Above: The Jesuit Shield
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SAINT JOSEPH PIGNATELLI (DECEMBER 27, 1737-NOVEMBER 15, 1811)
Restorer of the Jesuits
The Jesuits have counted among their numbers great intellectuals, evangelists, and scientists. Their loyalty to the Bishop of Rome has caused them to run afoul of monarchs, as in Spain. King Charles III expelled members of that order in 1767. Among the Jesuits who departed was St. Joseph Pignatelli (1737-1811), son of a Spanish woman and an Italian nobleman. A Jesuit since age sixteen, he had become a priest in 1763. The saint and his fellow Jesuits relocated to Corsica, which they had to leave when the French, whose monarch had also expelled members of the order, took over. So the saint and his band of Jesuits moved to Ferrara, on the Italian peninsula.
Pope Clement XIV, under great pressure, suppressed the Society of Jesus in 1773. Yet the order survived in Prussia and in the Russian Empire, where the monarchs refused to permit this suppression. And, with the permission of Pope Pius VI and at the invitation of the Duke of Parma, the saint restored the order in that part of Italy in the 1790s. The Pontiff also granted permission for remaining Jesuits to join their brethren in Russia during that decade. Pope Pius VII, in 1801, approved the Russian province of the order. And, three years later, the saint reestablished the Society of Jesus in the Kingdom of Naples, serving as provincial. The French invaded later that year, ending that Jesuit province, but the saint did restore the order on Sardinia and serve as Italian provincial before he died in 1811. Three years later the Church restored the Society of Jesus universally. The saint’s labors had helped to keep the order alive.
The Society of Jesus continues its good works.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
NOVEMBER 3, 2012 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF RICHARD HOOKER, ANGLICAN THEOLOGIAN
THE FEAST OF DANIEL PAYNE, AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL BISHOP
THE FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE CHURCH OF PAKISTAN, 1970
Almighty God, we praise you for your servant Saint Joseph Pignatelli,
through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.
Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,
whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
1 Corinthians 3:11-23
–Proper for Renewers of the Church, from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60