History

St Ignatius’ Day is the 31 July, and historically Jesuit Communities have marked the day with Masses, processions and feasts.  In the archives we have records of these events from the 19th and 20th centuries, showing how Jesuits celebrated St Ignatius’ Day, and how these celebrations changed over the course of the years.The Mount Street Jesuit Community recorded its daily services, meals, and comings and goings of individual Jesuits, as well as larger feasts and other events, in The...
Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach the elder
For Catholics in general, and for Jesuits in particular, Martin Luther used to be seen as simply an enemy, a benighted schismatic. Juan de Polanco, Ignatius’ secretary, saw Ignatius’ conversion at Loyola in 1521 as God’s ‘antidote’, countering the poison of what Martin Luther’s 1517 declaration of war ‘on the apostolic Holy See and the Catholic religion’.However, centenaries have a way of provoking reassessments. Jubilee celebrations commemorate the past, but they also make us think about what...
One of the Archives’ most frequently asked about collections unsurprisingly belongs to one of the most high-profile English Jesuits of recent times, Fr Martin D’Arcy SJ. Due to the standard closure period of 40 years after the death of a Jesuit for their personal papers, Fr D’Arcy’s papers have finally been fully catalogued and made available to the public.Martin Cyril D'Arcy was born in Bath on 15 June 1888, the fourth and youngest son of a barrister, Martin Valentine D'Arcy and Madoline Mary...
Image of rare books in the Jesuits in Britain Archives
This week's From the Archives post has been guest-written by work experience student, Natasha Wilkinson.Hello! My name is Natasha Wilkinson, I am 16 years old, and for the past week I have been doing work experience with the Archives of the Jesuits in Britain. I wanted to do my work experience here because I am very interested in history and hope to pursue a career that is related to history in some way in the future. To begin with, I was unsure of what to expect from working in the archives,...
Friday 9th June 2017 is International Archives Day. This is the 10th such day designated by the International Council on Archives to celebrate both the richness and diversity of archives, and to promote awareness of the work of archivists and recordkeepers. Archive services around the world participate in the day by organising events, activities and exhibitions and by sharing ideas, photographs and projects on social media: in short, anything to raise the profile of archives and archivists.I...
On Tuesday 30 May, the BBC will air the first episode of its new drama Broken. Set in a Catholic community in the north of England, it tells the moving stories of its priest, played by Sean Bean, and parishioners. Much of the series was filmed in the Jesuit Church of St Francis Xavier in Liverpool, known locally as SFX, and Parish Priest Fr Denis Blackledge SJ was on hand throughout the filming to act as a religious advisor.In honour of the show’s debut airing, we explore the SFX...
Allegreto Nuzi
The Pieta gallery in Stonyhurst College contains a remarkable 14th century painting.  This beautiful altarpiece on wood, in its original frame, repays taking a few minutes out of a busy day to appreciate.It was painted by Allegreto Nuzi, a little-known 14th century painter from Fabriano, in Ancona in northern Italy. He served his apprenticeship as a painter in Florence and Siena in the 1340s, where he fused the traditional Sienese Byzantine linear style of painting with the more three-...
Stella Maris was a monthly magazine published from 1913 until 1969.  It was started and edited by Fr Edmund Lester SJ, Superior of Campion House, Osterley, and following his death in 1934 was continued by Fr Clement Tigar SJ, who succeeded him as Superior.  Osterley was a training college for men with late vocations, run by Jesuits for men who went on to many religious orders and dioceses.Stella Maris contained articles on matters of faith and doctrine, and on Catholic history. ...
Next month alumni of Beaumont College will travel to the battlefield of Verdun to commemorate the Beaumont Old Boys who fought and died in the First World War. Beaumont College in Old Windsor, Berkshire, was run by the Society of Jesus from 1861 until its closure in 1967. Over 600 Old Beaumont boys (OBs) are known to have served during the course of the war. The final casualty figure stands at 132 OBs – for a comparatively small school this figure is thought to be among the highest of any...
Stephen Power SJ with brothers at the opening mass of GC36
There were several firsts at the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus last year. It was the first time tablets had been used by the members for electronic voting, making it a ‘paperless’ Congregation. GC36 elected the first Superior General from outside of Europe: Fr Arturo Sosa SJ from Venezuela. It was the first time that a General Congregation had been addressed by a Jesuit Pope. And it was also a first for six Jesuit Brothers, who took part in the General Congregation as ‘...

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