Thursday, September 27, 2012

Birth Anniversary of the Jesuits

On September 27, 1540, at the Palazzo San Marco in Rome, Pope Paul III signed the Bull Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae that established the Society of Jesus as a new religious order of the Catholic Church.

Ignatius of Loyola and his companions had made their way to Rome in October 1538, to offer their priestly services to the Pope. As they were about to be dispersed by the various missions given them by the Pope, the question arose as to whether they wished to remain spiritually "one." After prayer and discussion they decided positively, as Christ had brought them together, they felt it was His will they remain united. A charter was proposed to the Pope, which was received favourably and ultimately given solemn approval in this Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae of 1540. The final approval, with the removal of the restriction on the membership number, came in the bull Exposcit Debitum of July 21, 1550 issued by Pope Julius III.