two of their number were murdered by the Natchez and one by the Chickasaw. Their expulsion in 1763 is the subject of a monograph by Carayon, “Documents inedits”, XIV. Originally evangelized by Jesuits from the Lyons province, the New Orleans mission became a province in 1907, having 7 colleges and four residences. It has now 255 members working in the territory north of the Gulf of Mexico to Missouri as far east as Virginia.

California.—In 1907 a province was formed in California comprising the missions of California, the Rocky Mountains, and Alaska (United States). The history of these missions is narrated under California Missions; Alaska; Idaho; Sioux Indians.

New Mexico.—In the mission of New Mexico ninety-three Jesuits are occupied in the college at Denver, Colorado and in various missions in that state, Arizona, and New Mexico; the mission depends on the Italian province of Naples.

In all the provinces in the United States there are 6 professional schools, with 4363 students; 26 colleges with full courses, with 2417, and 34 preparatory and high schools with 8735 pupils.

I. Canada

Jesuits returned to Canada from St. Mary’s College, Kentucky, which had been taken over, in 1834, by members of the province of France. When St. Mary’s was given up in 1846 the staff came to take charge of St. John’s College, Fordham, New York, thus forming with their fellows in Montreal the New YorkCanada mission. This mission lasted until 1879, the Canadian division having by that year 1 college, 2 residences, 1 novitiate, 3 Indian missions with 131 members. In 1888 the mission received $160,000 as its part of the sum paid by the Province of Quebec in compensation for the Jesuit estates appropriated under George III by imperial authority, and transferred to the authorities of the former Province of Canada, all parties agreeing that the full amount, $400,000, thus allowed was far short of the value of the estates, estimated at $2,000,000. The settlement was ratified by the pope and the Legislature of the Province of Quebec, and the balance was divided among the archdioceses of Quebec, Montreal, and other dioceses, the Laval University besides receiving, in Montreal, $40,000 and, in Quebec, $100,000.

In 1907 the mission was constituted a province. It has now 2 colleges in Montreal, one at St. Boniface with 263 students in the collegiate and 722 in the preparatory classes, 2 residences and churches in Quebec, one at Guelph, Indian missions, and missions in Alaska, and 309 members.

J. Mexico

In Mexico (New Spain) Jesuit missionaries began their work in 1571 and prior to their expulsion, in 1767, they numbered 678 members, of whom 468 were natives. They had over 40 colleges or seminaries, 5 residences, and 6 missionary districts, with 99 missions. The mission included Cuba, Lower California, and as far south as Nicaragua. Three members of the suppressed society who were in Mexico at the time of the Restoration formed a nucleus for its reestablishment there in 1816. In 1820 there were 32, of whom 15 were priests and 3 scholastics, in care of 4 colleges and 3 seminaries. They were dispersed in 1821. Although invited back in 1843, they could not agree to the limitations put on their activities by General Santa Anna, nor was the prospect favorable in the revolutionary condition of the country. Four of their number returning in 1854, the mission prospered, and in spite of two dispersions, 1859 and 1873, it has continued to increase in number and activity. In August, 1907, it was reconstituted a province. It has now 326 members with 4 colleges, 12 residences, 6 mission stations among the Tarahumara, and a novitiate (see also Mexico; The Pious Fund of the Californias).



New York Grand Total 16,545




Belgian Congo

Upper Zambeze

Lower Zambeze

Madagascar, Reunion, and


Galle (Ceylon

Madura (India)

S. E. Tcheu-li (China)

Philippine Islands

Floresand Sumatra.



S. and E. Australia

North America

Indian Missions (Canada)

North Alaska (U.S.A.)

South Alaska (U.S.A.).

New Mexico, Colorado, and

Tarahumara (Mex.)

New York

South America


N. and Cent. Brazil

Chile and Argentina Total 3531


The accusations brought against the Society have been exceptional for their frequency and fierceness. Many indeed would be too absurd to deserve mention, were they not credited even by cultured and literary people. Such for instance are the charges that the Society was responsible for the Franco-Prussian war, the affaire Dreyfus, the Panama scandal, the assassination of popes, kings, princes, etc.—statements found in books and periodicals of some pretense. Such likewise is the so-called Jesuit Oath, the clumsy fabrication of the forger Robert Ware, exposed by Bridgett in “Blunders and Forgeries”. The fallacy of such accusations may often be detected by general principles.

A. Jesuits are fallible

…and may have given some occasion to the accuser. The charges laid against them would never have been brought against angels, but they are not in the least inconsistent with the Society being a body of good but fallible men. Sweeping denials here and an injured tone would be misplaced and liable to misconception. As an instance of Jesuit fallibility one may mention that writings of nearly one hundrel Jesuits have been placed on the Roman “Index”. Since this involves a reflection upon the Jesuit book-censors as well, it might appear to be an instance of failure in an important matter. But when we remember that the number of Jesuit writers exceeds 120,000, the proportion of those who have missed the mark cannot be considered extraordinary; the censure inflicted moreover has never been of the graver kind. Many critics of the order, who do not consider the Index censures discreditable, cannot pardon so readily the exaggerated esprit de corps in which Jesuits of limited experience occasionally indulge, especially in controversies or while eulogizing their own confreres; nor can they overlook the narrowness or bias with which some Jesuit writers have criticized men of other lands, institutions, education, though it is unfair to hold up the faults of a few as characteristic of the entire body.

B. The Accusers

(1) In an oft-recited passage about the martyrs St. Ambrose tells us: Vere frustra impugnatur qui spud impios et infidos impietatis arcessitur cum fidei sit magister” (He in truth, is impugned in vain who is accused of impiety by the impious and the faithless, though he is a teacher of the faith). The personal equation of the accuser is a correction of great moment; nevertheless it is to be applied with equally great caution; on no other point is an accused person so liable to make mistakes. Undoubtedly, however, when we find a learned man like Harnack declaring roundly (but without proofs) that Jesuits are not historians, we may place this statement of his beside another of his professorial dicta, that the Bible is not history. If the same principles underlie both propositions, the accusation against the order will carry little weight. When an infidel government, about to assail the liberties of the Church, begins by expelling the Jesuits, on the allegation that they destroy the love of freedom in their scholars, we can only say that no words of theirs can counterbalance the logic of their acts. Early in this century the French Government urged as one of their reasons for suppressing all the religious orders in France, among them the Society, that the regulars were crowding the secular clergy out of their proper spheres of activity and influence. No sooner were the religious suppressed than the law separating Church and State was passed to cripple and enslave the bishops and secular clergy.

Again it is perhaps little wonder that heretics in general, and those in particular who impugn church liberties and the authority of the Holy See, should be ever ready to assail the Jesuits, who are especially bound to the defense of that see. It seems stranger that the opponents of the Society should sometimes be within the Church. Yet it is almost inevitable that such opposition should at times occur. No matter how adequately the canon law regulating the relations of regulars with the hierarchy and clergy generally may provide for their peaceful cooperation in missionary, educational, and charitable enterprises, there will necessarily be occasion for differences of opinion, disputes over jurisdiction, methods, and similar vital points, which in the heat of controversy often embitter and even estrange the parties at variance. Such unfortunate controversies arise between other religious orders and the hierarchy and secular clergy; they are neither common nor permanent, not the rule but the exception, so that they do not warrant the sinister judgment that is sometimes formed of the Society in particular as unable or unwilling to work with others, jealous of its own influence. Sometimes, especially when troubles of this kind have affected broad questions of doctrine and discipline, the agitation has reached immense proportions and bitterness has remained for years. The controversies De auxiliis led to violent explosions of temper, to intrigue, and to furious language which was simply astonishing; and there were others, in England for instance about the faculties of the archpriest, in France about Gallicanism, which were almost equally memorable for fire and fury. Odium theologicum is sure at all times to call forth excitement of unusual keenness; but we may make allowance for the early disputants, because of the pugnacious character of the times. When the age quite approved of gentlemen killing each other in duels on very slight provocation, there can be little wonder that clerics, when aroused, should forget propriety and self-restraint, sharpen their pens like daggers, and, dipping them in gall, strike at any sensitive point of their adversaries which they could injure. Charges put about by such excited advocates must be received with the greatest caution.

The most embittered and the most untrustworthy enemies of the Society (they are fortunately not very numerous) have ever been deserters from its own ranks. We know with what malice and venom some unfaithful priests are wont to assail the Church, which they once believed to be Divine, and not dissimilar has been the hatred of some Jesuits who have been untrue to their calling.

C. What is to be expected?

The Society has certainly had some share in the beatitude of suffering for persecution’s sake; though it is not true, however, to say that the Society is the object of universal detestation. Prominent politicians, whose acts affect the interests of millions, are much more hotly and violently criticized, more freely denounced, caricatured, and condemned in the course of a month than the Jesuits singly or collectively in a year. When once the politician is overthrown, the world turns its fire upon the new holder of power, and it forgets the man that is fallen. But the light attacks against the Society never cease for long, and their cumulative effect appears more serious than it should, because people overlook the long spans of years which in its case intervene between the different signal assaults; Another principle to remember is that the enemies of the Church would never assail the Society at all, were it not that it is conspicuously popular with large classes of the Catholic community. Neither universal odium therefore nor freedom from all assault should be expected, but charges which, by exaggeration, inversion, satire, or irony, somehow correspond with the place of the Society in the Church.

Not being contemplatives like the monks of old, Jesuits are not decried as lazy and useless. Not being called to fill posts of high authority or to rule, like popes and bishops, Jesuits are not seriously denounced as tyrants, or maligned for nepotism and similar misdeeds. Ignatius described his order as a flying squadron ready for service anywhere, especially as educators and missionaries. The principal charges against the Society are misrepresentations of these qualities. If they are ready for service in any part of the world, they are called busybodies, mischief-makers, politicians with no attachment to country. If they do not rule, at least they must be grasping, ambitious, scheming, and wont to lower standards of morality, in order to gain control of consciences. If they are good disciplinarians, it will be said it is by espionage and suppression of individuality and independence. If they are popular schoolmasters, the adversary will say they are good for children, good perhaps as crammers, but bad educators, without influence. If they are favorite confessors, their success is ascribed to their lax moral doctrines, to their casuistry, and above all to their use of the maxim which is supposed to justify any and every evil act: “the end justifies the means”. This perhaps is the most salient instance of the ignorance or ill-will of their accusers. Their books are open to all the world. Time and again those who impute to them as a body, or to any of their publications, the use of this maxim to justify evil of any sort have been asked to cite one instance of such usage, but all to no purpose. The signal failure of Hoensbroech to establish before the civil courts of Trier and Cologne (July 30, 1905) any such example of Jesuit teaching should silence this and similar accusations forever.

D. The Jesuit Legend

It is curious that at the present day even literary men have next to no interest in the objective facts concerning the Society, not even in those supposed to be to its disadvantage. All attention is fixed on the Jesuit legend; encyclopedia articles and general histories hardly concern themselves with anything else. The legend, though it reached its present form in the middle of the nineteenth century, began at a much earlier period. The early persecutions of the Society (which counted some 100 martyrs in Europe during its first century) were backed up by fiery, loud, unscrupulous writers such as Hasenmuller and Hospinian, who diligently collected and defended all the charges brought against the Jesuits. The rude, criminous ideal which these writers set forth received subtler traits of deceitfulness and double-dealing through Zahorowski’s “Monita secrets Societatis Jesu” (Cracow, 1614), a satire misrepresenting the rules of the order, which is freely believed to be genuine by credulous adversaries (see Monita Secreta). The current version of the legend is late French, evolved during the long revolutionary ferment which preceded the Third Empire. It began with the denunciations of Montlosier (1824-27), and grew strong (1833-45) in the University of Paris, which affected to consider itself as the representative of the Gallican Sorbonne, of Port-Royal, and of the Encyclopedie. The occasion for literary hostilities was offered by attempts at university reform, which, so the Liberals affected to believe, were instigated by Jesuits. Hereupon the “Provinciales” were given a place in the university curriculum, and Villemain, Thiers, Cousin, Michelet, Quinet, Libri, Mignet, and other respectable scholars succeeded by their writings and denunciations in giving to anti-Jesuitism a sort of literary vogue, not always with scrupulous observance of accuracy or fairness. More harmful still to the order were the plays, the songs, the popular novels against them. Of these the most celebrated was Eugene Sue’s “Juif errant” (Wandering Jew) (1844), which soon became the most popular anti-Jesuit book ever printed, and has done more than any thing else to give final form to the Jesuit legend.

The special character of this fable is that it has hardly anything to do with the order at all, its traits being simply copied from masonry. The previous Jesuit bogey was at least one which haunted churches and colleges, and worked through the confessional and the pulpit. But this creation of modern fiction has lost all connection with reality. He (or even she) is a person, not necessarily a priest, under the command of a black pope, who lives in an imaginary world of back stairs, closets, and dark passages. He is busy with plotting and scheming, mesmerizing the weak and corrupting the honest, occupations diversified by secret crimes or melodramatic attempts at crime of every sort. This ideal we see is taken over bodily from the real, or rather the supposed, method of life of the Continental mason. Yet this is the sort of nonsense about which special correspondents send telegrams to their papers, about which revolutionary agitators and crafty politicians make long inflammatory speeches, which standard works of reference discuss quite gravely, which none of our popular writers dares to expose as an imposture (see Brou, op. cit. infra, II, 199-247).

E. Some Modern Objections

(1) Without having given up the old historical objections (for the study of which the historical sections of this article may be consulted), the anti-Jesuits of today arraign the Society as out of touch with the modern Zeitgeist, as hostile to liberty and culture, and as being a failure. Liberty, next to intelligence (and some people put it before), is the noblest of man’s endowments. Its enemies are the enemies of the human race. Yet it is said that Ignatius’s system, by aiming at “blind” obedience, paralyses the judgment and by consequence scoops out the will, inserting the will of the superior in its place, as a watchmaker might replace one mainspring by another (cf. Encyc. Brit., 1911, XV, 342); perinde ac cadaver, “like a corpse”, again “similar to an old man’s staff”—therefore dead and listless, mere machines, incapable of individual distinction (Bohmer-Monod, op. cit. infra, p. lxxvi).

The cleverness of this objection lies in its bold inversion of certain plain truths. In reality no one loved liberty better or provided for it more carefully than Ignatius. But he upheld the deeper principle that true freedom lies in obeying reason, all other choice being licence. Those who hold themselves free to disobey even the laws of God, who declare all rule in the Church a tyranny, and who aim at so-called free dove, free divorce, and free thought they, of course, reject his theory. In practice his custom was to train the will so thoroughly that his men might after a short time be able to “level up” others (a most difficult thing) from laxity to thoroughness, without themselves being drawn down (a most easy thing), even though they lived outside cloisters, with no external support for their discipline. The wonderful achievement of staying and rolling back the tide of the Reformation, in so far as it was due to the Jesuits, was the result of the increased will-power given to previously irresolute Catholics by the Ignatian methods.

As to “blind” obedience, we should note that all obedience must be blind to some extent—”Theirs not to reason why, Theirs is but to do and die.” Ignatius borrowed from earlier ascetic writers the strong metaphors of the “blind man”, “the corpse”, “the old man’s staff”, to illustrate the nature of obedience in a vivid way; but he does not want those metaphors to be run to death. Not only does he want the subject to bring both head and heart to the execution of the command, but, knowing human nature and its foibles, he recognizes that cases will Twenty-second General of the Society arise when the superior’s order may appear impracticable, unreasonable, or unrighteous to a free subject and may possibly really be so. In such cases it is the acknowledged duty of the subject to appeal, and his judgment as well as his conscience, even when it may happen to be ill-formed, is to be respected; provision is made in the Constitutions for the clearing up of such troubles by discussion and arbitration, a provision which would be inconceivable, unless a mind and a free will, independent of and possibly opposed to that of the superior, were recognized and respected. Ignatius wishes his subjects to be “dead” or “blind” only in respect of sloth, of passion, of self-interest, and self-indulgence, which would impede the ready execution of orders. So far is he from desiring a mechanical performance that he explicitly disparages “obedience, which executes in work only”, as “unworthy of the name of virtue” and warmly urges that “bending to, with all forces of head and heart, we should carry out the commands quickly and completely” (Letter on Obedience, § 5, 14).

Further illustrations of Ignatian love of liberty may be found in the Spiritual Exercises and in the character of certain theological doctrines, as Probabilism and Molinism (with its subsequent modifications) which are commonly taught in the Society‘s schools. Thus, Molinism “is above all determined to throw a wall of security round free will” (see Controversies on Grace), and Probabilism (q.v.) teaches that liberty may not be restrained unless the restraining force rests on a basis of certainty. The characteristic of both theories is to emphasize the sacredness of free will somewhat more than is done in other systems. The Spiritual Exercises, the secret of Ignatius’s success, are a series of considerations arranged, as he tells the exercitant from the first, to enable him to make a choice or election on the highest principles and without fear of consequences. Again the priest, who explains the meditations, is warned to be most careful not to incline the exercitant more to one object of choice than to another (Annot. 15).

It is notoriously impossible to expect that anti-Jesuit writers of our day should face their subject in a common-sense or scientific manner. If they did, one would point out that the only rational manner of inquiring into the subject would be to approach the persons under discussion (who are after all very approachable) and to see whether they are characterless, as they are reported to be. Another easy test would be to turn to the lives of their great missionaries Brebeuf, Marquette, Silveira, etc. Any men more unlike “mere machines” it would be impossible to conceive. The Society‘s successes in education confirm the same conclusion. It is true that lately, as a preparatory measure to closing its schools by violence, the French anti-Jesuits asserted both in print and in the Chamber that Jesuit education produced mere pawns, spiritless, unenterprising nonentities. But the real reason was notoriously that the pupils of the Jesuit schools were exceptionally successful at the examinations for entrance as officers into the army, and proved themselves the bravest and most vigorous men of the nation. In a controverted matter like this, the most obvious proof that the Society‘s education fits its pupils for the battle of life is found in the constant readiness of parents to entrust their children to the Jesuits even when, from a merely worldly point of view, there seemed to be many reasons for holding back. (A discussion of this matter, from a French standpoint, will be found in Brou, op. cit. infra, II, 409; Tampe in “Etudes”, Paris 1900, pp. 77, 749.) It is hardly necessary to add that methods of school discipline will naturally differ greatly in different countries. The Society would certainly prefer to observe mutatis mutandis its well-tried “Ratio Studiorum“; but it is far from thinking that local customs (as for instance those which regard surveillance) and external discipline should everywhere be uniform.

(2) Another objection akin to the supposed hostility to freedom is the alleged Kulturfeindlichkeit; hostility to what is cultured and intellectual. This cry has been chiefly raised by those who scornfully reject Catholic theology as dogmatism, who scoff at Catholic philosophy as Scholastic, and at the Church‘s insistence on Biblical inspiration as retrograde and unscholarly. Such men make little account of work for the ignorant and the poor, whether at home or on the missions, they speak of evangelical poverty, of practices of penance and of mortification, as if they were debasing and retrograde. They compare their numerous and richly endowed universities with the few and relatively poor seminaries of the Catholic and the Jesuit, and their advances in a multitude of physical sciences with the intellectual timidity (as they think it) of those whose highest ambition it is not to go beyond the limits of theological orthodoxy. The Jesuits, they say, are the leaders of the Kulturfeindliche; their great object is to bolster up antiquated traditions. They have produced no geniuses, while men whom they trained, and who broke loose from their teaching, Pascal, Descartes, Voltaire, have powerfully affected the philosophical and religious beliefs of large masses of mankind; but respectable mediocrity is the brand on the long lists of the Jesuit names in the catalogues of Alegambe and de Backer. Under Bismarck and M. Waldeck Rousseau arguments of this sort were accompanied by decrees of banishment and confiscation of goods.

This objection springs chiefly from prejudice religious, worldly, or national. The Catholic will think rather better than worse of men who are decried and persecuted on grounds which apply to the whole Church. It is true the modern Jesuit’s school is often smaller and poorer than the establishment of his rival, who at times is ensconced in the academy which the Jesuits of previous times succeeded in founding and endowing. It is not to be questioned that the sum total of learned institutions in the hands of non-Catholics is now greater than those in the hands of our coreligionists, but the love of culture surely is not extinguished in the exiled French, German, or Portuguese Jesuit, who, robbed perhaps of all he possesses, at once settles down again to his task of study, of writing, or of education. Very rare are the cases where Jesuits, living among enterprising people, have acquiesced in educational inferiority. For superiority to others, even in sacred learning, the Society does not and should not contend. In their own line, that is in Catholic theology, philosophy, and exegesis, they would hope that they are not inferior to the level of their generation, and that, far from acquiescing in intellectual inferiority, they aim at making their schools as good as circumstances allow them. They may also claim to have trained many good scholars in almost every science.

The objection that Jesuit teachers do not influence masses of mankind, while men like Descartes and Voltaire, after breaking with Jesuit education, have done so, derives its force from passing over the main work of the Jesuits, which is the salvation of souls, and any lawful means that helps to this end, as, for instance, the maintenance of orthodoxy. It is easy to overlook this, and those who object will perhaps despise it, even if they recognize it. The work is not showy, whereas that of the satirist, the iconoclast, and free-lance compels attention. Avoiding comparisons, it is safe to say that the Jesuits have done much to maintain the teaching of orthodoxy, and that the orthodox far outnumber the followers of men like Voltaire and Descartes.

It would be impossible, from the nature of the case, to devise any satisfactory test to show what love of culture, especially of intellectual culture, there was in a body so diversified and scattered as the Society. Many might be applied, and one of the most telling is the regularity with which every test reveals refinement and studiousness somewhere in its ranks, even in poor and distant foreign missions. To some it will seem significant that the pope, when searching for theologians and consulters for various Roman colleges and congregations, should so frequently select Jesuits, a relatively small body, some thirty or forty per cent of whose members are employed in foreign missions or among the poor of our great towns. The periodicals edited by the Jesuits, of which a list is given below, afford another indication of culture, and a favorable one, though it is to be remembered that these publications are written chiefly with a view of popularizing knowledge. The more serious and learned books must be studied separately. The most striking test of all is that offered by the great Jesuit bibliography of Father Sommervogel, showing over 120,000 writers, and an almost endless list of books, pamphlets and editions. There is no other body in the world which can point to such a monument. Cavillers may say that the brand-mark is “respectable mediocrity”; even so, the value of the whole will be very remarkable, and we may be sure that less prejudiced and therefore better judges will form a higher appreciation. Masterpieces, too, in every field of ecclesiastical learning and in several secular branches are not rare.

The statement that the Society has produced few geniuses is not impressive in the mouths of those who have not studied, or are unable to study or to judge, the writers under discussion. Again the objection, whatever its worth, confuses two ideals. Educational bodies must necessarily train by classes and schools and produce men formed on definite lines. Genius on the other hand is independent of training and does not conform to type. It is unreasonable to reproach a missionary or educational system for not possessing advantages which no system can offer. Then it is well to bear in mind that genius is not restricted to writers or scholars alone. There is a genius of organization, exploration, enterprise, diplomacy, evangelization, and instances of it, in one or other of these directions, are common enough in the Society.

Men will vary of course in their estimates as to whether the amount of Jesuit genius is great or not according to the esteem they make of those studies in which the Society is strongest. But whether the amount is great or little, it is not stunted by Ignatius’s strivings for uniformity. The objection taken to the words of the rule “Let all say the same thing as much as possible” is not convincing. This is a clipped quotation; for Ignatius goes on to add “juxta Apostolum”, an evident reference to St. Paul to the Philippians, iii, 15, 16, beyond whom he does not go. In truth Ignatius’s object is the practical one of preventing zealous professors from wasting their lecture time in disputing small points on which they may differ from their colleagues. The Society‘s writers and teachers are surely never compelled to the same rigid acceptation of the views of another as is often the case elsewhere, e.g. in politics, diplomacy, or journalism. Members of a staff of leader-writers have constantly to personate convictions not really their own, at the bidding of the editor; whereas Jesuit writers and teachers write and speak almost invariably in their own names, and with a variety of treatment and a freedom of mind which compare not unfavorably with other exponents of the same subjects.

(3) Failure.—The Society never became “relaxed” or needed a “reform” in the technical sense in which these terms are applied to religious orders. The constant intercourse which is maintained between all parts enables the general to find out very soon when anything goes wrong, and his large power of appointing new officials has always sufficed to maintain a high standard both of discipline and of religious virtue. Of course there have arisen critics, who have inverted this generally acknowledged fact. It has been said that: (a) failure has become a note of Jesuit enterprises. Other religious and learned institutions endure for century after century. The Society has hardly a house that is a hundred years old, very few that are not quite modern. Its great missionary glories, Japan, Paraguay, China, etc., passed like smoke and even now, in countries predominantly Catholic, it is banished and its works ruined, while other Catholics escape and endure. Again, that (b), after Acquaviva‘s time, a period of decay ensued; (c) disputes about Probabilism, tyrannicide, equivocation, etc., caused a strong and steady decline in the order; (d) the Society after Acquaviva‘s time began to acquire enormous wealth, and the professed lived in luxury; (e) religious energy was enervated by political scheming and by internal dissensions.

(a) The word “failure” is here taken in two different ways—failure from internal decay and failure from external violence. The former is discreditable, the latter may be glorious, if the cause is good. Whether the failures of the Society, at its Suppression and in the violent ejections from various lands even in our own time, were discreditable failures is a historical question treated elsewhere. If they were, then we must say that such failures tend to the credit of the order, that they are rather apparent than real, and God‘s Providence will, in His own way, make good the loss. In effect we see the Society frequently suffering, but as frequently recovering and renewing her youth. It would be inexact to say that the persecutions which the Society has suffered have been so great and continuous as to be irreconcilable with the usual course of Providence, which is wont to temper trial with relief, to make endurance possible (I Cor., x, 13). Thus, while it may be truly said that many Jesuit communities have been forced to break up within the last thirty years, others have had a corporate existence of two or three centuries. Stonyhurst College, for instance, has been only 116 years in its present site, but its corporate life is 202 years older still; yet the most glorious pages of its history are those of its persecutions, when it lost, three times over, everything it possessed and, barely escaping by flight, renewed a life even more honorable and distinguished than that which preceded, a fortune probably without its equal in the history of pedagogy. Again the Bollandists (q.v.) and the Collegio Romano may be cited as well-known examples of institutions which, though once smitten to the ground, have afterwards revived and flourished as much as before if not more. One might instance, too, the German province, which, though driven into exile by Bismarck, has there more than doubled its previous numbers. The Christianity which the Jesuits planted in Paraguay survived in a wonderful way, after they were gone, and the rediscovery of the Church in Japan affords a glorious testimony to the thoroughness of the old missionary methods.

(b) Turning to the point of decadence after Acquaviva‘s time, we may freely concede that no subsequent generation contained so many great personalities as the first. The first fifty years saw nearly all the Society‘s saints and a large proportion of its great writers and missionaries. But the same phenomenon is to be observed in almost all orders, indeed in most other human institutions whether sacred or profane. As for internal dissensions after Acquaviva‘s death, the truth is that the severe troubles occurred before, not after, it. The reason for this is easily understood. Internal troubles came chiefly with that conflict of views which was inevitable while the Constitutions, the rules, and general traditions of the body were being moulded. This took till near the end of Acquaviva‘s generalate. The worst troubles came first, under Ignatius himself in regard to Portugal, as has been explained elsewhere (see Saint Ignatius Loyola). The troubles of Acquaviva with Spain come next in seriousness.

(c) After Acquaviva‘s time we find indeed some warm theological disputations on Probabilism and other points; but in truth this trouble and the debates on tyrannicide and equivocation had much more to do with outside controversies than with internal division. After they had been fully argued and resolved by papal authority, the settlement was accepted throughout the Society without any trouble.

(d) The allegation that the Jesuits were ever immensely rich is demonstrably a fable. It would seem to have arisen from the vulgar prepossession that all those who live in great houses or churches must be very rich. The allegation was exploited as early as 1594 by Antoine Arnauld, who declared that the French Jesuits had revenue of 200,000 livres (£50,000, which might be multiplied by six to get the relative buying power of that day). The Jesuits answered that their twenty-five churches and colleges, having a staff of 500 to 600 persons, had in all only 60,000 livres (£15,000). The exact annual revenues of the English province for some 120 years are published by Foley (Records S. J., VII, Introd. 139). Duhr (Jesuitenfabeln, 1904, 606, etc.) gives many figures of the same kind. We can, therefore, tell now that the college revenues were, for their purposes, very moderate. The rumors of immense wealth acquired still further vogue through two occurrences, the Restitutionsedikt of 1629 and the licence, sometimes given by papal authority, for the procurators of the foreign missions to include in the sale of the produce of their own mission farms the produce of their native converts, who were generally still too rude and childish to make bargains for themselves. The Restitutionsedikt, as has been already explained (see above: Germany), led to no permanent results, but the sale of the mission produce came conspicuously before the notice of the public at the time of the Suppression, by the failure of Father La Valette (see, in article above, SUPPRESSION, France). In neither case did the money transactions, such as they were, affect the standard of living in the Society itself, which always remained that of the honesti sacerdotes of their time (see Duhr, op. cit. infra, pp. 582-652).

During the closing months of 1761 many other prelates wrote to the king, to the chancellor, M. de Lamoignon, protesting against the arret of the Parlement of August 6, 1761, and testifying to their sense of the injustice of the accusations made against the Jesuits and of the loss which their dioceses would sustain by their suppression. De Ravignan gives the names of twenty-seven such bishops. Of the minority five out of the six rendered a collective answer, approving of the conduct and teaching of the Jesuits. These five bishops, the Cardinal de Choiseul, brother of the statesman, Msgr. de La Rochefoucauld, Archbishop of Rouen, and Msgr.s Quiseau of Nevers, Choiseul-Beaupre of Chalons, and Champion de Cice of Auxerre, declared that “the confidence reposed in the Jesuits by the bishops of the kingdom, all of whom approve them in their diocese, is evidence that they are found useful in France“, and that in consequence they, the writers, “supplicate the king to grant his royal protection, and keep for the Church of France a society commendable for the service it renders to the Church and State and which the vigilance of the bishops may be trusted to preserve free from the evils which it is feared might come to affect it”. To the second and third of the king’s questions they answer that occasionally individual Jesuits have taught blameworthy doctrines or invaded the jurisdiction of the bishops, but that neither fault has been general enough to affect the body as a whole. To the fourth question they answer that “the authority of the general, as it is wont to be and should be exercised in France, appears to need no modification; nor do they see anything objectionable in the Jesuit vows”. In fact, the only point on which they differ from the majority is in the suggestion that “to take away all difficulties for the future it would be well to solicit the Holy See to issue a Brief fixing precisely those limits to the exercise of the general’s authority in France which the maxims of the kingdom require”.

Testimonies like these might be multiplied indefinitely. Among them one of the most significant is that of Clement XIII, dated January 7, 1765, which specially mentions the cordial relations of the Society with bishops throughout the world, precisely when enemies were plotting for the suppression of the order. In his books on Clement XIII and Clement XIV de Ravignan records the acts and letters of many bishops in favor of the Jesuits, enumerating the names of nearly 200 bishops in every part of the world. From a secular source the most noteworthy testimony is that of the French bishops when hostility to the Society was rampant in high places. On November 15, 1761, the Comte de Florentin, the minister of the royal household, bade Cardinal de Luynes, the Archbishop of Sens, convoke the bishops then at Paris to investigate the following points: (I) The use which the Jesuits can be in France, and the advantages or evils which may be expected to attend their discharge of the different functions committed to them. (2) The manner in which in their teaching and practice the Jesuits conduct themselves in regard to opinions dangerous to the personal safety of sovereigns, to the doctrine of the French clergy contained in the Declaration of 1782, and in regard to the Ultramontane opinions generally. (3) The conduct of the Jesuits in regard to the subordination due to bishops and ecclesiastical superiors, and as to whether they do not infringe on the rights and functions of the parish priests. (4) What restriction can be placed on the authority of the General of the Jesuits, so far as it is exercised in France. For eliciting the judgment of the ecclesiastics of the kingdom on the action of the Parlement, no questions could be more suitable, and the bishops convoked (three cardinals, nine archbishops, and thirty-nine bishops, that is fifty-one in all) met together to consider them on November 30. They appointed a commission consisting of twelve of their number, who were given a month for their task and reported duly on December 30. Of these fifty-one bishops, forty-four addressed a letter to the king, dated December 30, 1761, answering all the four questions in a sense favorable to the Society and giving under each head a clear statement of their reasons.

To the first question the bishops reply that the “Institute of the Jesuits… is conspicuously consecrated to the good of religion and the profit of the State”. They begin by noting how a succession of popes, St. Charles Borromeo, and the ambassadors of princes, who with him were present at the Council of Trent, together with the Fathers of that Council in their collective capacity, had pronounced in favor of the Society after an experience of the services it could render; how, though in the first instance there was a prejudice against it in France, on account of certain novelties in its constitutions, the sovereign, bishops, clergy, and people had, on coming to know it, become firmly attached to it, as was witnessed by the demand of the States-General in 1614 and 1615 and of the Assembly of the Clergy in 1617, both of which bodies wished for Jesuit colleges in Paris and the provinces as “the best means adapted to plant religion and faith in the hearts of the people”. They refer also to the language of many letters-patent by which the kings of France had authorized the various Jesuit colleges, in particular that of Clermont, at Paris, which Louis XIV had wished should bear his own name, and which had come to be known as the College of Louis-le-Grand. Then, coming to their own personal experience, they bear witness that “the Jesuits are very useful for our dioceses, for preaching, for the guidance of souls, for implanting, preserving, and renewing faith and piety, by their missions, congregations, retreats, which they carry on with our approbation, and under our authority”. Whence they conclude that “it would be difficult to replace them without a loss, especially in the provincial towns, where there is no university”.

To the second question the bishops reply that, if there were any reality in the accusation that the Jesuit teaching was a menace to the lives of sovereigns, the bishops would long since have taken measures to restrain it, instead of entrusting the Society with the most important functions of the sacred ministry. They also indicate the source from which this and similar accusations against the Society had their origin. “The Calvinists”, they say, “tried their utmost to destroy in its cradle a Society whose principal object was to combat their errors. and disseminated many publications in which they singled out the Jesuits as professing a doctrine which menaced the lives of sovereigns, because to accuse them of a crime so capital was the surest means to destroy them; and the prejudices against them thus aroused had ever since been seized upon greedily by all who had had any interested motives for objecting to the Society‘s existence (in the country).” The bishops add that the charges against the Jesuits which were being made at that time in so many writings with which the country was flooded were but rehashes of what had been spoken and written against them throughout the preceding century and a half.

To the third question they reply that the Jesuits have no doubt received numerous privileges from the Holy See, many of which, however, and those the most extensive, have accrued to them by communication with the other orders to which they had been primarily granted: but that the Society has been accustomed to use its privileges with moderation and prudence.

The fourth and last of the questions is not pertinent here, and we omit the answer. The Archbishop of Paris, who was one of the assembled bishops, bat on some ground of precedent preferred not to sign the majority statement, endorsed it in a separate letter which he addressed to the king.

(e) It is not to be denied that, as the Society acquired reputation and influence even in the Courts of powerful kings, certain domestic troubles arose, which had not been heard of before. Some jealousies were inevitable, and some losses of friendship; there was danger too of the faults of the Court communicating themselves to those who frequented it. But it is equally clear that the Society was keenly on its guard in this matter, and it would seem that its precautions were successful. Religious observance did not suffer to any appreciable extent. But few people of the seventeenth century, if any, noticed the grave dangers which were coming from absolute government, the decay of energy, the diminished desire for progress. The Society like the rest of Europe suffered under these influences, but they were plainly external, not internal. In France the injurious influence of Gallicanism must also be admitted (see above, France). But even in this dull period we find the French Jesuits in the new mission-field of Canada showing a fervor worthy of the highest traditions of the order. The final and most convincing proof that there was nothing seriously wrong in the poverty or in the discipline of the Society up to the time of its Suppression is offered by the inability of its enemies to substantiate their charges, when, after the Suppression, all the accounts and the papers of the Society passed bodily into the adversaries’ possession. What an unrivalled opportunity for proving to the world those allegations which were hitherto unsupported! Yet, after a careful scrutiny of the papers, no such attempt was made. The conclusion is evident. No serious fault could be proved.

Neither at the middle of the eighteenth century nor at any previous time was there any internal decline of the Society; there was no loss of numbers, but on the contrary a steady growth; there was no falling off in learning, morality, or zeal. From 1000 members in 12 provinces in 1556, it had grown to 13,112 in 27 provinces in 1615; to 17,665 in 1680, 7890 of whom were priests, in 35 provinces with 48 novitiates, 28 professed houses, 88 seminaries, 578 colleges, 160 residences, and 106 foreign missions; and, in spite of every obstacle, persecution, expulsion, and suppression during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in 1749 it numbered 22,589 members, of whom 11,293 were priests, in 41 provinces, with 61 novitiates, 24 professed houses, 176 seminaries, 669 colleges, 335 residences, 1542 churches, and 273 foreign missions. That there was no falling off in learning, morality, or zeal historians generally, whether hostile or friendly to the Society, attest (see Maynard, “The Jesuits, their Studies and their Teaching”).

On this point the testimony of Benedict XIV will surely be accepted as incontrovertible. In a letter dated April 24, 1748, he says that the Society is one “whose religious are everywhere reputed to be in the good odor of Christ, chiefly because, in order to advance the young men who frequent their churches and schools in the pursuit of liberal knowledge, learning, and culture, as well as in deeds and habits of the Christian religion and piety, they zealously exert every effort greatly to the advantage of the young”. In another bearing the same date he says: “It is a universal conviction confirmed by pontifical declaration [Urban VIII, August 6, 1623] that as Almighty God raised up other holy men for other times, so He has raised up St. Ignatius and the Society established by him to oppose Luther and the heretics of his day: and the religious sons of this Society, following the luminous way of so great a parent, continue to give an unfailing example of the religious virtues and a distinguished proficiency in every kind of learning, more especially in sacred, so that, as their cooperation is a great service in the successful conduct of the most important affairs of the Catholic Church, in the restoration of morality, and in the liberal culture of young men, they merit new proofs of Apostolic favor.” In the paragraph following he speaks of the Society as “most deserving of the orthodox religion”, and further on he says: “It abounds in men skilled in every branch of learning.” On September 27, 1748, he commended the General of the Society and its members for their “strenuous and faithful labors in sowing and propagating throughout the whole world Catholic faith and unity, as well as Christian doctrine and piety, in all their integrity and sanctity”. On July 15, 1749, he speaks of the members of the Society as “men who by their assiduous labor strive to instruct and form all the faithful of both sexes in every virtue, and in zeal for Christian piety and doctrine”. “The Society of Jesus”, he wrote on March 29, 1753, “adhering closely to the splendid lessons and examples set them by their founder, St. Ignatius, devote themselves to this pious work [spiritual exercises] with so much ardor, zeal, charity, attention, vigilance, labor …”, etc.


A. Saints

Ignatius Loyola; Francis Xavier; Francis Borgia; Stanislaus Kostka; Aloysius Gonzaga; Alphonsus Rodriguez; John Berchmans; John Francis Regis; Peter Claver; Francis de Geronimo, and Paul Miki, John Goto, James Kisai, Japanese martyrs (1597).

B. The Blessed

The blessed number 91; among them are Peter Faber; Peter Canisius; Anthony Baldinucci; the martyrs Blessed Andrew Bobola; John de Britto (qq. v.); Bernardino Realini; Ignatius de Azevedo and companions (known as the Forty Martyrs of Brazil), viz. Didacus de Andrada (priest); Antonio Suares; Benedictus a Castro; Francisco Magalhaes; Joao Fernandes; Luiz Correa; Manoel Rodrigues; Simon Lopes; Manoel Fernandes; Alvaro Mendes; Pedro Nunhes; Andreas Goncalves; Juan a S. Martino (scholastics); Gonzalvo Henriques; Didaco Pires; Ferdinand Sancies; Francisco Perez Godoi; Antonio Correa; Manoel Pacheco; Nicolas Diniz; Alexius Delgado; Marco Caldeira; Sanjoannes (scholastic novices); Manoel Alvares; Francisco Alvares; Domingos Fernandes; Gaspar Alvares; Amarus Vaz; Juan de Majorga; Alfonso de Vaena; Antonio Fernandes; Stefano Zuriare; Pedro Fontoura; Gregorio Scrivano; Juan de Zafra; Juan de Baeza; Blasio Ribeiro; Joao Fernandes; Simon Acosta (lay brothers); the Japanese martyrs: John Baptist Machado, 1617; Sebastian Chimura, 1622; Camillo Costanzo, 1622; Charles Spinola, 1622; Paul Navarro, 1622; Jerome de Angelis, 1623; Didacus Carvalho, 1624; Michael Carvalho, 1624; Francisco Pacheco and his companions Baltasar de Torres and Giovanni Battista Zola, 1626; Thomas Tzugi, 1627; Anthony Ixida, 1632 (priests); Augustine Ota, 1622; Gonzalvus Fusai and his companions, Anthony Chiuni, Peter Sampo, Michael Xumpo, Louis Cavara, John Chingocu, Thomas Acafoxi, 1622; Denis Fugixima and Peter Onizuchi (companions of Bl. Paul Navarro), 1622; Simon Jempo (companion of Bl. Jerome de Angelis), 1623; Vincent Caun and his companions: Peter Rinxei, Paul Chinsuche, John Chinsaco; Michael Tozo, 1626; Michael Nacaxima, 1628 (scholastics); Leonard Chimura, 1619; Ambrosio Fernandes, 1620; Gaspar Sandamatzu (companion of Bl. Francis Pacheco, 1626), lay brothers; the English martyrs: Thomas Woodhouse, 1573; and John Nelson, Edmund Campion,
Alexander Briant (qq. v.); Thomas Cottam, 1582 (priests); the Martyrs of Cuncolim (q.v.): Rudolph Acquaviva; Alfonso Pacheco; Pietro Berno; Antonio Francisco (priests); and Francisco Aranha, 1583 (lay brother); the Hungarian martyrs: Melchior Grodecz and Stephen Pongracz, September 7, 1619.

C. Venerables

The venerables number fifty and include, besides those whose biographies have been given separately (see Index vol.), Claude de La Colombiere (1641-82), Apostle of the devotion to the Sacred Heart; Nicholas Lancicius (1574-1653), author of “Gloria Ignatiana” and many spiritual works and, with Orlandini, of “Historia Societatis Jesu”; Julien Maunoir (1606-83), Apostle of Brittany.

Though the Jesuits, in accordance with their rules, do not accept ecclesiastical dignities, the popes at times have raised some of their numbers to the rank of cardinal, as Cardinals Bellarmine, Franzelin, de Lugo, Mai, Mazzella, Odescalchi Pallavicino, Pazmany, Tarquini, Toledo, Tolomei (qq. v.); also Cardinals Casimir V, King of Poland, created 1647; Alvaro Cienfuegos (1657-1739), created 1720; Johann Eberhard Nidhard (1607-81), created 1675; Giambattista Salerno (1670-1729), created 1709; Andreas Steinhuber (1825-1907), created 1893; and Louis Billot (b. 1846), created November 27, 1911.

As reference is made in most of the articles on members of the Society to Sommervogel’s monumental “Bibliotheque de la Compagnie de Jesus” a brief account of its author is given here. Carlos, fourth son of Marie-Maximilien-Joseph Sommervogel and Hortense Blanchard, was born on January 8, 1834, at Strasburg, Alsace, and died in Paris on May 4, 1902. After studying at the lycee of Strasburg, Carlos entered the Jesuit novitiate at Issenheim, Alsace, February 2, 1853, and was sent later to Saint-Acheul, Amiens, to complete his literary studies. In 1856 he was appointed assistant prefect of discipline and sub-librarian in the College of the Immaculate Conception, Rue Vaugirard, Paris. Here he discovered his literary vocation. The “Bibliotheque” of PP. Augustin and Aloys de Backer was then in course of publication, and Sommervogel, noting in it occasional errors and omissions, made a systematic examination of the whole work. Four years later P. August de Backer, seeing his list of addenda and errata, a MS. of 800 pages containing over 10,000 entries, obtained leave to make use of it. Sommervogel continued at Rue Vaugirard till 1865, reviewing his course of philosophy meanwhile. He then studied theology at Amiens, where he was ordained in September, 1866. From 1867 till 1879 he was on the staff of the “Etudes”, being managing editor from 1871 till 1879. During the Franco-German War he served as chaplain in Faidherbe’s army, and was decorated in 1871 with a bronze medal for his self-sacrifice.

P. de Backer in the revised edition of his “Bibliotheque” (1869-76) gave Sommervogel’s name as co-author, and deservedly, for the vast improvement in the work was in no small measure due to the latter’s contributions. From 1880 till 1882 P. Sommervogel was assistant to his father provincial. Before 1882 he had never had any special opportunity of pursuing his favorite study; all his bibliographical work had been done in his spare moments. In 1884 he published his “Dictionnaire des ouvrages anonymes et pseudonymes publics par des religieux de la Compagnie de Jésus”. In 1885 he was appointed successor to the PP. de Backer and went to Louvain. He determined to recast and enlarge their work and after five years issued the first volume of the first part (Brussels and Paris, 1890); by 1900 the ninth volume had appeared; the tenth, an index of the first nine, which comprised the bibliographical part of the “Bibliotheque” was unfinished at the time of his death but has since been completed by P. Bliard, with a biographical notice by P. Brucker, from which these details had been drawn. P. Sommervogel had intended to compile a second, or historical, part of his work, which was to be a revision of Carayon’s “Bibliographie historique”. He was a man of exemplary virtue, giving freely to all the fruit of his devoted labors and content to lead for years a busy obscure life to which duty called him, until his superiors directed him to devote himself to his favorite study during the last fifteen years of his life. He reedited a number of works by old writers of the Society and, in addition to his articles in the “Etudes”, wrote: “Table methodique des Memoires de Trevoux” (3 vols. Paris, 1864-5); “Bibliotheca Mariana de la Comp. de Jesus” (Paris, 1885); “Moniteur bibliographique de la Comp. de Jesus” (Paris, 1894-1901).


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