The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century

By Francis Parkman | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER II. LOYOLA AND THE JESUITS.

CONVERSION OF LOYOLA. -- FOUNDATION OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS. -- PREPARATION OF THE NOVICE. -- CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ORDER. -- THE CANADIAN JESUITS.

IT was an evil day for new-born Protestantism when a French artilleryman fired the shot that struck down Ignatius Loyola in the breach of Pampeluna. A proud noble, an aspiring soldier, a graceful courtier, an ardent and daring gallant was metamorphosed by that stroke into the zealot whose brain engendered and brought forth the mighty Society of Jesus. His story is a familiar one, -- how, in the solitude of his sick-room, a change came over him, upheaving, like an earthquake, all the forces of his nature; how, in the cave of Manresa, the mysteries of Heaven were revealed to him; how lie passed from agonies to transports, from transports to the calm of a determined purpose. The soldier gave himself to a new warfare. In the forge of his great intellect, heated, but not disturbed by the intense fires of his zeal, was wrought the prodigious enginery whose power has been felt to the uttermost confines of the world.

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