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The Jesuits from 27.09.1540 to 27.09.2020 are completing 480 years
We are the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers founded by the soldier-turned-mystic Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) from the Basque region of Spain, with six of his early companions, namely, Francis Xavier, Peter Faber, Alfonso Salmeron, Diego Lainez, Nicolas Bobadilla, and Simão Rodrigues in 1539 and officially approved on 27th September 1540 by Pope Paul III. But most people call us “the Jesuits.”
In the vision of our founder, we seek to “find God in all things.” We dedicate ourselves to the “greater glory of God” and the good of all humanity. And we do so gratefully in collaboration with others who share our values, including laypersons. They have become part of the “we,” the extended Jesuit family.
With 16,000-plus priests, brothers, scholastics, and novices worldwide, we are the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church. We are pastors, retreat directors, counsellors, and chaplains. We are also teachers, doctors, lawyers, writers, poets, artists, researchers, scientists, media persons, and astronomers, among many other roles in Church and society. In our varied ministries, we care for the whole person: body, mind, and soul. And especially in our education ministries, we seek to nurture “men and women for others.”
Jesuits draw on the rich tradition of Ignatian spirituality and reflection. In our retreat centres, parishes, campus ministries, and other settings, we offer these resources to all who want to discern God’s presence in their lives. At the same time, we also aim to be “contemplatives in action,” people who bring this spirituality into the wide world. That includes our work on behalf of global justice, care for our planet, peace, and dialogue. Our Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) for 2019-2029 are 1. Showing the way to God. Show the way to God through spiritual Exercises and discernment. 2. Walking with the Excluded. Walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice. 3. Journeying with Youth. Accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future. 4. Caring for our Common Home. Collaborate, with gospel depth, for the protection and renewal of God’s creation. We accept these UAP as a mission of the Church through Pope Francis, who has approved them.
As members of a religious order, Jesuits take three vows — of poverty, chastity, and obedience — and a fourth vow of obedience specifically in regard to worldwide mission. In other words, Jesuits must be ready to accept whatever mission the Pope requires, a vow that is reflective of our broader dedication to the universal Church, and to the greater good of all people from all faiths and cultures.
Our collaboration with the laity flows from our personal relationships with Christ. We see ourselves as companions of Jesus, and we invite others to join with us, as friends in the Lord. Together we build up the body of Christ.
With our friends and partners, we also reach out to a broadly diverse world because that’s where God is. From experience and reflection, we know that meaning, value, and divine purpose can be discovered “in all things.”
So far, I am the only Jesuit from my father’s and mother’s household. Others are diocesan clergy and one Dominican priest. My parents gave me the baptismal name Stanislaus of a Jesuit saint Stanislaus Kostka (28.10.1550-15.08.1568), from Poland. From their wedding day, they prayed every day that God may call all or at least one of their children to serve Him and His people. Probably they never thought that one day I would join the Jesuits!!! I studied from the second standard to B.Sc. in Hindu management school and college. Hence, I did not have any personal contact with Jesuits. I received my vocation in 1967 through the Jesuit Konknni monthly “Jezu Rai” (“Soldiers of God” English monthly in colours published by Fr. Wenisch, S. J. of Madurai Jesuit Province and it was translated into many Indian languages). Then, I began to read the lives of Jesuit saints and blessed in Konknni in Kannada script from my daddy’s collection of books. Jesuit Blessed and Mexican martyr Fr. Miguel Pro’s life made a deep impression on me. From day one, my decision was to join the Jesuits, though I had great respect and excellent relationship with diocesan priests and Capuchin priests.
As we complete 480 years, kindly pray for us Jesuits and myself. We are sinners and weak persons. We rely on your continuous prayers and support to become an effective instrument in the hands of God. May God bless us all.
Some of the well-known Jesuit scientists are Christopher Clavius (1538-1612), Hieroymus Fabricius (1537-1619), José de Acosta (1540-1600), Christopher Scheiner (1575-1650), Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655), giovanni riccioli (1598-1671), Johann Adam S. von Bell (1592-1666), Athanasicus Kircher (1602-1680), Francesco Grimaldi (1618-1663), Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-1688), Francisco Lana-Terzi (1631-1687), Joseph Tieffenthaler (1710-1785), Roger Boscovich (1711-1787), Agnelo Secchi (1818-1878), Eugène Lafont (1837-1908), Agustus Müller (1841-1910), Louis Anglade (1873-1953), Teihard de Chardin (1881-1955), Hermenegild Santapau (1903-1970), Joseph Pallithanam (1915-1984), Cecil J. Saldanha (1926-2002), Koyapilli M. Matthew (1930-2004), Manuel Figueredo (18th century), Leo D’Souza (1932- ), Guy J. Consolmagno (1952- ).
Some of the well-known Jesuit explorers are Emmanuel Nóbrega (1517-1570), Bento de Goes (1562-1607), Jacques Marquette (1637-1675), Eusebio Kino (1645-1711), Ippolito Desideri (1684-1733), José Gumilla (1686-1750), Ferdinand Konscak (1703-1759).
Some of the well-known Jesuit scholars are St. Peter Canisius (1521-1597), St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Robert de Nobili (1577-1656), John von Bolland (1596-1665), Diego Ribeiro (1560-1633), Constanzo G. Beschi (1680-1747), Karel Prikryll (1718-1785), Francisco J. Clavijero (1731-1787), J.B. Hoffmann (1857-1928), Angelo F.X. Maffei (1844-1899), Enrique Heras (1888-1955), Henri Lubac (1896-1991), John C. Murray (1904-1967), Karl Rahner (1904-1984), Camille Bulcke (1909-1982), Matthew Almeida (1935-2008).
Some of the well-known Jesuit architects are Pieter Huyssens (1577-1637), Jean du Blocq (1583-1656), Gianbattista Primoli (1673-1755), Alfonso Taix (1835-1921), Ignatius Scoles (1839-1896).
Some of the well-known Jesuit painters are Andrea Pozzo (1642-1709), Joseph Castiglione (1688-1766), Antonio Moscheni (1854-1905).
Some of the well-known Jesuit poets are Thomas Stephens (1549-1619), Robert Southwell (1561-1595), Etienne de La Croix (1579-1643), Friedrich S. von Langefeld (1591-1635), Rafael Landívar (1731-1793), Gerard M. Hopkins (1844-1889).
Some of the well-known Jesuit musicians are Domingo Zipoli (1688-1726), Aimé Duval (1918-1984), Frank Coco (1920-2006).
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