Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Jesuits - What a great order (they used to be)

And a great order they will be again, given God's grace. Inspired by the
 Welsh Catholic Martyr  posts on Jesuit martyrs (and having trouble leaving comments) I thought I would give a glimpse of how the order of the Society of Jesus was perceived by a historian.

Here it is:-

In the sixteenth century the Pontificate, exposed to new dangers more formidable than had ever before threatened it, was saved by a new religious Order, which was animated by intense enthusiasm and organised with exquisite skill. When the Jesuits came to the rescue, they found the Papacy in extreme peril; but from that moment the tide of battle turned. Protestantism, which had, during a whole generation, carried all before it, was stopped in its progress, and rapidly beaten back from the foot of the Alps to the shores of the Baltic.
Before the Order had existed a hundred years, it had filled the whole world with memorials of great things done and suffered for the Faith.

Jesuit Scientists in China in the 16th century, led by Fr Verbiest they charted a map of the world for Emperor Kangxi
No religious community could produce a list of men so variously distinguished; none had ever extended its operations over so vast a space; yet in none had there ever been such perfect feeling of unity and action.
There was no region of the globe, no walk of speculative or of active life, in which the Jesuits were not to be found. They guided the counsels of Kings, they deciphered Latin inscriptions. They observed the motions of Jupiter's satellites. They published whole libraries, controversy, history, treatises on topics, Alcaic odes and editions of the fathers....................

Extract from Macauley

I once spent the Feast of St Ignatius in Boston, USA.,  (home to Boston College).
On television, the weatherman was dressed a la the great Saint and, at Boston College itself, they had a ghastly sort of folk crossed with panto type Mass. I carried on walking! Nothing like trivialising the Faith to make good Catholics fall away.

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