http://pdf.amazingdiscoveries.org/The%20Jesuits.pdfHistory of the Jesuits.
Some Background. The following excerpt from the World Scope Encyclopedia gives an overview of the
purpose and history of the Jesuit order:
“Jesuits, or Society of Jesus: A monastic order of the Roman Catholic Church, founded (1536) in Paris by Ignatius of Loyola. Originally the special function of the order was to care for the sick and to fortify the position of the Pope within the [Roman Catholic] Church.
The latter function soon became the principal one of the order and thus it is not surprising that the order was approved by Pope Paul III as early as 1540, the first generalship being vested in the founder.
By the time Ignatius died in 1566…his order had increased from 60 to more than 1000 members. The members had to vow not only chastity, poverty, and implicit obedience to authority…but, especially, compliance with the commands of the Pope in going to any country and under any conditions to convert heretics and infidels, especially Moors and Jews.
…Their special obedience to the Pope naturally caused the Jesuits to fight against the greatest danger to the Catholic Church, Protestantism. Through this fight, the Jesuits developed political talents which soon made the members of the order the most versatile representatives of the Catholic Church in worldly affairs. In order to achieve this goal, a complicated organization of the utmost rigidity was developed. The Jesuits received the rights both of me ndicant orders and of secular priests. They
recognized only the superiority of [the Jesuit Superior General] and the Pope. This gave them great worldly power. Furthermore, from their inception they devoted much interest to education, and early in their his tory were appointed to many highly important chairs of theology at the leading universities of Europe.
…Associated with all layers of society, from the humble to the powerful, the Jesuits
combined great intellectual versatility and a shrewd political apprehension with a
deep religious mysticism which was especially connected with the adoration of the
Blessed Virgin . A certain soldierly spirit was furthered by the constitution of the
order which provided severest punishment for members who did not comply with
The Jesuits Secret Instructions (April 15, 1517)