Catholic Reaction : The Jesuit Order

Ordo Societatis Jesu (O.S.J.), established in 1540 by Spaniard IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA. It's first major task was to organize the COUNTERREFORMATION. The Jesuits founded SEMINARIES in territories where they were invited by the territory's lord, and then began their work to reconvert the protestant parts of the population to Catholicism and to reeducate the Catholics according to the ROMAN CATECHISM decided upon on the COUNCIL OF TRENT. Among the methods applied by the Jesuits were preaching, the creation of regional PILGRIMAGES and, as a final means, the application of the INQUISITION.
The Jesuits were effective in a number of territories in western and southern Germany, in the Spanish Netherlands, France, Hungary and Poland proper. However, among the (Russian Orthodox) COSSACKS of what was then southern Lithuania, the Jesuits created such an animosity that they rebelled and killed all Jesuits they could reach (1648).
Jesuits laid high emphasis on learning and produced many leading scientists. The order declined in the 18th century; it was suppressed in France in 1764 and dissolved in 1773 by the pope.

Encyclopedic descriptions from Infoplease and from the Catholic Encyclopedia (extensive)
Links from Jesuit Resources on the World Wide Web
Encyclopedic history from Univ. of Scranton
Biography of St. Ignatius of Loyola, from Catholic Encyclopedia

This page is part of World History at KMLA
Last revised on February 20th 2002

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