In 1773, due to political pressure in Europe, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus. Jesuit properties in foreign countries as far away as New Orleans and Brazil were seized, and members of the Society were exiled, imprisoned or forced to live in communities that functioned as refugee camps. For more than 40 years the Society of Jesus did not exist as a religious order of the Catholic Church. It was not until August 7, 1814 that it was restored by Pope Pius VII.
The French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars drastically shifted the political landscape in Europe. Monarchies, which were opposed to the Society, were now no longer in power. This allowed Pope Pius VII to reestablish the Society of Jesus as a religious order.
Now on its 200th anniversary, we remember the restoration of the Society of Jesus and those Jesuits who continued the mission of the Society during the suppression.
Below is a list of resources on the suppression and restoration:
- The website sj2014.net is an online resource with information on the suppression and restoration of the Society.
- The Jesuit Conference has written an article in honor of the 200th anniversary of the restoration.
- Fr. Thomas Rochford, SJ, of the Missouri Province has written an article about the history of the suppression and restoration.
- Fr. Thomas Worcester, SJ, has written an article on America magazine’s website about the restoration entitled Order Restored.
The following is a video mediation on the suppression and restoration of the Society by Wendell Laurent the vocation team coordinator for the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces: