This site has been archived for historical purposes. These pages are no longer being updated.

This web page is taken from a book:

Some Sketches of Chivalry From the Early Society

This book concerns 202 Jesuit scholars, scientists, artists, explorers and saints who impacted history during the first two and a half centuries of Jesuit history. One of the most famous scholar was Christopher Clavius, the mathematician (after whom is named The Clavius Mathematical Research Group) who urged the formation of a group to provide mutual support and inspiration for (Jesuit and lay) members to keep abreast of the latest mathematical developments.
"Let an academy be formed for the advancement of mathematics"

Other important Jesuit sites are:




This is a collection of stories and pictures of 202 Jesuits who lived in the pre-Suppression Society, between 1540 and 1773, and who were considered interesting enough to be survived by portraits. The quality of these pictures vary greatly according to the skill of the artists. As is evident from this collection of portraits, Jesuits come in a great variety of shapes, sizes and dispositions. Some were made bishops (over the protests of the Jesuit Curia) and cardinals, one even became a cardinal and then a king (King Jan III Kasimierz of Poland) and some were declared by the Church to be
Saints indicated by the title St.
Blesseds indicated by the title Bl.
Venerables indicated by the title Ven.
Servants of God indicated by the title S.G.

Many Jesuits are quite memorable in other ways. It is rather impressive to find
500 commemorative stamps,
35 lunar craters,
3 Paris metro stations and
2 statues in Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C., named to honor Jesuits.
But it is much more impressive to see the variety of ways these 202 vibrant (mostly young) men from very different backgrounds showed their dedication to the Society and to the service of their neighbor. This is a record in their wit, courage, intelligence and persistence in spreading the Good News.

Various opinions concerning Jesuits

The English historian Robert Southy spoke of the Jesuits and their disastrous Suppression in 1773 with very un-British enthusiasm. What his comment lacked in ecumenism it made up for in clarity.". . . the sanctity of the end proposed, and the heroism and perseverance with which it was pursued, deserve the highest admiration . . . It was the Jesuits' fate to be attacked with equal enmity by the unbelieving scoffers on one side, and by the all-believing bigots and blockheads of their own idolatrous Church on the other."

Jesuits had many interesting enemies. A good example of this phenomenon is one of their graduates, Voltaire who at one time enthused about Jesuits:"The establishment in Paraguay by the Spanish Jesuits appears alone, in some way, the triumph of humanity . . and gave a new spectacle to the world." But Voltaire later boasted:"I really must plume myself for having been the first to attack the Jesuits . . . Once France is purged of the Jesuits, we can hope that people will realize how shameful it is to be subject to that stupid power, the Church, that set them up." The Church did not collapse and the Jesuits survived the Suppression. Like Montesquieu before him, Voltaire called upon Père Gaultier, S.J., a member of this same Society he helped to suppress, to make sure that he"not be buried as an outcast in disgrace". Voltaire then signed a retraction so that he could be buried in the Church. More than once have Jesuits charitably buried those who prematurely buried their Society.

The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London , whose glory it was"neither to deceive nor be deceived", took Jesuits very seriously. This is clear from the number of publications by and articles about Jesuits in the "Transactions as well as the number of Jesuit books and articles translated into English for the Royal Society. In fact, editor Oldenburg felt he had to apologize to his anti-Jesuit readers for his printing of the works of these fearsome men"whose goal it is to propagate their faith, enrich themselves with their craft. To recompense their destruction, Jesuits send useful intelligence from all parts of the world." A more genial sentiment was expressed by another "Royal Society member, the physicist Robert Boyle:"The Jesuits have as prosperously addicted themselves to science as to divinity." Another version of Jesuits is presented by the "Bollandists who wrote about the lives of saintly Jesuits. Surely the truth about Jesuits must lie somewhere in between (probably closer to the "Bollandists viewpoint).

Sources of these portraits

Although the forerunner of camera theory came from an early Jesuit, Athanasius Kircher's "camera obscura , our familiar box camera did not appear until 1888 long after the Suppression, so it was unusual to have pictures of anyone in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. This makes the fact that there are portraits or drawings of many Jesuits all the more impressive. These pictures are usually found in history books. Not all, but many of these portraits came from Alfred Hamy's "Galerie Illustree, a rare century-old work concerning famous Jesuits. This eight-volume tome is part of the Jesuitana or Jesuit Collection found in the John J. Burns Library of Boston College which was graciously made available to me by the Burns Library director Robert O'Neill, and also by Brother Michael grace, S.J., director of the "Collection of Rare Books at Loyola, Chicago.

Celebrating three and a half centuries of the Order, the French Jesuit Alfred Hamy, S.J. described the lives of 400 well-known Jesuits in his 1875 Essai sur l'Iconographie de la Companie de Jesus. Later in 1893 he published a collection of their portraits in his "Galerie Illustree. Besides Hamy, Carol Sommervogel's 14 volume Bibliography on Jesuit writings, Ludwig Koch's "Jesuiten Lexicon , " Joseph Tylinda's "Saints and Blessed of the Society and William Bangert's History of the Society of Jesus were also used and other sources mentioned in my bibliography. At the end of each entry are listed, in abbreviated form, the specific sources I used for writing the piece. Because of the size of this document as well as the size limit and other vicissitudes of the WWW HTML language, the names are arranged (alphabetically) in eight sections: A-Be, Bo-Cam, Can-Cos, Cot-Go, Gr-K, L-Me, Mi-Pe, Pi-Ri, Ro-St, Su-Z. Also to accommodate this HTML language, many accent marks are omitted. Some of the entries have hypertext connections to longer articles found elsewhere on the Web.

Bangert, William, S.J. "A History of the Society of Jesus . St. Louis: St. Louis Institute, 1972
Bassett, Bernard, S.J. "The English Jesuits. New York: Herder & Herder, 1968
Brodrick, James, S.J."The Progress of the Jesuits . New York: Longmans, 1947
Campbell, Thomas, S.J. "The Jesuits. London: 1921
Corley, Francis, S.J. "Wings of Eagles . Chicago: Loyola, 1965
Durant, Will and Ariel "The Story of Civilization . New York: Simon & Schuster, 1963
Fülöp-Miller, Réné; "The Power and the Secret of the Jesuits . New York: Viking, 1930
Gerard John, S.J. "The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest . Chicago: Thomas More, 1952
Gillispie, Charles. C. Ed., "Dictionary of Scientific Biography . 16 volumes. New York: Charles Scribner and Sons, 1970
Hamy, Alfred, S.J. "Galerie illustree. Paris: 1893-96
Harney, Martin, S.J. "The Jesuits in History . New York: America, 1941
Hollis, Christopher "The Jesuits: A History . New York: Macmillan,1968
Koch, Ludwig, S.J." Jesuiten Lexicon . Löwen: Verlag der Bibliothek S.J.,1962
Lacouture, Jean "Jesuits a Multibiography. Washington: Counterpoint, 1995
Leary, John, S.J. Better a Day
MacDonnell, Joseph, S.J. Jesuit Geometers
St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1989
McDonough, Peter "Men Astutely Trained. New York: Free Press, 1992
McRedmond, Louis "To the Greater Glory. New York: MacMillan, 1991
Mitchell, David "The Jesuits a History. New York: Franklin Watts, 1981
Mertz, James, S.J. and Murphy, John, S.J. "Jesuit Latin Poets. Wauconda: Bolchazy-Carducci, 1989
Molinari, Paul, S.J. (Ed.) "Companions of Jesus. London: English Province, S.J.,1974
Nash, Robert, S.J. Jesuits
Needham, Joseph "Civilization in China.
O'Malley, John, S.J. "The First Jesuits. Cambridge: Harvard, 1993
Sommervogel, Carolus Bibliothèque de la compagnie de Jésus. 12 volumes. Bruxelles:
Société Belge de Libraire, 1890-1960
Tanner, Mathia, S.J. "Societas Jesu. Prague: Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandae, 1675
Tylinda, Joseph, S.J. "Jesuit Saints and Martyrs . Chicago: Loyola, 1984

Also consulted

"Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu. ( AHSI ) Rome: Institutum Historicum
"Encyclopedia Britannica . 24 vols. Chicago: Benton, 1959
"Enciclopedia italiana . Milan: Rizzoli, 1936
"Jesuit Yearbook. Rome: Curia Generalizia S.J.,1960-1997
"Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society . vols. 1-30. London: 1665-1715
Larousse, Pierre "Grand Dictionnaire Universel . 17 vols. Paris: Grand Dictionaire-Universel
"Woodstock Letters. Woodstock College

The eleven triliteral symbols (Ban, Bas, DSB, Ham, JLx, McR, JLP, O'M, Som, Tan, Tyl) signify that the information for the sketches came from the following eleven books which are documented in the bibliography above.

Ban = Bangert, William, S.J. "A History of the Society of Jesus
Bas = Bernard, S.J. "The English Jesuits
DSB = Gillispie, Charles. C. Ed., "Dictionary of Scientific Biography
Ham = Hamy, Alfred, S.J. "Galerie illustree
JLx = Koch, Ludwig, S.J." Jesuiten Lexicon
McR = McRedmond, Louis "To the Greater Glory. New York: MacMillan, 1991
JLP = Mertz, James, S.J. and Murphy, John, S.J. "Jesuit Latin Poets
O'M = O'Malley, John, S.J. "The First Jesuits
Som = Sommervogel, Carolus Bibliothèque de la compagnie de Jésus
Tan = Tanner, Mathia, S.J. "Societas Jesu.
Tyl = Tylinda, Joseph, S.J. "Jesuit Saints and Martyrs

For a list of the names in this collection of portraits hit

Names of these Jesuit Explorers, Scholars, Artists and Saints

To start the first installment (names beginning with A going through Be) in this collection of portraits hit

Chapter 1 (A-Be)

To move around quickly choose any of the following 12 chapters.

Intoduction to Jesuit Portraits

Contents Names of 202 Jesuits

Jesuit Portraits Chapter 1 A to Be
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 2 Bo to Cam
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 3 Can to Cos
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 4 Cot to Go
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 5 Gr to K
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 6 L to Me
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 7 Mi to Pe
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 8 Pi to Ri
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 9 Ro to St
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 10 Su to Z

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