This article is about the Society of Jesus, also known as Jesuit Order. For philosophy concerning the teachings of Jesus, see Jesuism. The Church of the Gesù, located in Rome, is the mother church of the Jesuits.
Catholic Church which originated in sixteenth-century Spain. Ignatius of Loyola, a Basque nobleman from the Pyrenees area of northern Spain, founded the society after discerning his spiritual vocation while recovering from a wound sustained in the Battle of Pamplona. Ignatius was a nobleman who had a military background, and the members of the society were supposed to accept orders anywhere in the world, where they might be required to live in extreme conditions. In 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Jesuit to be elected Pope, taking the name Pope Francis. The society is divided into 83 provinces along with six independent regions and ten dependent regions.
On 1 January 2007, members served in 112 nations on six continents with the largest number in India and the US. 9 years for scholastics, and 65. The current Superior General of the Jesuits is Arturo Sosa.
The society is characterized by its ministries in the fields of missionary work, human rights, social justice and, most notably, higher education. Ignatius laid out his original vision for the new order in the “Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus”, which is “the fundamental charter of the order, of which all subsequent official documents were elaborations and to which they had to conform. Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the Name of Jesus, and to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, should, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity, poverty and obedience, keep what follows in mind. In 1537, the seven travelled to Italy to seek papal approval for their order.
Pope Paul III gave them a commendation, and permitted them to be ordained priests. These initial steps led to the official founding in 1540. They devoted themselves to preaching and charitable work in Italy.