Happy New Year!
For Jesuits around the world, 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus by Pope Pius VII. Forty-one years earlier, in 1773, the Society had been suppressed by a Papal Bull. During the 1760s and ‘70s Jesuits had been steadily expelled from the territories of Portugal, France, Spain and Austria, whose dynastic houses regarded them as too powerful, too influential and too wealthy. Pope Clement XIV had eventually yielded to pressure in order to secure peace in the Church – especially in Western Europe – and issued the decree that suppressed the Society in 1773.
Some sovereigns – most notably in Prussia and Russia – refused to implement the brief, which led to the English Jesuits affiliating themselves to Russia in 1803. For the rest of the Society of Jesus across the world, it would take until 1814 before the pope chose to restore the order’s role and status in the Church – an anniversary being celebrated worldwide during this year.
The Superior General has asked that this be done "with humble and sincere gratitude to the Lord, with a desire to learn from our history, and as an occasion for spiritual and apostolic renewal."
You can read the full text of his letter to the Society here - http://www.sjweb.info/news/index.cfm?Tab=7&Language=1&PubNumID=212
The British Jesuits have created a free resource with information about the key events, issues and characters and a blog - http://www.sj2014.net/
and a Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sjrestoration2014
They have also produced a special commemorative calendar - click here for more details and to order