The Goa Jesuit Province of the Society of Jesus | www.goajesuits.in
Home > The Jesuits > Jesuit History > 1500
1500 | 1600 | 1700 | 1800 | 1900 

Jesuit History: 1500

YEAR

M/D

HISTORICAL EVENT

1521

05/08

The birth in what is now Nymingen, Netherlands, of Peter Canisius, who decided on his birthday 23 years later that he would enter the Society of Jesus.

1521

05/20

Ignatius was seriously wounded at Pamplona, Spain, while defending its fortress against the French.

1521

06/24

Ignatius received the last sacraments in the castle of Loyola because he was close to death from the wounds he suffered at Pamplona.

1521

06/28

Ignatius miraculously began to recover from his wounds on the eve of the feast of St. Peter.

1522

03/24

At Montserrat on the Vigil of the Annunciation, Ignatius spent the night in prayerful vigil. He had arrived dressed in expensive clothes in the fashion and style of soldiers, but gave those garments to a poor man and donned a simple pilgrim's robe.

1523

03/29

Ignatius' first visit to Rome on his way from Manresa to Palestine.

1523

07/14

Ignatius departed from Venice on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

1523

09/04

After several months of sailing and a week of waiting in the harbor at Joppa to disembark, Ignatius finally entered the city of Jerusalem as a pilgrim.

1526

11/19

St. Ignatius was examined by the Inquisition in Alcala, Spain. They were concerned with the novelty of his way of life and his teaching.

1527

04/18

Ignatius was imprisoned for the first time, in Alcala, Spain, where he was studying and conversing with people on spiritual topics.

1527

06/01

Ignatius was thrown into prison after having been accused of having advised two noblewomen to undertake a pilgrimage, on foot, to Compostella.

1528

02/07

Ignatius arrived in Paris to begin his studies anew after his frustration at Alcalá and Salamanca.

1533

03/13

At Paris, in the College of Ste. Barbe, Ignatius completed his course of philosophy.

1534

08/15

Ignatius and six companions – Pierre Faber, Francis Xavier, Diego Laynez, Sim&aumlaut; Rodriguez, Alonso Salmerón. Nicolás Bobadilla – took their first vows at a Mass celebrated by Faber at Montmartre in Paris.

1534

09/19

During this period St. Ignatius gave the Spiritual Exercises to St. Francis Xavier when both were students at the University of Paris.

1535

03/14

At Paris Ignatius received the Master of Arts degree with the right to be called "Master Ignatius" as he was thenceforth regularly addressed inside and outside the Society.

1535

07/22

In Paris the first Mass of Blessed Peter Faber.

1536

10/14

In Paris St. Ignatius received his diploma, at age 44, as Master of Arts and Sacred Theology.

1537

05/07

St. Francis Borgia was converted from the vanities of the world by the sight of Empress Isabella’s corpse.

1537

06/10

Ignatius and his companions received minor orders at the house of Bishop Vincenzo Negusanti in Venice, Italy.

1537

06/24

Ignatius, Francis Xavier and five of the companions were ordained priests in Venice, Italy.

1537

10/13

At Venice the Papal Nuncio published his written verdict declaring that St. Ignatius was innocent of all charges which had been leveled against him by his detractors.

1538

11/18

Pope Paul III caused the Governor of Rome to publish the verdict proclaiming the complete innocence of St. Ignatius and his companions of all heresy.

1539

09/03

At his summer residence in Tivoli, outside of Rome, Paul III gave his initial, oral approval of the Society of Jesus when St. Ignatius sent him the “Five Chapters” which described the proposed new religious order.

1540

01/25

The birth of St. Edmund Campion.

1540

06/30

St. Francis Xavier arrived at Lison on his way to India.

1540

09/27

At the Palazzo San Marco in Rome, Pope Paul III signed the Bull “Regimini militantis ecclesiae,” establishing the Society of Jesus as a religious order.

1541

04/07

On his 35th birthday, St. Francis Xavier embarked from the quay of the Tagus River known as the Place of Tears to go to India with two other Jesuits. The voyage took them 13 months.

1541

04/19

On the advice of his confessor, Fra Teodosio da Lodi, a Franciscan, Ignatius accepted the second election which had selected him to be the first superior general of the Society of Jesus.

1541

07/08

Pope Paul III assigned the church of Our Lady of the Way to the Society of Jesus. It was a small church but St. Ignatius highly esteemed its location in the heart of Rome

1541

08/29

At Rome the death of John Codure, a Savoyard, one of the first 10 companions of St. Ignatius.

1542

05/06

St. Francis Xavier reached Goa, India, after more than a year’s journey.

1544

09/01

At Rome, St. Ignatius and his companions took possession of the house of St. Maria della Strada, the first professed house of the Society.

1544

12/16

St. Francis Xavier entered Cochin.

1545

11/23

Jeronimo de Nadal, whom St. Ignatius had known as a student at Paris, entered the Society. Later Nadal was instrumental in getting Ignatius to narrate his autobiography.

1545

12/13

The opening of the Council of Trent to which Jesuits James Laynez and Alphonsus Salmerón were sent as papal theologians and Claude LeJay as theologian of Cardinal Otho Truchses.

1545

12/25

Isabel Roser pronounced her vows as Jesuit together with Lucrezia di Brandine and Francisca Cruyllas in the presence of Ignatius at the church of St. Maria della Strada in Rome.

1546

02/05

At Rome, the death of Pierre Fabre, one of the first companions.

1546

05/19

Pope Paul III sent Diego Laynez and Alfonso Salmeron as his theologians to the Council of Trent.

1546

06/05

Paul III, in his Brief Exponi Nobis, empowered the Society to admit coadjutors, both spiritual and temporal.

1546

10/01

Isabel Roser was released by St. Ignatius from her Jesuit vows after eight months.

1546

10/26

The province of Portugal was established as the first province in the Society, with Simaão Rodrigues as the first provincial.

1547

03/04

Ignatius wrote a letter to Jesuits in Spain on religious perfection

1547

05/20

Pope Paul III acceded to the request that the Society of Jesus not have women as members nor have a parallel women’s order.

1548

01/05

The birth at Granada of Francis Suarez, one of the greatest theologians of the church.

1548

03/18

The arrival of the first Jesuits missioned to Africa by Simon Rodrigues, provincial of Portugal, at the request of the King of Kongo supported by the King of Portugal. They landed at Pinda on March 18, 1548, and made their way two days later to Mbanza Kongo, the capital of the kingdom of Kongo. They were three priests--Jorge Vaz, Cristovao Ribeiro, Jacome Dias-- and a scholastic, Diogo do Soveral.

1548

03/31

Anthony Corduba, rector of the College of Salamanca, begged Ignatius to admit him into the Society so as to escape the cardinalate which Charles V intended to procure for him.

1548

04/08

St. Peter Canisius was sent to Messina to teach rhetoric.

1548

04/16

At Naples the death of William Elphinston, a scholastic novice and scion of the royal house of Scotland, his mother being a Stuart.

1548

07/31

At the behest of St. Francis Borgia, Pope Paul III issued the Brief, "Pastoralis officii" approving the book of the Spiritual Exercises.

1548

10/08

St. Ignatius returned to Rome from Tivoli where he had spent several days diplomatically resolving a conflict between that city and Castel Madama.

1548

12/10

The General of the Dominicans wrote in defense of the Society of Jesus on seeing it attacked in Spain by Melchior Cano and others.

1549

11/10

At Rome the death of Paul III, to whom the Society owes its first constitution as a religious order.

1549

12/23

St. Francis Xavier was appointed provincial of the newly-erected Indian Province.

1550

07/21

Through his Bull, “Exposcit debitum” Pope Julius III again confirmed the Insitute of the Society.

1551

01/15

St. Francis Borgia wrote to the Emperor Charles V announcing his intention to enter the Society of Jesus and asking leave to resign his dukedom in favor of his eldest son, the Marquis de Lombay.

1551

01/30

St. Ignatius wrote a letter offering to resign as superior general because of ill health.

1551

02/18

The opening in the Piazza Ara Coeli of the first school of the Society of Jesus in Rome, which soon developed into the Roman College, later to be called the Gregorian University.

1551

12/31

St. Francis Xavier left Sancian for Malacca and Goa to prepare for his journey to China.

1552

01/13

At Rome, teachers jealous of the success of the first school opened by Jesuits, invaded the premises and abused the Jesuits teaching there.

1552

10/22

Confirmation by Pope Julius III of the "Privileges" of the Society.

1552

12/02

On the island of Sancian off the coast of China, St. Francis Xavier died.

1553

02/17

Seventy-seven days after St. Francis Xavier's death, his tomb was opened and his body found perfectly incorrupt.

1553

03/26

Ignatius sent his letter on obedience was sent to the Jesuits of Portugal.

1553

06/09

Manuel da Nobrega was named provincial of the Jesuits in Brazil. He was involved in the foundations of the cities of Salvador, Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.

1553

07/09

St. Ignatius created the Province of Brazil and named Fr. Manuel de Nóbrega as first superior of its 30 Jesuits.

1555

11/13

St. Ignatius made St. Francis Borgia Commissioner General of all the provinces in the Iberian Peninsula and of the Indies subject to Spain and Portugal.

1556

06/07

Peter Canisius became the first provincial of the newly constituted Province of Upper Germany.

1556

07/11

Ignatius, gravely ill, handed over the daily governance of the Society to Juan de Polanco and Cristóbal de Madrid.

1556

07/30

As he lay near to death, Ignatius asked Juona de Polanco to go and obtain for him the pope’s blessings and indulgence.

1556

08/09

After the death of St. Ignatius, Diego Laynez was empowered to govern the Society as vicar until the election of another superior general.

1556

08/30

On the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Leonard Garreau, a young Jesusit missionary, was mortally wounded by the Iroquois.

1557

02/13

Andrew Oviedo, recently consecrated bishop and patriarch of Ethiopia, set sail from Goa for his new see.

1557

06/13

The death of King John III of Portugal, at whose request Xavier and others were sent to India.

1558

03/08

Nicholas Gaudan, disguised as a peddler, entered Scotland as papal nuncio to strengthen Mary Queen of Scots in her allegiance to the faith.

1558

06/03

Francisco de Toledo entered the Society; he was later the first Jesuit to become a Cardinal.

1558

06/19

The opening of the First General Congregation, nearly two years after the death of Ignatius. It was summoned by Father Laynez, the vicar general.

1558

07/02

The election of Diego Laynez as superior general in the First General Congregation. He had been vicar general since the death of Ignatius in 1556.

1558

08/11

In the First General Congregation, after a discussion on the simple vows, it was declared that "nothing should be changed."

1558

09/10

The First General Congregation concluded after it had elected Diego Laínez to succeed St. Ignatius as superior general.

1558

09/29

Jesuits began to keep choir in obedience to an order from Paul IV, later rescinded by his successor.

1559

06/03

A villa at Frascati, outside Rome, was purchased for the fathers and brothers of the Roman College.

1560

07/15

The martyrdom of Ignacio Azevedo along with 39 companions near Palma, one of the Canary Isles. En route to Brazil as missionaries, they were captured by Calvinist corsairs.

1563

03/25

The first Sodality of Our Lady, Prima Primaria, was begun in the Roman College by a young Belgian Jesuit named John Leunis (Leonius).

1563

12/03

At the Council of Trent, the Institute of the Society was approved.

1564

02/22

At Paris, against much opposition a Jesuit school was opened. As Collège Louis-le-Grand, it became one of the greatest schools in the history of the Society.

1564

05/02

Pope Pius V yield to Father General Laynez' request and approved that the Society should have no Cardinal Protector, but be under the pope's immediate protection.

1564

06/05

The death in Lima of Francis Lopez, who had resigned the high office of Visitor General of the Kingdom of Peru to become a brother in the Society.

1564

12/30

Letter from Pope Pius IV to Daniel, Archbishop of Mayence, deploring the malicious and scurrilous pamphlets published against the Society throughout Germany and desiring him to use his influence against the evil.

1565

01/19

The death at Rome of Father General James Lainez, the second superior general of the Society and the pope's theologian at the Council of Trent.

1565

06/21

The Second General Congregation convened, representing 3,500 members in 18 provinces. The congregation elected Francis Borgia superior general and approved 120 decrees before its closure on Sept. 3.

1565

09/20

Under the leadership of Father General Francis Borgia, Sant’Andrea in Quirinale in Rome opened as the first novitiate separate from a colleges or professed house.

1566

01/07

Cardinal Ghislieri was elected pope as Pius V. He was a great friend of St. Francis Borgia and appointed Salmeron and Toletus as apostolic preachers at the Vatican. He imposed the office of choir on the Society.

1566

09/28

The death of Pedro Martinez, the first Jesuit to enter the continental United States. He was killed by natives on the island of Tatacuran, Florida.

1567

10/25

St. Stanislaus Kostka arrived in Rome and was admitted into the Society by St. Francis Borgia.

1567

12/24

Barely 35 years after the Society was founded, the first Jesuits to enter what is now Colombia disembarked at Cartagena on their way to Peru, sent by St. Francis Borgia at the request of King Philip II.

1568

03/09

St. Aloysius Gonzaga was born at Castiglione, Italy, in his father's castle.

1568

04/02

At Rome, the entrance of Blessed Rodolf Acquaviva, aged 17, into the novitiate of San Andrea, where St. Stanislaus was then a novice.

1568

04/29

St. Pius V, by his Brief "Innumerabiles fructus," confirms the Constitutions of Paul II and Julius III regarding the government of colleges, the appointment of rectors by the General, etc.

1568

07/28

In a letter to Christopher Rodriguez, St. Teresa of Avila, speaking of the Society, wrote, “The men of the Society of Jesus are my Fathers, to whom after God my soul owes everything good that it might have.”

1569

08/01

Edmund Campion, convinced of the errors of the new religion, abandoned the University of Oxford and all his brilliant prospects.

1571

02/03

In Florida, the martyrdom of Luis Quiros and two novices, Juan Mendez and Gabriel Solis.

1571

02/25

Francis Borgia is sent by Pius V with Cardinal Alessandrino into Spain and France to try to induce the sovereigns to form a league against the Turks.

1571

03/20

Francis Borgia, seeing little or no fruit from the labors of the Jesuits in Florida, ordered them to withdraw from those missions.

1571

09/13

Ven. Peter Dias and 11 companions, killed by pirates near the Canary Islands en route to Brazil.

1572

05/13

Gregory XIII was elected pope; to him the Society owes the foundation of the Roman and German Colleges.

1572

05/17

Pope Gregory XIII exempted the Society from choir and approved simple vows after two years of novitiate and ordination before solemn profession. In these matters he reversed a decree of St. Pius V.

1572

07/13

The first band of Jesuit missionaries entered Mexico.

1572

09/28

A group of 14 Jesuits sent by Father General Francis Borgia under the leadership of Father Pedro Sánchez arrived in Mexico City, Mexico to establish the Society's presence.

1572

09/30

The death of St. Francis Borgia, the Duke of Gandia and viceroy of Catalonia before becoming a Jesuit. He became the third superior general of the Society and oversaw the establishment of many schools and the expansion of missionary work

1573

04/12

At Rome, the opening of the third general congregation during which Everard Mercurian was elected superior general.

1573

06/16

The Third General Congregation elected Everard Mercurian, a Belgian, as superior general; Pope Grevory XIII had expressed a wish that the general should not be a Spaniard

1573

08/06

Pope Gregory XIII published his Bull "Postquam Deo placuit," which founded the German College.

1573

09/07

The death of Princess Juana, Regent of Spain, the emperor's daughter. She died as a Jesuit scholastic, having taken vows secretly under a special dispensation.

1574

01/09

The death at Naples of Jasper Haywood, superior of the English mission. As a boy he was one of the pages of honor to the Princess Elizabeth. After a brilliant career at Oxford, he renounced his fellowship and entered the Society in Rome in 1570. An able Hebrew scholar and theologians, he was for two years professor in the Roman College.

1576

07/16

Pope Gregory XIII, by his Constitution “Quaecumque sacrarum religionum”, exempetd members of the Society from attendance at public processions.

1577

12/21

At Rome, Juan de Polanco died, secretary to the Society and a dear friend of St. Ignatius.

1578

02/03

The death of Thomas Nelson, martyred at Tyburn by being hanged, drawn and quartered.

1578

03/24

At Lisbon Rodolf Acquaviva and 13 companions embarked for India. Among the companions were Matthew Ricci and Michael Ruggieri.

1578

06/25

The death in Clare, Ireland, of David Wolfe, pioneer Jesuit of the Irish mission, after five years imprisonment.

1578

10/17

Robert Bellarmine entered the Jesuit novitiate of Sant' Andrea in Rome at the age of 16.

1579

04/23

At Rome, the appointment of Alphonsus Agazzari, the first Jesuit rector of the English College which had been founded by Pope Gregory XIII.

1579

07/14

At Lisbon, the death of Simão Rodrigues, one of the first companions.

1579

07/15

The death in Lisbon of Simón Rodriíguez, one of the first companions of Ignatius who assigned him to be companion of Francis Xavier to the Indies but had to yield to the request of King John III of Portugal who wanted to keep Rodriíguez in that country.

1579

07/25

The arrival in Japan of Alexander Valignano, who came to visit the 59 Jesuit missionaries working there in uncertain circumstances due to the constant changes in power between those who favored and those who opposed the work of the Society.

1579

11/17

Blessed Rudolph Acquaviva and two other Jesuits set out from Goa for Surat and Fattiphur, the Court of Akbar, the Great Mogul.

1580

07/03

Queen Elizabeth I issued a statute forbidding Jesuits all entrance into England.

1581

01/10

Queen Elizabeth signed the fifth Penal Statute in England inflicting heavy fines and imprisonment on all who harbored Jesuits and Seminary priests.

1581

04/22

At the close of the fourth general congregation, Pope Gregory XIII received the new general, Claude Acquaviva, and promised to provide a foundation fund for the Roman College.

1581

07/17

St. Edmund Campion was arrested in England.

1581

07/19

The birth of Giuseppe Castiglione, a Jesuit brother and a skilled Italian painter who at age 27 set sail for China where he undertook the role of the official painter to this distant court with the positive conviction that art was above all a means of carrying out his evangelical mission.

1581

08/08

Anthony Possevino was received with extraordinary honors by Basilowicz, the Czar of Russia.

1581

12/01

At Tyburn in London, St. Edmund Campion and Alexander Briant were martyred.

1582

01/11

At Rome, Cardinal Guastavillani laid the foundation stone of the new building that would become the Roman College.

1582

02/20

Three Japanese princes sailed from Japan for Rome to pay homage to Pope Gregory XIII. Father Valignani, who arranged the embassy, accompanied them as far as Goa.

1582

05/30

At Tyrburn, the martyrdom of Thomas Cottam with three other priests.

1582

10/05

The Gregorian Calendar went into effect. Christopher Clavius SJ helped create this modification that suppressed the days between October 5 and 15 in order to bring the calendar into line with astronomical facts. Countries which did not like the pope liked his calendar even less, so it was not until the 20th century that all countries adopted it as their civil calendar.

1582

10/15

St. Teresa of Avila died on this day, the first of the new Gregorian calendar. She always wished to have a Jesuit as her confessor.

1583

07/25

The martyrdom near Goa, India, of Rudolph Aquaviva, Pater Berno, Francio Aranha, Alphonsus Pacheco and Anthony Francisco.

1584

11/25

The Church of the Gesu, built in Rome for the Society by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, was solemnly consecrated.

1584

12/05

By his bull Omnipotentis Dei, Pope Gregory XIII gave the title of Primaria to Our Lady's Sodality established in the Roman College in 1564, and empowered it to aggregate other similar sodalities.

1585

01/12

At Rome, Cardinal Guastavillani laid the foundation stone of the new building that would become the Roman College.

1585

02/13

At Naples, the death of Alfonso Salmeron, one of the first companions.

1585

02/27

Father General Acquaviva wrote a severe letter forbidding members of the Society to meddle with politics after the Jesuit, Claude Mathieu, and the League (Ste. Union de France) sought to hinder King Henry of Navarre, a Protestant, from succeeding to the throne.

1585

03/22

In Rome, the three Japanese ambassadors were received by Father General with great solemnity in the Society's Church of the Gesu.

1586

04/20

The first Ratio Studiorum was issued under Father General Claude Aquaviva.

1587

03/27

The death at Messina of Thomas Evans, a Jesuit who had suffered imprisonment for his defense of the Catholic faith in England. He was 28 at the time of his death.

1588

10/03

The death of Pompeio Capuano, an Italian novice from an illustrious family. When he asked his father's leave to enter the Society, his father shut him up in a dark room and treated him like a madman.

1589

03/02

At Rome, the death of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, grandson of Pope Paul III, great benefactor of the Society, and founder/builder of the Gesù.

1590

03/03

At Castiglione, his native place, St. Aloysius preached to the people with such fervor that crowds flocked to the confessionals.

1590

09/23

The death of Nicolás Bobadilla, the last survivor of the original companions who founded the Society of Jesus.

1593

12/19

At Rome St. Robert Bellarmine was appointed rector of the Roman College.

1594

10/16

Students of the English College in Rome broke into a sort of rebellion against the Jesuits in charge there.

1594

12/18

At Florence the apparition of St. Ignatius to St. Mary Magdalen de' Pazzi.

1595

04/30

The death of Abraham George, the first of eight Jesuit martyrs in Ethiopia.

1597

07/27

The death at Cracow of James Vujek, Polish Jesuit appointed by King Stephen tutor to Prince Sigismund. Vujek translated the Bible into Polish.

1597

10/04

John Gerard managed a marvelous escape from the Tower of London.

1598

01/01

The death of Alphonsus Barréna, surnamed the Apostle of Peru; he was the first to carry the faith to the Guaranis and Chiquitos in Paraguay.