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JESUIT FAMILY ALBUM

Chapter 8 (Pi-Ri)

(formerly Jesuit Portraits)
Sketches of Chivalry From the Early Society


Not all, but many of these portraits came from a rare century-old work concerning famous Jesuits, Alfred Hamy's Galerie Illustree. The names are arranged alphabetically in ten chapters: A-Be, Bo-Cam, Can-Cos, Cot-Go, Gr-K, L-Me, Mi-Pe, Pi-Ri, Ro-St, Su-Z. At the end of each entry are listed, in abbreviated form, the specific sources which I used for writing the short sketch for each man. The eleven triliteral symbols (Ban, Bas, DSB, Ham, JLx, McR, JLP, O'M, Som, Tan, Tyl) signify that the information came from the following eleven books which are more fully documented in the Intoduction to Jesuit Portraits.

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




Ignatius Pickel, S.J. (German: 1736-1818) was a scientist who taught at the university in Dillingen. After the suppression the University of Mannheim offered him the chair of astronomy. The archbishop of Eystadt wanted him to work in his diocese and gave him a professorship in mathematics. In this position he was in charge of the department of physics and the museum of natural history. (DSB, Ham, JLx, Som)

St. Joseph Pignatelli, S.J. (Italian: 1737-1811) led and inspired the Jesuits in exile during their 41 years of the Suppression and is considered the link between the old Society, suppressed in 1773, and the new Society, restored in 1814. He had entered the Society in Spain in 1753 and experienced the terrible blow of the edict expelling the Jesuits from Spain in 1767. No explanation for the outrage was offered; the reason for their banishment given by King Charles III was "kept locked in our royal bosom." Although he was offered the opportunity to remain in Spain because of his noble birth, Joseph stayed with his exiled Jesuits on their torturous journeys through Europe. As they moved, they found that the Jesuits were being expelled gradually from all countries except Prussia and Russia. Joseph was persistent in keeping together a remnant who would eventually witness the restoration of the Society in 1814, three years after Joseph's death.
The Society was never really completely suppressed and continued to thrive in Russia. Joseph associated himself with the Jesuits in Russia, but remained living in Italy. In 1775 Pius VI gave permission for Jesuits from other countries to rejoin the order in Russia and in 1799 approved the opening of a novitiate in Colorno (Italy), making Joseph Pignatelli the Master of Novices. In 1801 Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia reinstated the Jesuits in his kingdom and he himself joined the Jesuits 14 years later. Also groups of Jesuits had reformed into societies such as The Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in France and The Society of the Faith of Jesus in Italy. From 1800 the new Pope Pius VII was determined to complete the restoration of the Society but was not able until the fall of Napoleon. On the octave day of the feast of St. Ignatius (the Papal Bull could not prepared in time for the feast itself) the Pope came to celebrate Mass at the church of the Jesu and, in the presence of many cardinals and about 100 Jesuits (very old men from the old Society and very young men who had just entered), promulgated the Bull restoring the Society. In spite of the fact that virtually nothing was left of the Society's resources, requests for the restored Jesuits to start schools poured in from every direction. Within a year the Society had as many members and as many foundations as the old Society had had in 1555. (Ban, Cor, Ham, JLx, Som, Tyl)

St. Stephen Pongrácz, S.J. (Transylvanian: 1583-1619) was one of the three Martyrs of Kosice put to death at the hands of fanatical Calvinists along with Melchior Grodecz and Mark Crisinus, who was the Cathedral Canon in Kosice. Stephen could have lived an honorable pleasant life in his native Transylvania, but chose to preach the Gospel in eastern Slovakia. When he preached in Kosice, Hungary, he was granted the palm of martyrdom, which he had always considered a most enviable reward. A Calvinist prince in Transylvania was taking advantage of Hungary's involvement in the 30-year war and tried to expand his own territory. At that time Kosice was a stronghold of Hungarian Calvinists, and the few Catholics who lived in the city and its outlying districts had been without a priest for some time. Melchior Grodecz came to help the Polish speaking Catholics and Stephen Pongrácz came for those who spoke a Slavic language or German. When the Calvinist Minister heard the Jesuits had arrived he sent his soldiers to arrest them. Stephen, Melchior and Mark were then brutally tortured and killed. The Calvinists refused to allow the remaining Catholic citizens to bury them until three months had passed. Tenacious as were the Calvinists in their hold on much of this unhappy country they could not halt the creation of a powerful Catholic bastion there. (Ban, Cor, Ham, JLx, Som, Tyl)

Charles Porée, S.J. (French: 1675-1741) taught literature at the college of Louis-le-Grand and inspired his students to brilliant use of their own language without minimizing the classical authors. He was a brilliant dramatist continuing the Jesuit tradition of drama which was marked by originality. Goethe wrote regarding Jesuit drama: "This public performance has again convinced me of the cleverness of the Jesuits. They despised nothing which could in any way be effective, and treated the matter with love and attention. Just as this great religious society counts among its numbers organ-builders, sculptors and painters, so are there some also who devote themselves with knowledge and inclination to the theater, and in the same manner in which they distinguish their churches by a pleasing magnificence, these intelligent men here have made themselves masters of the worldly senses by means of a theater worthy of respect." Charles was one of the most important Jesuit dramatist of that period and his dramas were compared to those of Moliere. Jesuit theater was quite influential in the development of drama, educating Diderot, Moliere and Corneille. Charles Porée taught Voltaire who spent seven years with the Jesuits. In later years Charles was a good friend of Voltaire who found in the Jesuits a sympathetic spirit in contrast to the dismal fanaticism of the Jansenists. For his whole life Voltaire maintained friendly relations with his former teachers, especially with Charles Porée. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)

Antonio Possevino, S.J. (Italian: 1533-1611) was charged by the popes with very sensitive diplomatic missions, not all of which were successful. In 1577, following Stanislaus Warszewicki, S.J. whose story is told elsewhere, Antonio was sent to Sweden in the time of the Lutheran King John III, who was married to the Catholic Princess Catherine of Poland, in the hope of winning the country to the Catholic Faith. King John was quite interested but had four conditions: a married clergy, Holy Communion under both species and Mass in the vernacular at Mass. Most importantly, he wanted the conversion of his people to be a gradual process. Antonio presented the king's plan to the Roman Curia who refused to grant these requested dispensations. It seemed that at the time John's gradualism would have worked in Sweden where the Catholic faith was still very much alive if Rome had granted the dispensations he requested. If Antonio had been heeded Sweden might have become a great Catholic outpost of the North. Instead the opportunity was lost.
After his discouraging experience in Sweden, he was sent by Pope Gregory XIII to the court of Ivan the Terrible who claimed to be interested in discussing what several previous popes had tried to establish - relations with Russia. Actually Ivan, doing poorly in his war with Poland, sought papal intervention to mediate the dispute and offered the attractive assurance that he would open his country to the West. Pope Gregory XIII grasped this opportunity and assigned Antonio to begin another exercise in diplomacy which was bound to fail. Behind his facade of good will Ivan hid his real objective of merely halting Poland's military success. Nothing more interested him. When Antonio and Ivan came to the crux of the papal mission, the question of church unity, Ivan erupted into a fearful outburst of rage. Over Antonio he waved his scepter with which he had killed his son not long before. Through it all Antonio stood up to this terrible man quietly and calmly. The goal of religious accord between Rome and Moscow remained elusive, but when the war between Russia and Poland came to a stalemate and a negotiated peace was at hand, both parties immediately agreed that Antonio Possevino should take part in the peace conference as president and neutral arbitrator. Thus was achieved one of the greatest triumphs of Jesuit diplomacy. Two powerful monarchs had placed their fates confidently in the hands of a Jesuit priest, and looked to him, as the authorized agent of the pope, for a just decision.
Often Antonio had occasion to carry out a variety of diplomatic missions in other parts of the world on behalf of Rome. He enjoyed the confidence of the pope as well as of the Hapsburg monarch, of the Archdukes of Graz and Vienna as well as of the Great Council of Venice. He was acquainted with the innermost aspirations of all the chancelleries of Europe; he was fully informed of the financial situation of every government; he knew the military strength of every country, and, accordingly, was able to pursue diplomacy in the grand style.
Even in Poland too, Antonio, in company with his fellow-Jesuit, Peter Skarga, worked energetically towards the strengthening of the Catholic faith, and not only concerned himself with the establishment of further Jesuit colleges, with the appointment of bishops and the training of the future priests, but also with the setting up of printing-presses and the publication of the Catholic catechism in both Polish and Lithuanian. He attached particular importance to the winning over to Rome of the Ruthenians. Since they were under Polish domination, the Catholic Church was free to develop among them without hindrance under the protection of King Stephen; after the Ruthenians had been converted, Antonio's object was to take advantage of their national kinship with the Russians by using them as Catholic animators in Russia. Similarly, Antonio saw in the Baltic provinces, which were again under the dominion of Poland, a further bridge across which Catholicism might penetrate into Russia, and accordingly he vigorously promoted the Catholic cause in those lands. The value of Antonio's personality and of his work for Catholicism cannot therefore, in any sense, be gauged merely by those of his great achievements which are immediately apparent; it reveals itself rather, on more than one occasion, in the developments of much later times. (Ban, Ham, JLx, O'M, Som)

Andrea Pozzo, S.J. (Italian: 1640-1709) was a Jesuit Coadjutor Brother who made remarkable contributions to perspective geometry. Andrea wrote one of the earliest books on perspectivities "meant to aid artists and architects". Some of his principles of perspectivity have found their way into modern movies. His book has gone into many editions, even into this century, and has been translated from the original Latin and Italian into numerous languages such as French, German, English and Chinese. Andrea is famous for his perspective decorative work in Genoa, Turin and Milan, but is best known for his perspective paintings on the ceiling of St. Ignatius Church in Rome. Here there are three masterful applications of his perspecitve art. A cupola was in the original plans for this church, but without the funds it had to be omitted leaving only a yawning gap in a flat ceiling. On this gap Pozzo was asked to apply his perspective art and construct a virtual dome on a flat piece of canvas. He finished this project in nine months. Large crowds who came for the feast of St. Ignatius in 1685, were astonished to see a vaulted cupola with several tiers of columns. They could not believe that the ceiling was flat. When asked if he had too many tiers of columns, he replied: "When my brackets give way and my columns start to fall, you will find painters among my friends who will remake them better." Next came the apse, where he depicted scenes from the life of Ignatius. His rendering of Ignatius' vision at La Storta is referred to as: "one of the dominant notes of the art of Catholic reform." Andrea presented astonishing perspective ceiling paintings along the massive vault of the church. His theme is the missionary spirit of the Society. Light comes from God the Father to the Son who transmits it to St. Ignatius as it breaks into four rays leading to the four continents. The beautiful ceiling celebrates two centuries of adventuresome Jesuit explorers and missionaries. (Ban, DSB, Ham, JLx, Som)

René Rapin, S.J. (French: 1621-1687) was a Latin poet who was known as the second Theocritus because his works were comparable to masters of the Augustan age. He was even more prolific as an essayist in the French language. One major division of his work was literary criticism. His most noteworthy efforts here are Observations on the Poems of Horace and Virgil and Reflections on the Poetics of Aristotle and on the Works of the Poets, Ancient and Modern (1676). As especially the first title indicates, René favored comparisons of the classical Greek and Roman authors; between Demosthenes and Cicero, Plato and Aristotle, and Thucydides and Livy. These comparisons were also translated into English as early as the 17th century. In the fields of ascetical theology and controversial literature, René's chief works were The Spirit of Christianity (1672) and The Perfection of Christianity (1673). Although a lifelong foe of the Jansenists, René's chief controversial works were not published until the 19th century. One of his editors ascribes the reason for René's reluctance to publishing these works during his lifetime to René's desire to spare the families of those attacked in the works. His two posthumous works are History of Jansenism , and Memoirs on the Church, Society, the Court, the City, and Jansenism . Despite the late appearance in print of these works, René's chief place in theology was his role as antagonist to the Jansenists. René had a long and fruitful career as poet, literary critic, and controversial theologian. (Ban, Ham, JLx, JLP, Som)

St. Bernadine Realino, S.J. (Italian: 1530-1616) was known as the patron and apostle of the Town of Lecci. He had studied law and medicine at Bologna and had a successful government career. Then he entered the Society, worked in Naples and later was sent to Lecci to found a college. There he quickly became the most loved man in Lecci because of his concern and charity. He made himself appear the receiver rather than the giver, and the poor had a special claim on his services. One of the more interesting miracles attributed to him concerned his small pitcher of wine which did not give out until everyone present had had enough. (Ban, Cor, Ham, JLx, Som, Tyl)

St. John Francis Regis, S.J. (French: 1597-1640) was a home missionary to southern France, visiting hospitals and prisons, reviving the faith of lax Catholics, assisting the needy, and bringing the hope of Christ to the poor. His influence reached all classes and brought about a lasting spiritual revival throughout France.
When he became a Jesuit, he requested the mission of evangelizing the fallen-away Catholics of the interior of France which still suffered from the sad effects of the Wars of Religion - that civil strife between French Calvinists and Catholics. Since a good portion of southern France had been under the control of the Huguenots, the Catholics in those areas had been forced to abandon the practice of their faith. Their churches had been destroyed and their priests slain. Now that peace returned to the country, it was the task of the home missionary to rekindle the faith that had once been there. John traveled through many towns, even climbing difficult mountains, to carry God's message. He consoled the disturbed of heart, visited prisons, collected clothing and food for the poor, and established homes for prostitutes so that they might be rehabilitated. His influence reached all classes and brought about a lasting spiritual revival throughout France. Numerous miraculous cures of the sick effected during his lifetime continued to occur after John's death. Many institutions are named after John Francis Regis. (Ban, Cor, Ham, JLx, Som, Tyl)

Francis Retz, S.J. (Yugoslavian: 1673-1750) became the fifteenth Superior General of the Society at the age of 57 with all but two out of 78 votes cast in the Sixteenth General Congregation. During Francis' term of office Benedict XIV was known for the breadth of his learning. It was he who reluctantly brought to an end the controversies about the Chinese and Malabar rites. Because of the decision made by the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, the Jesuits in China were forced to abandon their practice of adapting the Gospel message to the culture of the Chinese, thereby squandering a courageous and successful mode of evangelization and missing a rare opportunity for the spread of the Church. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)

Alexander Rhodes, S.J. (French: 1591-1660) worked in an area very responsive to the faith, Indochina. His continual preaching illustrated how well he had mastered the language and the customs of the people. He also left behind accounts of his travels which are precious historical documents for Vietnam. Alexander was a linguist who transcribed the Vietnamese (Indochinese) language into Latin, wrote a Latin-Vietnamese catechism, a Vietnamese-Latin-Portuguese lexicon and a grammar of the native language. He was carrying on an invaluable Jesuit tradition, there being about 40 languages in the world that were first transcribed by Jesuits missionaries.
Alexander insisted on the development of a native clergy and soon afterwards 300,000 natives received baptism in spite of the fact that the governors were hostile toward Christianity. He labored in the area of Hue and Danang from 1640 until 1645. It was Alexander's broad vision which inspired a new missionary orientation: the creation of vicars apostolic, aided by diocesan priests, directly under the Holy See and independent of the Portuguese colonial system. The Congregation of Propaganda instructed the new vicars apostolic to respect the customs of the natives. De Rhodes gave tremendous impetus to the onward sweep of the Church in Indo-China in spite of the fact that the civil authorities had taken a hostile attitude toward Christianity. He formed catechists who gave remarkable support to the Christians, especially in times of persecutions. In 1660 Alexander found his final resting place in Ispahan, the capital of Persia, deeply respected and mourned by the Shah. (Ban, DSB, Ham, JLx, Som)

Peter Ribadeneyra, S.J. (Spanish: 1527-1611) was one of the early Companions, renowned for his writings which included the Life of St. Ignatius and a bibliography concerning Jesuit writings. It was he who, with patient diplomacy at the Court of Philip II, received the reluctant approval for Jesuit activities from the government of the Netherlands. (Ban, Ham, JLx, O'M, Som)

Laurence Ricci, S.J. (Italian: 1703-1775) was the 18th Superior General and had to endure the ordeal of the Suppression of the Society. For 15 years he had to cope with the terrible opposition to the Society and saw the Society gradually being dismembered and eventually crushed. After the edict was carried out he was imprisoned. Even though he was over 70, he was kept in the prison of Castel Sant' Angelo, deprived of reading and writing materials as well as ordinary amenities such as heat (even in the dead of winter) and was allowed to talk to no one, not even to his cell guards. He lasted only a few more years under these dreadful conditions: conditions which illustrated how deep-seated was the hatred of those who manipulated Clement XIV in the Suppression of the Society. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)

Matteo Ricci, S.J. (Italian: 1552-1610) entered the Jesuits against his father's wishes, who forbade any talk of religious topics around the home. When his father came to take him out of the Jesuit novitiate, he was stricken ill and took this as a sign that Matteo truly had a vocation, and that it would be better for both Matteo and himself for Matteo to remain a Jesuit. Matteo was sent to China in 1583 and worked there for 27 years. He was welcomed to the academies and gained many influential friendships. When the time was ripe, he opened a residence in Nanking for himself, his fellow Jesuits and his scientific instruments. Eventually he became the court mathematician in Peking. His books Geometrica Practica and Trigonometrica were translations of Clavius' works into Chinese. He made Western developments in mathematics available to the Chinese and published in 1584 and 1600 the first two maps of China ever available to the West. For the first time the Chinese had an idea of the distribution of oceans and land masses. He introduced trigonometric and astronomical instruments, and translated the first six books of Euclid into Chinese.
Matteo's success was due to his personal qualities, his complete adaptation to Chinese customs and to his authoritative knowledge of the sciences. He is remembered for his Chinese works on religious and moral topics as well as works on scientific topics such as the astrolobe, sphere, arithmetic, measure and isoperimeters. For four centuries, even through the terrible Communist persecution, the massive eight-foot tomb of Matteo Ricci was carefully preserved - as were tombs of the many other 17th-century Jesuit scientists who died in China. His story is told by Jonathan Spence in the 1984 best seller The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci . The Encyclopedia Britannica reports, "Probably no European name of past centuries is so well known in China as that of Li-ma-teu (Ricci Matteo)." (Ban, DSB, Ham, JLx, O'M, Som)



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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