Jesuit

A Roman Catholic order for men founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish soldier who experienced a religious conversion while convalescing from a battle wound. It is a non-contemplative order requiring strict obedience, compliance with Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, and special loyalty to the pope. The Jesuits abandoned many medieval practices including obligatory regular penances or fasts; a common dress; and the choral recitation of the liturgical office.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
19331
Names
Jesuit Order
Jesuits
Jesuit
Society of Jesus
s.j.
SJ
jezuïet Dutch
Jesuita Spanish
Compañía de Jesus Spanish

More Definitions

A Roman Catholic order for men founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish soldier who experienced a religious conversion while convalescing from a battle wound. It is a non-contemplative order requiring strict obedience, compliance with Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, and special loyalty to the pope. The Jesuits abandoned many medieval practices including obligatory regular penances or fasts; a common dress; and the choral recitation of the liturgical office. Other innovations include their very centralized form of authority with life tenure for the head of the order; gradation of members; a probationary period of many years before final vows; and lack of a female branch. Jesuits carry out many kinds of missionary work with special emphasis on education; the order has founded many colleges and universities throughout the world. The Jesuits have been leading apologists for the Roman Catholic Church, particularly during the Counter-Reformation. In more recent times, the order has been highly influential in modernizing the Church.

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Bibliography

  1. 1.  The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, 300148103. The J. Paul Getty Trust.