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The Jesuit Order
By John Daniel
I NIGO DE LOYOLA was born in 1491, the youngest of five sisters and eight brothers. His mother died when he was a small infant. One year after his birth, Christopher Columbus electrified Spaniards and all Europeans alike, with his mind-boggling news of the discovery of the New World. When Columbus sailed off on his second voyage to this marvelous New World in 1493, one of Inigo’s brothers equipped a vessel, and joining the fleet, sailed off with him.
At age sixteen, about the time, his father Don Beltram died; he was made page boy at the royal summer residence, spending the next ten years of his life in the pomp and formalism of court life and aristocratic ways. Also about this time, Queen Isabella died. King Ferdinand of Spain, now fifty-two, remarried Germaine de Foix, a fifteen-year-old French princess. Inigo, the page, was assigned to serve the new Spanish Queen. In Inigo’s mind, to serve was to love. To love was to serve. Inigo’s first love was Germaine de Foix.
Inigo never grew taller than 5-foot-1-inches. Whether his small stature gave him a complex, even to sometimes fantasizing, can never be known, but [with the] descriptions given, [it] seems he struggled to find his place in life. He was one who wanted to excel, never satisfied with second best. He was bold, defiant, cunning, violent, [and] vindictive with an unbendable iron will; this report was given from a police record after excesses, serious and grave misdemeanors, who along with his clergyman brother was brought to justice. In 1517, at age twenty-six, and desirous of finding glory, he entered the military service. Four years later, a cannon-shot passed between his legs shattering his right leg and damaged his other. Thus ended Inigo’ s short military career.
The mangled leg being hurriedly and clumsily set was also jolted in the grueling stretcher journey over the hills to Inigo’s castle home. It had to be reset twice in hopes of straightening it, with further added agony of having a protruding lump of bone sawed off. A surgical rack, where he had to lay motionless for weeks to stretch the leg to its normal length, but without success, left him with a permanent limp. All this was done without anesthetic, with Inigo almost dying from the ordeal. This experience became the pivotal point in Inigo’s life—as his thoughts turned to spiritual things.
During Inigo’s long convalescence of agony and many sleepless nights, he occupied much of his idle time by reading his sister-in-law’s books of devotion—a monkish “Life of Christ” and “The Golden Legend” (lives of the saints), writings so laden with myth and miracles that the transition from reality to fantasy was an easy one. Buffeted by depression now, exalted by free-flowing happiness then, suddenly afflicted with growing doubts about God, his sanity, the need to be a success, about everything; this see-saw wavering state of mind made him receptive to his so called miraculous vision of the Virgin and Child. It was during this period that he claims to have made a vow of perpetual loyalty and chastity. Instead of a glorious military career, he would now be a warrior in a different sense—a soldier for Christ. Sadly, as a young man driven with inner turmoil, he turned to the only place he knew for spiritual answers—his Roman Catholic Church.
Jesuit Order Founded
THROUGH THOSE YEARS in school to acquire his education, Ignatius de Loyola made believers who became his steadfast followers. Thoughts, ideas, and plans, were formulated into a firm and real goal. Ignatius became a priest in 1537.
Martin Luther was excommunicated in 1521. Loyola was mortified by the advances of Protestantism. Therefore, he resurrected the original Templar (Popes military arm 1118-1307) idea of the warrior-monk, the soldier of Christ, and created his own such soldiery. Unlike the Templers, however, Loyola’s soldiery would crusade not with sword (though perfectly prepared to let others wield it on their behalf), but with the word.
On 27 September, 1540, in a private reception hall of the Palace of the Popes on Vatican Hill Rome, eleven men of aristocratic birth, met with Pope Paul III who gave approval of their Order (Loyola was made leader of the new Order). That beginning was to become the most loyal and most efficient organization the Roman Catholic Church has ever spawned in all its near-2000-year history. In the agreement to rescue Rome from the predicament of losing its world control to Protestantism, and to preserve the spiritual and temporal supremacy which the Popes “usurped” during the Middle Ages, Rome now “sold” the Church to the Society of Jesus; in essence, the Popes surrendered themselves into their hands.
So, the Church became immensely dependent on the Jesuit Order to defend the Pope’s position as the supreme spiritual and temporal leader of the world, a belief that is absolutely vital if Rome is ever to regain control of the world. And in turn, the Jesuit Order is dependent on the Popes for its exorbitant privileges and latitude—if it is to actually convince the world of its need for Pope as its leader; it is similar to the Queen bee which lays and cultivates her eggs: some turn into worker bees and others drone bees; one bringing her food to sustain her life, the others impregnating her, that she may continue laying fertile eggs. Bound in this way, as the interest of both parties becomes life and death issues, to separate them would fatally bring each to their end.