A fire that kindles other fires
In 1540, St. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus along with an energetic group of companions; their goal was to help people find God in their lives and reconcile with God, themselves, their neighbors, and creation.
Jesuits were to travel as missionaries, preaching and administering the sacraments wherever there was hope of bringing greater good. Since its founding, the Order has grown, and today counts more than 16,000 Jesuits worldwide.
St. Francis Xavier SJ
The “St. Paul of the Indies”, from Navarre, was, in Paris, roommate with Ignatius and Pierre Favre. Suspicious of Ignatius, he wanted to pursue his own career. What won him over was the affection of his two roommates for Christ. Sent to India in place of a sick Jesuit, he faced dangers and unexpected events with the poor fishermen of India, the noble intellectuals of Japan, the unscrupulous merchants. The letters from other Jesuits were a comfort. Entire populations heard the Gospel for the first time. He died at the age of 46, on Sancian Island in 1552, at the borders of China.
St. Pierre Favre SJ
Among the students from which the Society was founded, he was the most brilliant and available. The son of shepherds from Savoy, he longed to study. In Paris, he shared a room with Ignatius and Francis Xavier. An understanding was immediately established: Pierre helped Ignatius in his studies and the latter in his spiritual life. In Rome, Ignatius would have liked him to be Superior in his place. But Pierre was in Parma, then in Germany, in the Netherlands and in Spain, to restore peace. He died in Rome in 1547. Many, through him, converted and some, like Peter Canisius and Francis Borgia, became Jesuits.
St. Francis Borgia SJ
From an important aristocratic family in Spain, he was Duke of Gandia and Viceroy of Catalonia. Upon the death of his wife, he abandoned his positions and privileges and entered the Society, contributing to the spread of the order, at the request of Ignatius. He refused to be appointed cardinal, as this was contrary to the rules of the Society. In 1565 he was elected Superior General. The Society grew and intensified its missionary activity, owing to his broad apostolic vision. To him decisions on novitiates, philosophical and theological study centers for Jesuits in formation are due.
St. Peter Canisius SJ
He was born on May 8, 1521 in Nijmegen, Holland. Entered the Society in 1543. He attended the Council of Trent, in Bavaria he was Dean, Rector and Vice-chancellor of the Ingolstadt University, and in Vienna he worked in hospitals and prisons. In 1556, Provincial of Upper Germany, he created communities and participated in negotiations for the Church. Through his writings, he exerted a strong influence to restore the spiritual roots of the faithful. He died on December 21, 1597 in Freiburg. Beatified in 1864, second Apostle of Germany in 1897, he was canonized in 1925 and declared a Doctor of the Church.
Fr. Alessandro Valignano SJ
He was born on February 7, 1539 in Chieti. In 1573 he was visitor to India and the Far East; he lived between Japan, China and India and founded the College in Macao. In 1577 he established relations with the Syro-Malabars, and worked to form an indigenous clergy in India. He encouraged communities to write letters to make the mission known in Europe, from which he asked for missionaries, with the necessary formation. In Japan, he formed ecclesiastical and secular leaders. He drafted a specific pedagogical plan, initiated Japanese Christian literature. He died on January 20, 1606 in Macao, China.
Approval of the Society
In Rome, Ignatius and his companions structured themselves according to the rules of canon law. The Formula Instituti, approved by Paul III on September 3, 1539, expressed the apostolic character, the purpose – to make men progress in faith and religious culture – poverty, obedience to the Holy See and to the Provost, the abolition of the choir, and the promise to go wherever the Pope had indicated. Paul III approved with the bull Regiminimilitantis Ecclesiae dated September 27, 1540, limiting the number of members to 60.
Ignatius’ election as Superior General
With the approval of the Pope, the Society had to elect its own Superior (Provost General): the election took place on April 2, 1541. Everyone elected Ignatius. Only he indicated on his ballot to give his vote to the one who would have brought the greatest number of votes, except for his own name. A new election, on April 13, gave the same result. Ignatius retired to the convent of San Pietro in Montorio. There the Franciscan Friar Theodore of Lodi, who received his confession, ordered him to accept and Ignatius consented.
St. Robert Bellarmine SJ
A Saint and Doctor of the Church, in disputes with Protestants he distinguished himself by the strength of his arguments and his calm tone. He collaborated in the revision of the Vulgate. Bishop of Capua and Cardinal against his will, in 1599 he was a member of the Roman Sant’Uffizio, service spent in the attitude of saving the other’s statement, rather than condemning it. He attended the trials throughout the seventeenth century, against Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei. He died in S. Andrea al Quirinale in 1621, after a life of profound humility and simplicity.
Special ministries: prostitutes, orphans and Jews
In 1543 Ignatius founded the Santa Marta Home, in Rome. for rescuing prostitutes. In other cities, Jesuits followed his example. The Venetian Girolamo Miani founded the Servants of the Poor Society, for street children: it provided food, accommodation, taught reading, writing and a job. Five Jesuits worked there. Other centers were founded following this inspiration. In the mid-sixteenth century, most religious orders refused to accept members with Jewish origins. Ignatius did not agree and Laìnez, the order’s second general, testified that his view prevailed.
The Spiritual Exercises, the only prayer text approved by a Papal Bull
Francis Borgia sent Pope Paul III a petition for the approval of a spiritual exercises booklet, written by Ignatius. The first companions already preached them with considerable fruit. Due to them, Ignatius had been imprisoned by the Inquisition. The Pope’s response came on July 31, 1548: “[…] we have ascertained that these Exercises are full of piety and holiness, and are and will be very useful for the faithful’s spiritual progress […] we exhort them to benefit from these Exercises and to be shaped by them”.
St. Stanislaus Kostka SJ
He was born in Poland on October 28, 1550. The family, Catholic and noble, wanted him to be a diplomat. He studied in Vienna with the Jesuits. He admired their style and wished to join them. His father was against this. One of the Jesuits suggested he should go to Germany. He left on foot and met the Provincial Canisius who tried him out as a servant. He then sent him to Rome. He arrived on foot on October 27, 1567, to fr. Borgia. He inaugurated the novitiate of Sant’Andrea al Quirinale. He contracted malaria. Died on August 15, 1568. Attached to the Eucharist and to Mary, he became Saint with Luigi Gonzaga on De
The Jesuits at the Council of Trent: calm in speaking, quiet in listening
At the Council of Trent, also participated Fr. Laìnez and Fr. Salmeron, as theologians, appointed by Ignatius at the request of Pope Paul III, and Fr. Jay, procurator of Augusta’s bishop. Ignatius sent a letter, with instructions for his brothers: he wanted them to be mediators, rather than protagonists, calm in speaking and quiet in listening, in order to understand and evaluate the others’ opinions, and to respond or remain silent; as far as possible, they would also continue their pastoral ministries and visits to the poor, and would meet in the evening for a revision in common.
The Roman College and and the origins of the Gregorian
After the College-University in Messina (1547), in 1551 Ignatius founded in Rome, in Via Capitolina, for 15 Jesuit students, the future “Collegio Romano”, which moved, in 1557, on the ground of the present St. Ignatius Church. Teaching was free; a modern printer provided books at low cost; in the 17th century there were 2,000 students; after the suppression and the events of 1870, it was transferred, in 1873, as Pontifical Gregorian University to Palazzo Borromeo and, in 1924, to Piazza della Pilotta, its present location.
Fr. Matteo Ricci SJ
At the Roman College he was impressed by the natural science courses. Given his memory, his superiors sent him to China. He overcame the mistrust of the empire’s officials due to his curiosity about certain objects: a watch, a prism, a painting of the Virgin Mary, a map. His scientific knowledge, his moral qualities and his integration capacity won their hearts. He was admitted to the court of Emperor Wanli. He died in Beijing in 1610. Among his works the moral treatises, books on arithmetic, geometry and astronomy, the Mappamondo and The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven.
Latin America’s largest city is founded by Jesuits
São Paulo is the largest city in Latin America, with over 10 million inhabitants, 19 including the metropolitan area. In 1554, a small group of Jesuit missionaries chose a hill, that today is located in the city center, as the site for the foundation of a College. On January 25, 1554, the College was inaugurated with a mass. The name “São Paulo” was chosen because on that day the Church celebrated the conversion of St. Paul. Today there is a museum where you can admire a model reconstruction of the college and the area as it was at the time.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga SJ
The patron saint of young people, Aloysius was born in Mantua in 1568. The first-born son of the Marquis of Castiglione, cadet branch of the Gonzaga family of Mantua, he tried to fulfill his great desires since childhood. He experienced the best and the worst of the great Italian nobility. He went to Spain for the coronation of the emperor Federico II. At the age of 17, he chose to become a Jesuit. He died in Rome at the age of 23, a student at the Collegio Romano, serving the sick during a plague epidemic. He is buried in the church of Sant’Ignazio. In the Society, he is the patron saint of Jesuits studying theo
St. Peter Claver SJ
He met the Jesuits in Barcelona during his university studies. He entered the Society in 1602. After studying philosophy in Majorca, he offered himself for the missions. In 1610 he was sent to Colombia. For 35 years, in the port of Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, he cared for the slaves arriving in horrible conditions from Africa, 10.000 a year. He waited on the dock with begged food and cared for them in the hold of the ships. He baptized many of them. He visited hospitals and cured those suffering from leprosy and plague. He himself contracted the plague and died in 1654.
The expansion of the Society
The true growth phase of the Society took place between 1580 and 1620, under Claudio Acquaviva’s Generalate, with an increase from 5,200 to 13,100 members and a great apostolic expansion: some Jesuits became advisors to cardinals or confessors to kings, others contributed to contrast the diffusion of Protestantism, to the point of being martyred in England and Ireland, others, like Matteo Ricci, Alessandro Valignano and Ippolito Desideri, extended the mission to the Far East, others to the Americas.
Fr. Claudio Aquaviva SJ
Born on September 14, 1543 in Atri, Teramo. With him, the fifth Superior General for 34 years, the Society grew from 5,165 to 13,112 Jesuits. Keeper of the Institute’s authenticity, he fought against internal and external opponents. Flexible for theological controversies, he distinguished doctrine and private opinion. He confirmed the daily hour of meditation and the two examinations of conscience. He gave shape to the Tertianship program, established a spiritual director per community. Among his documents the Directory of Spiritual Exercises and the Ratio Studiorum. He died on January 31, 1615 in
St. John Berchmans SJ
John Berchmans was born in Diest in 1599, son of a Flemish shoemaker, firstborn of 5 children. He studied Latin in the Great School of Diest. In 1612, due to economic problems, he entered the house of Canon Froymont, in Malines, as a waiter and tutor of young nobles, to continue his studies. On September 24, 1618, he made his first profession. In 1619 he was in Rome for philosophical studies at the Roman College. He died 2 years later, on August 13, 1621. He is represented with a crucifix and the book of the community’s rules, which he followed with care.
Innovation in the Ratio Studiorum
With the increasing number of Colleges, the “ratio studiorum”, a collection of documents for study organization and method, was drafted and refined in 4 successive editions. A reference point for Ignatian pedagogy, it is still adopted in schools today. In the personal relationship between educator and student, the strong point is how to promote cooperative learning, encourage active study.
The dispute about malabaric rites
The Controversy about malabaric rites, dating back to the Seventeenth century, like the Dispute about Chinese rites, owes its name to the Indian region of Malabar, where in Madura (today Madurai) there was an important mission. The missionary De Nobili, in 1604 allowed the neophytes to use distinctive caste signs and ablutions, proper to the local culture (malabaric rites). This was appreciated locally, but over time caused criticism and then ban by Pope Benedict XIV, in 1744. In 1940, it was Pope Pius XII, who abrogated the prohibition of malabaric rites.
The Jesuits and Galileo Galilei
The scientist from Pisa had connections with many Jesuits: Fr. Clavius proposed him for a teaching post in Pisa, Fr. Bellarmine tried to prevent the Sidereus Nuncius from being put on the index in 1616. Some disagreed with him, such as Fr. Grassi: from their controversy on the nature of comets, the Saggiatore was written. However, during the trial due to the Dialogo sopra i Massimi Sistemi, one of the consultants, Fr M. Inchofer SJ, declared the accusations against Galileo unfounded; but this did not prevent his condemnation.
Ignatius and Francis Xavier are proclaimed saints
In 1622 Ignatius and Francis Xavier were proclaimed saints along with Philip Neri, Teresa of Avila and Isidore the farmer. “The greatest names in the Society’s history”, reads the canonization text. “The first, for his admirable conversion, penitent austerities, magnificent and varied undertakings; the second, for his passionate efforts of charity, unspeakable labors among the Gentiles and wonders worthy of the first apostles”. Together: Ignatius, after crossing Europe on foot, in Rome to follow God’s will; Francis Xavier, on the road, to spread the Word.
The controversy with the Jansenists
Important theological dispute in which the Society of Jesus was involved. The Jansenists argued that man, because of original sin, is destined to do evil; their “pessimistic” anthropology led to a rigid morality. The Jesuits opposed them, affirming that man retains the possibility of choosing what is good, even after the fall of Adam. Widespread in France and in Catholic Europe, in the period in which the Protestant question was still alive, the Jansenist doctrine was finally condemned as “not in conformity” with the Magisterium.
St. Claude La Colombière SJ
Born on February 2, 1641 in France. His father was a notary. Of 7 children, 2 died and 4 were consecrated. He studied in Lyon. In 1658 he entered the novitiate. He knew his limits, especially his vainglory. Two women changed his life. Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Duchess of York, by whom he was a preacher. After a period of detention, he was in France. He fell ill with tuberculosis. He served as spiritual director of young people in Lyon. He died at Paray-le-Monyal on February 15, 1682 at the age of 41. A total offering of himself to God. Blessed in 1929, John Paul II canonized him on May 31, 1992.
Br. Andrea Pozzo SJ
He was born in Trento in 1642. As a young man he devoted himself to painting. He was a Jesuit at the age of 23. Among his works was the decoration of Saint Ignatius’ church in Rome, where Ignatius received through Christ a mystical vision from God, that he passed on to other Jesuit saints, and from these to the 4 known continents, so that people might turn to God. In addition, the false cupola, the Saint Ignatius altar and the Camerette corridor. He died in Vienna in 1709. Master in the techniques of perspective and “trompe l’œil”, his treatise on perspective was translated into Russian and Chinese.
Fr. Domenico Zipoli SJ
Born in Prato in 1688. He studied music with Becattelli and Scarlatti. In Rome he was among the most renowned performers and composers. He entered the novitiate in 1716. With 53 missionaries, he arrived in Buenos-Aires. In Cordoba he studied Philosophy and Theology. He maintained his passion for music, as choirmaster and organist. From 1725 he had the first tuberculosis symptoms. He died on January 2, 1726. In the Latin American archives there are several of his compositions, played in San Pedro and San Pablo Reduciones. His work was disseminated by the brethren, including Martin Schmidt who was in contact with t
Fr. Lorenzo Ricci SJ
He was Superior General (1703 – 1775) at a critical time in the Society of Jesus’ history, due to tensions with European governments. Under him the Order was first expelled from some countries such as Portugal, France and Spain, the Constitutions burned in the streets despite Clement XIII’s protests. With Clement XIV the Society was suppressed, and Jesuits integrated into the diocesan and religious clergy, Ricci imprisoned in Castel Sant’Angelo, until his death two years later, a victim of humiliation of all kinds.
St. Joseph Pignatelli SJ
He was born on December 27, 1737 in Zaragoza. After the Jesuits’ expulsion from Spain in 1767, he embarked for Civitavecchia. He was in Ferrara and Bologna engaged in spiritual conversations. Respected by his own and by the Bourbon sovereigns of Parma and Naples, he was the Society’s main restorer, which he reorganized as Provincial. He took refuge in Rome, where he negotiated with Pius VII the Society’s commitments, devoting himself to government, spiritual direction and relief of the poor. He died on November 15, 1811 in Rome. He was beatified by Pius XI in 1933 and canonized by Pius XII in 1954.
The suppression of the Society
Expelled from Portugal, Spain, France, Naples and South and Central American colonies, the Society was suppressed in 1773. The Bourbon courts forced Clement XIV to sign the decree “Dominus ac Redemptor” on July 21, 1773. The decree had to be accepted by State sovereigns: thus the Society survived in Prussia and Russia. Among the suppression reasons: opposition to Enlightenment and Jansenism, defense of “lax” theories in moral field, antipathy aroused in courts for supporting native populations, against their exploitation.
The Reconstitution of the Society of Jesus
In August 1814 in the chapel of the nobles’ congregation in Rome, in the presence of a large crowd, including 150 Jesuits from the suppression days, Pope Pius VII had the bull “Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum” read, by which the Society was reconstituted. The Jesuits number 600. In groups or on their own, they returned to the lands from which they had left: they reopened churches and schools. The European context had changed and so had the Society.
Fr. Angelo Secchi SJ
Fr. Secchi (Reggio Emilia 1818 – Rome 1878) was one of the most important astrophysicists. He discovered that stars can be of four types, according to their spectral composition. He was the founder of meteorology, gold medal at the universal exhibition in Paris, in 1867. When the Kingdom of Italy troops entered Rome in 1870, religious were expelled and their buildings became state property. Due to his fame, he was allowed to continue his research in his observatory, built above the false dome of Saint Ignatius, because the pillars provided stability for his instruments.
Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ
A “small package of high-powered explosive,” capable of freeing English poetry “from the ‘ron ron’ of nineteenth-century tradition” is how Attilio Bertolucci described Gerard Manley Hopkins’ (1844-1889) work. “How to save beauty from fading away?”: this was the question that guided his inspiration. Matured by suffering, too modern for his time, striving to find the “freshness” that lives in the “depths of things”, he sang “the greatness of God” not as the stable security of being, but as the author of differences.
“La Civiltà Cattolica”, the first magazine in Italian, is issued.
The idea was to establish a dialogue with culture in order to preserve it from Risorgimento provocations by Freemasons and liberals. Italian was used for a wider diffusion. The first director was Fr Carlo Maria Curci. Pope Pius IX wanted it. Only Jesuits wrote, including Fr Luigi Taparelli d’Azeglio, Fr Antonio Bresciani and Fr Matteo Liberatore. There would be 7 editions of the first issue, 4,200 copies. After 4 years, 13,000 copies were printed. The typographer bought a “rapid printing machine”.
P. Tacchi Venturi SJ
Storico, diplomatico e scrittore. Nasce il 12 agosto 1861 a San Severino Marche (Macerata) e muore il 18 marzo 1956 a Roma. Per le sue doti di scrittore, è scelto dal Padre generale Luis Martín SJ per scrivere la Storia della Compagnia di Gesù in Italia. L’opera, che si limiterà al periodo ignaziano, si segnala per il superamento del genere letterario apologetico, per l’esattezza critico-filologica, per la ricostruzione storica e, infine, per la tesi della lenta maturazione di Ignazio e una graduale chiarificazione dei suoi piani. È responsabile per gli articoli su temi ecclesiastici della E
Fr. Lorenzo Rocci SJ
Born in 1864, at the age of 16 he entered the Society of Jesus in the novitiate in Naples. He is known for his most famous work: the Dictionary of Greek – Italian, published in 1939 and used by millions of Italian students throughout the years. For several decades he taught Latin, Greek and literature in Jesuit schools: in Strada, near Arezzo, in the Collegio dei Nobili di Mondragone in Frascati, in the Istituto Massimiliano Massimo in Rome. He died in Rome in 1950.
Fr. Teilhard de Chardin SJ
Theologian, anthropologist and geologist, Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Orcines, 1881 – New York, 1955) always sought to integrate scientific research and faith. His concept of the noosphere (collective consciousness arising from human social connections and evolving towards God) can also be considered a precursor of the Web. His support to evolutionist theses cost him his teaching, but opened up anthropological discoveries in China. His thought, whose Summa is collected in “The Human Phenomenon”, influenced the II Vatican Council and Gaudium et Spes.
B. Rupert Mayer SJ
Military chaplain, Father Rupert Mayer (Stuttgart, 1883 – Munich 1945), as early as the 1920s realized the Nazi movement’s danger and preached its incompatibility with Christianity. Arrested by the Gestapo and released, he was told not to preach anymore, which he refused to do. Deported first to Landsberg in 1938, and then to Sachsenhausen in November, so as not to be made a martyr, he was interned in the monastery of Ettal, where D. Bonhoeffer was also. He died shortly after the end of the war, in November 1945. He was beatified in 1987 by John Paul II.
B. Miguel Agustín Pro SJ
Fr. Miguel Agustín Pro (Guadalupe 1891 – Mexico City 1927), lived during the period of the Mexican Church’s persecution by the State. He had to leave the country as a novice in 1914; he returned for only one year in 1926. In the capital he worked as a priest, tirelessly, supporting communities, single mothers and prostitutes. He almost wanted to be martyred, but he knew he was needed as a priest. Unjustly accused, with his brothers, of an attempted assassination, he died innocent, shot on November 23, 1927. Declared a martyr in 1986, he was beatified by John Paul II on September 25, 1988.
Br. Mario Venzo SJ
Brother Mario Venzo (Rossano Veneto 1900 – Gallarate 1989) studied Fine Arts in Venice and then, between 1925 and 1940, in Paris, where were Picasso, Dalì, Modigliani, Tozzi and De Pisis, some of whom he met. Bohemian artist for some years in the Montparnasse quarter, he experienced a deep conversion and entered the Society in 1941, as a coadjutor brother, deciding to leave painting. A deep crisis followed, resolved only by resuming painting, which would be enriched by Ignatian spirituality and vivid colors, for nature.
St. Alberto Hurtado SJ
A spiritual man, dedicated to young people, to social work and a writer. Alberto Hurtado (Vina del Mar 1901- Santiago de Chile 1952) trained in Leuven in psychology and pedagogy; from 1936, he dedicated himself to young people at the college in Santiago; he taught pedagogy at the Catholic University; he gave Exercises and erected a house for this; with his social analyses and writings, he shook the Chilean Catholic conscience. He opened a house for the homeless and their promotion. Close to the workers, he founded a trade union. Beatified in 1994, he was canonized by Benedict XVI in 2005.
Fr. Raffaele de Ghantuz Cubbe SJ
On December 14, 2010, the highest award given to a non-Jew, that of “Righteous Among the Nations”, was conferred in memory of Fr. Raffaele de Ghantuz Cubbe SJ (Orciano Pisano 1904 – Rome 1983), who, during the war, together with Fr. Renieri, Fr. Marsecano, Fr. Floridi, Fr. Benassi and Fr. Zaccari, hid, under a false name, three Jewish children (Marco Pavoncello, Mario and Graziano Sonnino) at Mondragone College in Frascati, where he was rector, at the risk of his own life and without any attempt to convert them to the Catholic faith.
Fr. Pedro Arrupe SJ
Pedro Arrupe, Basque, (Bilbao 1907 – Rome 1991), began medical studies in Madrid, which he left to enter the novitiate in 1927. Master of novices in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped, he transformed the novitiate into a field hospital. Superior General in 1965, he accompanied, in the post-Council period, the Society, which was reinterpreted as service to faith and justice. With him, the Jesuit Refugee Service was founded. Struck by a stroke in 1981 and replaced, after a long offering of himself for the Society, he died in 1991.
Fr. Roberto Busa SJ
Fr. Roberto Busa (Vicenza 1913 – Gallarate 2011), entered the Society in 1933, lecturer in Scholastic Philosophy at Gallarate Aloisianum and then in Linguistics and Computational Hermeneutics at Milan Catholic University and Rome Pontifical Gregorian University, a pioneer in computer science applied to linguistics, to him is due, in collaboration with IBM, the Index Thomisticus, in 56 volumes in the printed edition of 1980 and available on CD-ROM since 1992, a point of reference in computational linguistics, for the methodological model adopted.
Card. Carlo Maria Martini SJ
Carlo Maria Martini (Turin 1927 – Gallarate 2012) had a great passion for the Scriptures since he was a boy. In the Company, he pursued biblical studies to the point of becoming an international expert in textual analysis. Appointed Archbishop of Milan in 1979 by John Paul II, he based his episcopate on the Word, inviting people to rediscover “the contemplative dimension of life,” inventing “The School of the Word,” dialoguing with non-believers, and wisely mediating between the various civil society parties during his 23 years in office.
Fr. Ignacio Ellacuría SJ e companions martyrs
In San Salvador, on the night of November 16, 1989, the six religious Ignacio Ellacuria, Segundo Montes, Ignacio Martìn Barò, Amando Lopez, Juan Ramòn Moreno and Joaquin Lopez were killed by militaries, in the Jesuit residence of the Central American University. Two servicewomen were also killed with them. In a country torn by tensions and violence between landowners and laborers, they had trained students and mediated between guerrillas and the government, opposing violence and standing in solidarity with the poorest of their Salvadoran people.
Founding of Vatican Radio entrusted to the Jesuits
In 1929 Pope Pius XI appointed Guglielmo Marconi to build a radio station within the new Vatican State and called Father Giuseppe Gianfranceschi SJ, a physicist and mathematician, as director (following Marconi’s suggestion). Fr. Filippo Soccorsi SJ (1934-1953), Fr. Antonio Stefanizzi SJ (1953-1967), Fr. Giacomo Martegani SJ (1967-1973), Fr. Roberto Tucci SJ (1973-1985), Fr. Pasquale Borgomeo SJ (1985-2009) and Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ succeeded him as General Directors.
First issue of the magazine “Aggiornamenti Sociali”
The magazine was created in order to spread the social teaching of the Church and to encourage, according to the Republican Constitution, an authentic democracy development in the country, that came out of fascism and war. Edited by the Center for Social Studies of Milan’s Jesuits, it is addressed to priests and lay people involved in the social field, in order to update them monthly, offering the best that has appeared in the press, with overviews, evaluations, clarifications and remarks.
The Society after the Council: service to faith, poverty and justice
The “aggiornamento” demanded by the Council on all Congregations led the Society to revisit Ignatius’ writings, the Constitutions in particular, to be more open to societies, and to General Congregation XXXII. Of the 16 decrees, the fourth, still a reference text, expressed the link between service of faith and promotion of justice and the context for the Society’s work. The twelfth reformulated the ways of living evangelical poverty, no longer understood as begging, but as service.