Jesuit Dates to Remember

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March 6, 1603: Fr General Acquaviva wrote a letter to all  Jesuits saying that he and Fr. Robert Bellarmine had left nothing undone to prevent the latter’s promotion to the cardinalate.


March 7, 1980: Peter Canisius, Jeronimo Nadal and Diego Ledesma held public disputations with heretical leaders at the Diet of Augsburg, Germany.


March, 9, 1568: St. Aloysius Gonzaga was born at Castiglione in his father’s castle.


March, 10, 1848: At Naples a mob threatened to massacre the Jesuits unless they left the city at once.


March, 11, 1767: At Madrid Frs. Thomas de Lorrain and Bernard Recio, leaving for the Provincial Congregation in Rome, received a sealed parcel said to come from the nuncio, They were requested to take it to someone in Rome. It  contained a letter forged by de Choiseul and de Aranda, the prime ministers of France and Spain, and purporting to come from the General Fr. Ricci alleging Charles II to be illegitimate. Both priests were arrested on their journey and  brought back prisoners to Madrid. The forged document, shown to the king, whose previous affection for the Society was converted into bitterest hatred.


March, 12, 1977: The assassination in El Salvador of Rutilio Grande, pastor and champion of campesions, on his way to celebrate Mass.


March, 13, 1533: At Paris, in the College of Ste. Barbe, Ignatius completed his course of philosophy and took the Doctor’s degree.


March, 14, 1800: At Venice, the election of Pope Pius VII ( Cardinal Chiaramonti), a Benedictine, who in 1814 restored the Society throughout the world.


March, 15, 1711: The death of Eusebio Francisco Kino, missionary in Lower California and  Arizona, noted for his far-ranging exploration and accurate mapmaking.


March, 16, 1880: The French Parliament pass Jules Ferry’s Bill for the closing of all the Society’s houses and colleges in France.


March, 17, 1652: Fr Goswin Nickel is elected General in succession to Fr Gottifredi, who had died six weeks after his election.


March, 18, 1548: the arrival of the first Jesuits missioned to Africa. These Jesuits were sent by Fr. Simon Rodrigues. Provincial of Portugal, at the request of the King of Kongo supported by the King of Portugal. They landed at Pinda on March 18, 1548, and made their way two days later to Mbanza Kongo, the capital of the kingdom of Kongo. They were four in number, Frs Jorge Vaz, Cristovao Ribeiro, Jacome Dias and a scholastic, Diogo do Soveral.


March, 19, 1715: Pope Clement XI condemned the “Chinese Rites” which proved disastrous to the Chinese mission.


March, 22, 1585: In Rome, the three Japanese ambassadors were received by Fr General with great solemnity in the Society’s Church of the Gesu.


March, 24, 1578: At Lisbon Rodolf Acquaviva and 13 companions embarked for India. Among the companions was Matthew Ricci and Michael Ruggieri.


March, 25, 1563: The first Sodality of Our Lady, Prima Primaria, was begun in the Roman College by a young Belgian Jeusit named John Leunis (Leonius).


March, 26, 1553: Ignatius of Loyola’s letter on obedience was sent to the Jesuits of Portugal.


March, 30, 1545: At Meliapore, Francis Xavier came on pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle.