The Suppression of the Jesuits

IHS - JesuitsIf you’re interested in Jesuit history, read the latest issue of the journal Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits. It examines the Suppression of the Jesuits, one of the most astonishing and mysterious episodes in the history of the Church. Pressured by the royal courts of Portugal, France, and Spain, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society in 1773. Jesuits throughout the world had to renounce their vows and were driven into exile. The suppression lasted until 1814, when Pope Pius VII restored the Society.

The Jesuits weren’t blameless. The author of the article quotes a Jesuit of the time who admitted that “there was much pride among us,” and the Society made many mistakes in its political dealings. But the suppression was mainly the result of political machinations. You can download a copy of the article at the Journal’s website.

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Jim Manney
Jim Manney is the author of highly praised popular books on Ignatian spirituality, including A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer (about the Daily Examen) and God Finds Us (about the Spiritual Exercises). He is the compiler/editor of An Ignatian Book of Days. His latest book is What Matters Most and Why. He and his wife live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


  1. How can the supression be “ one of the most astonishing and mysterious episodes in the history of the Church“ yet in the next sentence be noted as pride based and from political machinations? Some mystery.

  2. Suppressors are mortal and fragile. And suppression of the flow is temporary. Life goes on with renewed vigor breaking boulders, rocks and carrying all the resplendent stuff forward with the flow.


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