Six Fascinating Facts on the Society of Jesus

By Jordan Grantham, 9 May 2017
St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Find out more about this fascinating Catholic Religious Order

The Society of Jesus (SJ) is renowned for its daring missionaries, brilliant scientists, prestigious educators and charitable works. The Jesuits, as they are often known, were founded by St Ignatius of Loyola in 1540. They have a fascinating history. Here is a sprinkling of interesting facts about the Jesuits, though there is much more to know about this fascinating Catholic Religious Order.


1. 35 moon craters are named after Jesuit scientists.

The Jesuits have made an amazing contribution to science and academia over the centuries.

Part of that contribution is the Vatican Observatory, which researches the physical mysteries of the universe.

Br Guy Consolmagno SJ is currently Director of the Vatican Observatory.
He visited the Diocese of Parramatta in 2014, while guest of Brisbane’s Assembly of Catholic Professionals.

Br Guy Consolmagno SJ.  Photo: Wikimedia Commons



2. The Jesuits educated former Prime Minister Tony Abbott,
Barnaby Joyce, Joe Hockey, Christopher Pyne and Bill Shorten.


The first Abbott Cabinet had many Jesuit Old Boys. These included Christopher Pyne, Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Barnaby Joyce. Photo: Wikimedia Commons



3. Descartes, Voltaire, Moliere, Castro, Joyce and Hitchcock
are among the extraordinary list of Jesuit Alumni.


Novelist James Joyce. Image: Wikimedia Commons

René Descartes with Queen Christina of Sweden. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Alfred Hitchcock, the famed film director studied at St Ignatius College in Stamford Hill. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


4. The Holy See suppressed the Jesuits from 1773 to 1814.


Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuits with the papal brief Dominus ac Redemptor. Image: Wikimedia Commons



5. Jesuit linguists wrote the first grammars for many
African, Asian and American indigenous languages.


Fr Alexandre de Rhodes SJ: originator of the Vietnamese alphabet. Image: Wikimedia Commons

A commemorative stamp for Fr Alexandre de Rhodes SJ. Image: Wikimedia Commons

A page from Fr Alexandre de Rhodes SJ’s Latin-Vietnamese Catechism. Image: Wikimedia Commons


6. The Jesuits are present in the Diocese of Parramatta!

Holy Family Parish, Mount Druitt is a thriving community with strong faith and charitable works.

Read more about the parish and their parish priest, Fr Greg Jacobs SJ.

Fr Greg Jacobs SJ, Parish Priest of Holy Family Parish, Mount Druitt. Photo: Jordan Grantham/Diocese of Parramatta


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