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mies of the Jesuits, who, notwithstanding their condemnation by the Holy Office, still sought, by subterfuge, hypocrisy, and chicanery, to carry their point. Their agents at Rome were men of ability and extraordinary finesse, and they were backed by a powerful influence from the strongholds of the heresy, especially in France.

This strong combination of able and determined men had tried their hand with Clement XIII., who succeeded Benedict XIV. in the Papal chair; but he was firm and unyielding, and though they made his life miserable by their importunities, their slanderous falsehoods and misrepresentations, and though they threatened all sorts of evils to the Church unless he yielded to their unholy demands, he remained immovable and loyal to the Society to the last. When the Spanish Government, through the most iniquitous means, succeeded in banishing the Jesuits from all the Spanish dominions, including the Spanish possessions in the New World, Pope Clement XIII. appealed to the infatuated king in favor of the Society. His Holiness called God to witness that "the body, the institution, the spirit of the Society of Jesus were innocent; that it was pious, useful, and holy in its object.”

On the 19th of May, 1769, Cardinal Ganganelli was elected Pope under the title of Clement XIV. He was a friend of the Jesuits and had been appointed Cardinal by their recommendation. All the agencies of evil which failed with Clement XIII. were set to work, with an energy stimulated by disappointment, to accomplish their object with the new Pope. The majority of the Sacred College was completely in favor of the Jesuits, and the Pope, when he began to yield to the resistless force of the arguments that were brought to bear upon him, finding that his natural counsellors remained firm and unshaken in their opinions, became isolated and had to withstand alone a pressure of most extraordinary and terrible character. His Holiness desired to gain time, and writing to Louis XV. of France, candidly says: “I can neither censure nor abolish an institute which has been commended by nineteen of my predecessors. Still less can I do so since it has been confirmed by the Council of Trent, for, according to your French maxim, the General Council is above the Pope. If it be so desired, I will call together a general council of the Church, in which everything shall be fully and fairly discussed, for and against.” But this was just what the infidel ministers did not want, for they knew very well that they would stand a much better chance of coercing the Pope into compliance than of influencing a council of bishops who, to a man, were in favor of the Society. They would brook no delay. In the most importunate manner they declared that the king of Spain had become so excited that he would lose his reason unless he obtained a formal promise that the Society should be suppressed. Threats were made that kingdoms would throw off their allegiance to the Church unless the prayer were granted, and these threats certainly had some significance when we call to mind the political system of Europe, which allowed the masses of the people to be ruled and kept down by a corrupt and tyrannical oligarchy. The example of England, forced into schism by the reckless tyrant Henry VIII., stood out as a warning of what might occur again if some concession were not made to the combination of tyrants who were now really laboring for the same end, and who were determined on the suppression of the Jesuits—the Pope's body guard, as they were called-as the most effective mode of storming the castle itself and carrying the citadel of the Church by assault.

It is a fact worthy of note that, in this unholy and disgraceful warfare upon the Jesuits, two nations stood aloof and gave the suppressed Order the benefit of their countenance and support. These were Prussia and Russia. Frederick II., of Prussia, though himself a Protestant, or rather an infidel, and in sympathy with the free-thinking philosophers of the time, knew well that the Jesuits were not only perfectly innocent of the charges brought against them, but were among the foremost and best defenders of social order which had revealed religion for its principal support. He knew that the infidels of Europe were merely hastening the revolution by attacking the Jesuits, and, therefore, declined to join in the persecution of men who were really the firmest supporters of constitutional authority. He was in constant correspondence with the infidel philosophers, and on one occasion wrote to D'Alambert: “What progress has your boasted philosophy made? You will reply, we have expelled the Jesuits. I admit it; but I can prove to you that it was pride, private revenge, cabals, and, in fact, selfinterest, that accomplished the work."

Again, writing from Potsdam to his agent in Rome in 1773, the year of the suppression, he says that in the treaty of Breslau he had guaranteed the status quo of the Catholic religion, and he had never found better priests in every respect than the Jesuits. “I am determined," he says, "to retain them in my states."

To the eternal credit of the Empress of Russia, she not merely approved of the Society, but she gave the strictest orders that it was to remain in her dominions. She saw the folly of persecuting the staunch friends of the throne and the Altar, and when they were expelled from other countries they were invited to her dominions, and remained there unsuppressed.

But the agents of Satan seemed to be inspired with diabolical hatred and with an invincible determination to succeed, and they pressed their suit with such insolence and brutal disregard of the

feelings of the Holy Father that he at length felt compelled to yield, not because he thought it was right in itself, not that he had lost confidence in the Jesuits, not because he approved of his own action, but simply to avoid what he was made to believe would be a greater evil. Not only were threats used that kingdoms would throw off their allegiance to the Church, but in 1772 the Spanish Ambassador determined to terrify the Pope into submission, and with extraordinary pertinacity bullied the Holy See by this solemn warning on a certain occasion in public audience: “Beware, lest my master, the king, approve the project which has been entertained by more than one court, the suppression of all the religious orders! If you would save them, do not confound their cause with that of the Jesuits." "Ah," replied the Pontiff, “I have for a long time thought that this was what they were aiming at. They seek even more—the entire destruction of the Catholic religion-schism, perhaps heresy, such are their secret designs.” “This conversation,” remarks the historian,“ raises the veil and shows that the abolition of the Jesuits was merely considered expedient for fear of greater evils. The Vicar of Christ was placed in a dilemma of the most grave and difficult character. He neither censured the Society, nor believed in the absurd calumnies launched against it, but, administering the affairs of the Church, considered it advisable to bow temporarily to the storm for fear of that greater injury to faith and morals which might be the sequence of another line of conduct.”

And here it is worthy of remark that no Bull of Suppression was issued, but merely the brief, Dominus ac Redemptor Noster," 'which could be revoked at any time without difficulty, and was not binding on the Pope's successors. The usual formalities for its publication and canonical execution were not observed, and the bishops were not commanded, but merely recommended, to notify the contents of the brief to those concerned.

At length, on the 21st of July, 1773, it is said that the Pope exclaimed in a tone of deep sorrow: “ The bells of the Gesù are not ringing for the Saints, they are tolling for the dead.” On the same day His Holiness affixed his signature to the brief suppressing the Society, Cardinal Pacca tells us, in his memoirs, that after Clement XIV. had affixed his signature he dashed the document to one side, cast the pen to the other, and from that moment was demented. The awful pressure, and the extreme anxiety to do what was best under the circumstances of most fearful difficulty, had unhinged the mind of the Pope. He was sane only at intervals, and

1 The History of the Society of Jesus, by A. Wilmot, F.R.G.S. Burns & Oates, London; Catholic Pub. Society Co., New York.


then deplored with excessive grief the misfortunes of the Church of which he had been the very unwilling instrument.

And what spirit did the Fathers of the Society manifest under this crushing blow? If they were such terrible agitators, such dangerous plotters and schemers, such enemies of the human race as they were represented to be, we should naturally look for some resistance on their part. Not so, however. On the 16th of August, 1773, we are told, a prelate, accompanied by soldiers and agents of the police, gave notice to the Fathers at the Gesù of the suppression of the Society throughout the world, and on the 22d of September following Father Ricci, the General; Fr. Canelli, Secretary General; Frs. Le Forestier, Gautier, and Faur were confined in the Castle of St. Angelo. They were simply seized without trial, in violation of all law and justice, and cast into prison, where Fr. Ricci, who was a saintly as well as learned man, died in 1775 at the age of seventy-two, solemnly declaring before God and His Holy Angels, after having received the last Sacraments, that the Society of Jesus had given no cause for suppression, and that he had given no cause for his own imprisonment. At the same time he did not attach any guilt to those who injured the Society, and forgave them most earnestly from his heart. This was the spirit of the Society everywhere. It was their spirit when unjustly and cruelly expelled from Spain, France, and Portugal. It was quite notorious that in Portugal the Jesuits had only to signify their approval of revolution, and wide extended insurrection would have been the result. The missions of Paraguay embraced a large number of trained and disciplined soldiers, with arms and ammunition, and a word from the Jesuits would have placed them in an attitude of hostility which it would have cost millions of money and thousands of lives to subdue. Indeed, the Fathers incurred the displeasure and lost the confidence of their converts by their persevering efforts to induce them to submit to the outrageously cruel decree of Pombal.

Being dispersed by the brief of suppression, these devoted men, thus violently wrenched from the associate life which had become a second nature, and was so dear to them—now a scattered flock

- still labored for the greater glory of God, and were distinguished everywhere as men of science and skilful educators of youth. Throughout the civilized world the members of the order, instead of showing resentment and making trouble, achieved triumphs in literature, in science and in the pulpit. They were ready to serve wherever they could do good, and when the time of their restoration came, they were everywhere greeted with the most enthusiastic welcome.

A striking incident, illustrating the true spirit of the Society, is

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related in Albert Weld's “Suppression of the Sociey of Jesus in the Portuguese Dominions."

On the death of Joseph I., and the accession of his daughter Maria, Pomtal, who had added to his many other crimes by intriguing, though happily unsuccessfully, to deprive the lawful heir to the throne of her rights, had been disgraced, tried for his life, and condemned, but the sentence, through the clemency of the queen, had been commuted to banishment to the confines of his own estate in Coimbra-Pombal, as it was called. “ The first city," says the writer alluded to," which opened its gates to the Jesuits, after their return into the diocese of Coimbra, was Pombal, the place where the minister of that name was exiled and died. Strange to say, for fifty years the remains of this persecutor of the Society had been allowed to remain unburied in a chapel on the Pombal estate, and, as if by a special interposition of Divine Providence, those remains had been doomed to lie unburied till Mass had been said over them by a Father of the Society of Jesus,” a truly Christian revenge, as the writer justly remarks, and furnishing a touching, practical illustration of the command : "Love your enemies; do good to them that hate and persecute you.” The Mass was celebrated by Father Du Vaux, who, in a letter written March 6th, 1832, gave the following graphic description of the scene: “We were received with the ringing of bells, complimented and led in triumph by the arch-priest accompanied by his clergy. The church where two of our Fathers went to say Mass was magnificently illuminated as on the greatest solemnities. As for myself, moved by a religious sentiment which it is impossible to express, I had slipped away with a Father and a Brother before meeting the good Curé, and had run off to the church of the Franciscans, to pray at the tomb of the Marquis. But the unfortunate man had no tomb. At a little distance from the high altar we found a bier covered by a miserable pall which the Father Guardian of the convent told us was his. It had waited in vain for the honors of sepulture from the 5th of May, 1782. ... I can say then, in all truth, that after more than half a century of proscription, the first step of the Society, on its solemn return to Coimbra, was to celebrate an anniversary Mass, in presence of the body, for the repose of the soul of him who had proscribed it, and in the place where he passed the last years of his life, disgraced, exiled and condemned to death. What a series of events was necessary to lead to this! I left Pombal scarcely sure if this were a dream or a reality. The presence of the coffin ; the name of Sebastian pronounced in the prayer; the sound of all the bells of the parish celebrating the return of the Society, and all this at


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