Jesuit Dates to Remember

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May, 2, 1564: Pope Pius v yielding to the request of Father General Diego Laynez decreed that the Society should have no Cardinal Protector, but be under the Pope’s immediate protection.


May 3, 1606: The martyrdom of Henry Garnet at St Paul’s Churchyard, London Garnet, superior of the English Jesuits, was falsely charged in the Gunpowder Plot.


May 7, 1537: St Francis Borgia was “converted from the vanities of the world”  on seeing the corpse of the Empress Isabella which he was accompanying on its way for burial.


May 8, 1853: Fr John Roothaan, the 21st Superior General of the Society , died in Rome His promotion of the Spiritual Exercises, the foreign missions, and education greatly influenced the spirit and works of the Society.


May 9, 1820: The Jesuits are exiled from Polotsk, Russia, and entered Austria.


May 11, 1610. The death at Beijing of Fr Matteo Ricci, the most eminent Jesuit missionary to China.


May 11, 1716: At Naples, the death of St Francesco de Jeronimo (St Francis Jerome), the apostle of that city and kingdom.


May 15, 1544: In a letter to St. Ignatius, the Carthusians spoke highly in praise of the Society and made it a perpetual sharer in all their prayers and good works.


May 17, 1572: Pope Gregory XIII exempted the Society from choir, approved simple vows after two years’ novitiate, and allowed ordination before final vows – thus reversing in all these matters the decrees of Pope St Pius V.


May 18, 1546: Pope Paul III sent Diego Laynez and Alfonso Salmeron as his theologians to the Council of Trent.


May 20, 1521, Inigo Lopez de Loyola was seriously wounded while defending the fortress at Pamplona against the invading French.


May 20, 1961: In a letter dated May 20, Fr John L. Swain, Jesuit Vicar General, formally approved the Institute of Jesuit Sources. This plan was launched unofficially the previous year when Fr General J.B. Janssens gave Fr George Ganss permission to start work on an English version of the Contitutions.


May 21, 1758: The 19th General Congregation elected Fr Lorenzo Ricci as General. He had been spiritual father at the Roman College and then Secretary of Society. He guided the Society in the great trials leading up to the Suppression.


May 22, 1865: Pedro Arrupe was elected the 28th General of the Society.


May 24, 1716, The beatification of John Francis Regis by Pope Clement XI.


May 24, 114: Pope Pius VII’s return to Rome from exile. He declared his intention to restore the Society on the coming feast of St. Ignatius.


May 28, 1600: Metteo Ricci, undismayed by the failure of his first visit to Peking. Set out again from Nanking with many rich presents for the Emperor, of which he was robbed on the way.


May 29, 1815, Restoration of the Society in Spain proclaimed by royal decrees.


May 30, 1582: At Tyburn, the martyrdom of Thomas Cottam with three other priests.

On the way, they recited the Te Deum. His dying words were, “O Domine, tu plura prome passes es, plura, plura” (“O Lord, you have suffered for me so much, so much, so much”)