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Chapter 10 (Su-Z)
Not all, but many of these portraits came from a rare century-old work concerning famous Jesuits, Alfred Hamy's Galerie Illustree. The names are arranged alphabetically in ten chapters: A-Be, Bo-Cam, Can-Cos, Cot-Go, Gr-K, L-Me, Mi-Pe, Pi-Ri, Ro-St, Su-Z.
At the end of each entry are listed, in abbreviated form, the specific sources which I used for writing the short sketch for each man. The eleven triliteral symbols (Ban, Bas, DSB, Ham, JLx, McR, JLP, O'M, Som, Tan, Tyl) signify that the information came from the following eleven books which are more fully documented in the Intoduction to Jesuit Portraits.
Ban = Bangert, William, S.J. A History of the Society of Jesus
Bas = Bernard, S.J. The English Jesuits
DSB = Gillispie, Charles. C. Ed., Dictionary of Scientific Biography
Ham = Hamy, Alfred, S.J. Galerie illustree
JLx = Koch, Ludwig, S.J. Jesuiten Lexicon
McR = McRedmond, Louis To the Greater Glory. New York: MacMillan, 1991
JLP = Mertz, James, S.J. and Murphy, John, S.J. Jesuit Latin Poets
O'M = O'Malley, John, S.J. The First Jesuits
Som = Sommervogel, Carolus Bibliothèque de la compagnie de Jésus
Tan = Tanner, Mathia, S.J. Societas Jesu.
Tyl = Tylinda, Joseph, S.J. Jesuit Saints and Martyrs
Francis Suarez, S.J. (Spanish: 1548-1617) was one of the great Spanish theologians, and considered supreme among the Jesuit thinkers of his time. He possessed a tremendous breadth of intellectual interest and was unusually insightful when dealing with speculative problems. His entire work runs to 23 volumes. Francis was one of 4,000 Jesuits who volunteered to serve on the China mission.
Francis unintentionally caused an eruption of feeling against French Jesuits with his publication of his Defense of the Catholic Faith meant to contest England's Oath of Allegiance. The book offended the sensibilities of the royalists and a new storm broke over the Society in France and Parliament ordered the volume to be burned and the French Provincial requesting the Italian and Spanish provincials: "I hope that you will put an absolute ban in your provinces on the publication in the future of any similar book." Francis tried to unravel some of the speculative moral and legal problems that came with colonialization and thus attempted a systematic articulation of international law for what was emerging as a community of nations. He is considered one of the main sources of the impetus for independence from mother countries in South America. In Francis they discern the creator of the intellectual framework for independence. His doctrine on civil authority, affirming that government receives its authority from God indirectly and through the mediation of the people, disposed the educated classes for the break with an autocratic crown. In the late eighteenth century, Spain certainly showed its fear of this teaching and banned Francis' offensive volumes. (Ban, Ham, JLx, O'M, Som)
John Suffren, S.J. (French: 1565-1641) was confessor for Marie de Medici. When he was made confessor to King Louis XIII by the Minister of State, Richelieu with the admonition "Do not go near the king unless summoned", he remarked: "I shall not be long in this position." When John made it clear that the Jesuits would not deny the pope's indirect temporal power, he was removed by Richelieu. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)
Michael Tamburini, S.J. (Italian: 1648-1730) served as the fourteenth Superior General of the Society, and faced more troublesome attacks on the Society than any general since Ignatius Loyola. During his 24-year term he experienced a concerted campaign of vilification against the Society. An early attack concerned the Chinese Rites Decree. Europe had been fascinated by the efforts of the Jesuits to accommodate the gestures and vestments of Catholic ritual to a vaguely Confucian ceremonial. The group opposed to this effort at adaptation consisted of a monolithic Roman Curia abetted by Dominicans and Franciscans and also by Pascal's Jansenists; the latter in fact, desired nothing less than the complete dissolution of the Society. The Jesuits were convinced that Christianity can be reconciled with a culture fundamentally different from the one in which it had evolved, but their plan was condemned. The Roman decision was influenced by Roman politics and has been called suicidal for Christianity in Asia. The onus of arguing the Jesuit position in the face of growing political pressure on the pope fell to Michael Tamburini. Actually, he had to present the Jesuit case before two popes, Innocent XIII and Benedict XIII. The papal legate to China, Carlo Mezzabarba, had assured the Jesuits their practices merited only the highest praise, but when Carlo returned to Rome he joined the loud chorus condemning the Society. The Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith wanted a complete condemnation of the Society which would have prohibited novices from entering and reduced vows to three years, so that the Society would soon cease to exist. This was an omen for the future since it happened 50 years before the Suppression in 1773. Pope Benedict XIII was convinced by Michael Tamburini's presentation and did not suppress the Society but did issue an edict condemning the Jesuit practices in China. Benedict advised the missionaries that conversions were due to God's grace, urged them to preach the Faith in its purity, encouraged the Jesuits to martyrdom, and commanded that they take an oath of obedience regarding the Chinese rites. The Jesuits were certainly martyred in great numbers and under terrible conditions, but in the meantime the Church in Rome squandered a magnificent and successful missionary endeavor. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)
Bl. Balthazar Torres, S.J. (Spanish: 1563-1626) was one of the 87 martyrs during the great persecution in Nagasaki. Balthasar was sent to Goa, India, then, after his ordination, taught theology in the seminary there. He was sent to Japan in 1600 and spent the next 25 years working with Japanese Christians. Rather than leave the country when the expulsion edict of 1614 was published, Balthasar went into hiding and secretly continued his apostolic ministry until he was captured in 1626 in a small village near Nagasaki. With him was his catechist, Michael Tozo, and both were sent to prison in Omura. Balthasar died with seven other Jesuit martyrs in Nagasaki on 20 June 1626. (Ham, JLx, Som, Tyl)
Anthony Turner, S.J. (English: 1628-1679) was the son of a Protestant minister who became enraged when his wife and two sons, puzzled by the number of different Protestant sects, sought information about Catholicism and showed that they were interested in becoming Catholics. Anthony with his brother Edward converted to Catholicism, joined the Jesuits and worked among the English Catholics. Both died martyrs in England: Edward in prison, Anthony hanged at Tyburn with four other Jesuits. Before he was hanged, drawn and quartered Anthony told the surrounding crowd: " I am bound in conscience to do myself that justice as to declare upon oath my innocence from the horrid crime of treason with which I am falsely accused. I am as free from the treason I am accused of as a child that is just born. I die a Roman Catholic and humbly beg the prayers of such for my happy passage into a better life". (Ban, Bas, Ham, Tyl)
Alessandro Valignano, S.J. (Italian: 1538-1606) was the man who consolidated the missionary efforts of the Jesuits in India, Japan and China which Xavier had started. He labored there for 33 years. He convinced Pope Gregory XIII to make the mission to Japan an exclusively Jesuit mission on the grounds that the distinct Franciscan religious garb as well as their unusual methods would create the impression that Catholicism was just as fragmented as Buddhism and unworthy of investigation. When the Franciscans did come 23 years later they proved Alessandro correct when they created a disedifying split in the apostolate because their approach was so different from the Jesuits. They looked with contempt on the Japanese culture which the Jesuits greatly admired. The Jesuits were much more cautious in distributing pious items such as rosaries which might lead to superstition while the Franciscans condemned the intellectual approach of the Jesuits. Alessandro's greatest fear was fulfilled and these Spanish Franciscans were seen as a fifth column preparing for a Spanish assault. This led to the great persecution of 1597 which resulted in 26 martyrs, including both Franciscans and Jesuits. During all this time communication with Rome was extremely slow. A 1589 letter of Alessandro arrived in Rome 17 years later in 1607. Without Roman instructions Alessandro knew how to use his vast authority and he built seminaries, reorganized the mission and started the first movable press in Japan. He insisted on accommodating to Japanese dress, food and housing and ordered intense Japanese language studies. To finance these changes he received permission from the pope to invest in silk trade with Macao. It was Alessandro who was the historical model for the Jesuit Visitor in the apocryphal story Shogun .
Alessandro aimed not just at making Christians in Japan but at making Japan Christian while he constantly counseled caution and prudence, at the same time his strategy was always to cultivate and if possible convert the powerful and the prominent, and then to use their power, fame and influence to promote Christianity. He considered the employment of these secular means to sacred ends legitimate and necessary, but it was a dangerous strategy and became more dangerous as the successive lords, all of them intolerant of any power, fame or influence other than their own, came progressively closer to omnipotence. The persecutions continued for more than two and a half centuries. The only Christian communities to survive them were the 'hidden Christians', and their survival was their own astonishing achievement, for there were no Christian samurai to lead them. Alessandro's motto was "Pray to God, sailor, but row for the shore." and he was exasperated at inaction on the part of local superiors. Also, it was Alessandro more than anyone else, who taught the missionaries that becoming a follower of Christ does not mean becoming a European or ceasing to be Japanese. In 1614 Diego de Mesquita wrote of the Christians of Japan: "There does not seem to be any Church in the whole of Christendom which surpasses them. Indeed, I regard them as the best in the world. They are a noble and rational people all of whom are very much subject to reason, and when they become Christians and begin to go to confession they live very well, taking great care of their souls, and anxious to keep our holy law, and with a great desire for salvation, correcting the vices they had when they were pagans." (Ban, Ham, JLx, O'M, Som) also . . . Schütte)
Gabriel Vasquez, S.J. (Spanish: 1551-1604) was one of the great Catholic theologians. He taught at the Roman College where he insisted on precise thought and lucid expression. He enlivened disputations by his vast erudition, quick intelligence, and lively language. The contemporary theological world linked the two names, Suarez and Vasquez. Energetic and persistent in his manner, Vasquez always maintained an independence of thought in his search for truth. Two popes, Benedict XIV and Leo XIII, who appreciated intellectual achievement, paid special tribute to his scholarly endowments. Gabriel was the first among the Jesuits to teach Probabilism which spread quickly among Jesuit theologians who later became its most ardent defenders. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)
S. G. Horace Vecchi, S.J.(French: 1577-1612) was a martyr in Chile and worked among the natives in the settlements the Jesuits founded to protect them from slave traders and from the raids of enemy tribes. He was killed during such a raid. After his theology training and ordination in Peru, his missionary apostolate in Chile lasted only four years. Horace was killed by the Araucanian tribe in Chile who had continually menaced the Christians there. The reason for their hatred was partly because three wives of one of their chiefs had escaped and become Christians. When the wives were not returned, the Spanish soldiers were afraid to enter Araucanian territory. The Jesuit Provincial, however, thought differently and sent three Jesuits into the territory to convert the tribe. Five days after they arrived, the offended chief came and demanded his wives. When the missionaries refused on the grounds that the now Christian women did not belong to him, they were killed and became the first martyrs of Chile. (Ham, JLx, Som, Tyl)
Ferdinand Verbiest, S.J. (Belgian: 1623-1688) was a geometer, astronomer and missionary to China. His Chinese name was Nan Huai-Jen and he is listed as one of the 108 heroes of the popular novel Shui Hu Chuan. Having taught the Emperor geometry, science, art and literature, he became a frequent guest of the royal household. The Emperor brought him on many expeditions and entrusted him with a number of important projects of the empire. He wrote many religious, as well as a large number of astronomical and mathematical, works in the Manchu language.
A celebration honoring Ferdinand Verbiest
His funeral was a stately affair accompanied by bands, standard bearers, portraits of himself and the saints, 50horsemen and representatives from the Emperor. His tomb in Beijing, alongside the other two giants of the China mission, Matteo Ricci and Adam Schall, was restored after the cultural revolution and can be visited today. He restructured the calendar, determined the elusive Russo-Chinese border and rebuilt and directed the Imperial Observatory, still a Beijing tourist attraction. (Ban, DSB, Ham, JLx, Som)
Anthony Verjus, S.J. (French: 1632-1706) was a procurator for the Jesuit mission in the Middle East. He was a frequent correspondent of Leibniz who considered religious orders such as the Society "a heavenly host upon earth . . . Whosoever ignores or despises this has but a poor and debased conception of virtue." Leibniz was on friendly terms and regularly corresponded with a number of Jesuits such as Anthony, perhaps because of Anthony's connections with Jesuit Foreign Missions. On several occasions, Leibniz defended Jesuits, stating that "he wishes to be regarded as a 'warm friend' of the Jesuits" and he followed with considerable interest Jesuit missionary work, the scientific importance of which he fully appreciated. Leibniz once drew up a memorandum in which he expatiated on the merits of the Jesuit missionaries. (Ham, JLx, Som)
Anthony Vieira, S.J. (Portuguese: 1608-1697) was a famous preacher and has been called Portugal's Amazing Polymath . One of the classical writers of Portuguese prose, Vieira was made court orator and adviser to the King. Not always tactful, however, he was a staunch defender of the "New Christians" (Jewish converts), he won the enmity of the Inquisition, he was reviled for his defense of the Jews and he claimed that the Dominicans live off the faith while the Jesuits die for the faith.
Anthony Vieira in Brazil
Antonio's powerful preaching gained him considerable influence over John IV and the Portuguese court. He urged the Portuguese to bathe their "swords in the blood of heretics in Europe, in the blood of Muslims in Africa, in the blood of heathens in Asia and in America so that all may be placed gloriously beneath the feet of the successor of St. Peter" The Jesuit General Carafa, uneasy with Anthony's activities, decided that he should leave the Society, while King John IV offered him a Bishopric. Vieira, however, fooled them both and insisted on staying in the Society. King John who considered Vieira o primeiro homen do mundoblocked Carafa's plan to expel him. Although Vieira did not leave the Society he did leave Lisbon's court and went to Brazil where he founded missions among the Maranhao and Amazon Indians. In Brazil he occasionally represented King John IV on diplomatic missions. He labored among these Indians and alienated the colonialists by his bitter denunciation of the European slave traders. At his funeral slaves and the poor were his chief mourners. Today the Jesuit school in Bahia is named in his honor. (Ban, Ham, JLx, Som)
Gregory St. Vincent, S.J.(Belgian: 1584-1667) studied mathematics under Christopher Clavius. Gregory was a brilliant mathematician and is looked upon as one of the founders of analytical geometry. He established a famous school of mathematics at Antwerp. Gregory deals with conics, surfaces and solids from a new point of view, employing infinitesimals in a way differing from Cavalieri. Gregory was probably the first to use the word exhaurire in a geometrical sense. From this word arose the name of "method of exhaustion," as applied to the method of Euclid and Archimedes. Gregory used a method of transformation of one conic into another, called per subtendas (by chords), which contains germs of analytic geometry. He created another special method which he called Ductus plani in planum and used in the study of solids. Unlike Archimedes, who kept on dividing distances only until a certain degree of smallness was reached, Gregory permitted the subdivisions to continue ad infinitum and obtained a geometric series that was infinite.
Gregory was the first to apply geometric series to the "Achilles" problem of Zeno (in which the tortouise always wins the race with the swift Achilles since he has an unbeatalbe head start) and to look upon the paradox as a question in the summation of an infinite series. Moreover, Gregory was the first to state the exact time and place of overtaking the tortoise. He spoke of the limit as an obstacle against further advance, similar to a rigid wall. Apparently, he was not troubled by the fact that in his theory the variable does not reach its limit. His exposition of the "Achilles" paradox was favorably received by Leibniz and by other geometers over a century later. (DSB, Ham, JLx, Som)
Joseph Walcher, S.J. (Austria: 1719-1803) taught mathematics, mechanics and hydraulics at the College of Thérésien at the University of Vienna for 17 years. He was also an engineer who is credited with saving the countryside from floods by using the dikes at Lake Rofner-Lise. After the Suppression he was named director of navigation along the Danube and director general of public buildings in Vienna. His 50th anniversary of ordination was commemorated in a magnificent public ceremony by the city. (Ban, Ham, Som)
Stanislaus Warszewicki, S.J. (Polish: 1530-1591) was sent as a papal envoy to Stockholm in 1574 when King John III of Sweden showed interest in becoming Catholic, in converting his people and in joining Sweden to Catholic political alliances. Stanislaus was able to initiate discussions with the king so that two months later, John III had become so convinced that he declared his readiness to introduce the Catholic liturgy into the Swedish Church. Stanislaus appealed to his superiors for a Jesuit who knew the Swedish language. Rome sent an intelligent and creative Norwegian, Laurits Nielssen (Laurentius Norvegus) with whom King John held public debates in order to move his people toward Catholicism. Laurits delivered such convincing lectures on Lutheranism and Catholicism that the king made Laurits a theology professor at the newly founded seminary in Stockholm, and urged all Protestant priests to attend his lectures. By the spring of 1579 Laurits had 70 students registered, including 30 Lutheran ministers. Then it was clear that the time had come for Rome to enter a new stage in the negotiations, so Stanislaus was replaced by Antonio Possevino whose disappointing story is told under his name. This promising Swedish enterprise came very close to succeeding but failed by a fatal Roman decision which was insensitive to the attitudes of the Swedish Protestants and the precarious position of King John. After five years spent in the mission to Sweden, Stanislaus was sent to Lithuania where his eloquence, wisdom and sincerity brought many back to the Catholic Faith. He died while helping the victims of the 1591 plague. (DSB, Ham, JLx, Som)
Thomas Whitbread, S.J. (English: 1618-1679) died during the Titus Oates Plot. He had used the alias Harcourt . Thomas became the provincial of all the English Jesuits and made a tour of the seminaries on the Continent. At the college of St. Omer he met Titus Oates who had once been an Anglican minister but had been defrocked because of his irregular life. He then converted to Catholicism, attended two Jesuit colleges in Spain, and had been expelled from both of them. He applied to enter the Society but was rejected by Thomas Whitbread. Oates sought revenge against the Jesuits and concocted a detailed plot in which the Jesuits were supposed to have planned the assassination of the king and the re-establishment of the Catholic Church. Eventually Thomas was arrested with two other Jesuits, Thomas Fenwick and William Ireland, and brought to trial. The jailers were concerned about one of Thomas Fenwick's legs; because the chain was so tight, they thought they would have to amputate, but they abandoned the idea since conviction at the trial was certain. Titus Oates was the principal witness. Five Jesuits were found guilty and brought to execution at Tyburn. Before being hanged, Thomas Whitbread said: "I do declare to you here present and to the whole world, that I go out of the world as innocent and as free from any guilt of these things laid to my charge in this matter, as I came into the world from my mother's womb. As for those who have most falsely accused me I do heartily forgive them, and beg of God to grant them His holy grace, that they may repent of their unjust proceedings against me." Suddenly a rider came with a message announcing that the king was granting the five priests their lives on the condition that they acknowledge their part in the plot and reveal all they knew about it. The martyrs thanked the king for his inclination to mercy but since there was no plot, they could not acknowledge guilt. Then they were hanged, drawn and quartered. (Ban, Bas, Ham, Tyl)
Cornelius Wishaven, S.J. (Belgian: 1509-1559), one of the earliest Jesuits, was quite involved in many pioneering ventures. Among his precedent setting experiences was the practice of working in a hospital during his noviceship (under Ignatius's direction), teaching in a school for non-Jesuits and in directing the first Jesuit novitiate. In 1550 this novitiate opened in Messina for 10 novices, and was the start of Jesuit novices living apart from other Jesuits and also the beginning of a two-year novitiate instead of a single year. Having been ordained before entering the Society, Cornelius had occasion to engage in exorcisms. At this time exorcisms were not unusual for Jesuits to perform, mainly because of the alternative. Jesuits did not want possession to become a matter for the Inquisition. Also they were careful to distinguish between seriously bizarre behavior and ordinary psychological stress such as depression which would be helped simply by conversation. (Ban, Ham, JLx, O'M, Som)
St. Francis Xavier, S.J. (Basque: 1506-1552) was a missionary in India, the East Indies, and Japan. Since the time of the Apostles there has not been a greater missionary than Francis Xavier. His ambitions to become a university professor were put aside when he met another Basque, Ignatius Loyola, who convinced him that the best way to use his talents was to spread the Gospel. Xavier became one of Ignatius' first companions in a fellowship that later became the Society of Jesus . He was the first Jesuit missionary. The story of his journeys is an epic of adventure that found him dining with head hunters, washing sores of lepers in Venice, teaching catechism to Indian children, baptizing 10,000 in a single month. He could put up with the most appalling conditions on his long sea voyages and endure the most agonizing extremes of heat and cold. Wherever he went he would seek out and help the poor and forgotten. Because of the slave trade he scolded his patron King John of Portugal: "You have no right to spread the Catholic faith while you take away all the country's riches. It upsets me to know that at the hour of your death you may be ordered out of paradise."
In a ten-year span he traveled thousands of miles - most of it on his own bare feet. He saw the greater part of the Far East. He died in 1552 on a lonely island of Sancian, near the China coast, while trying to reach mainland China. It was an astonishing feat but what is especially remarkable is the fact that he left behind him a flourishing church wherever he went. Many miracles were attributed to him, but the real miracle of his life was the miracle of his personality, by which he was able to win over thousands to the Faith wherever he went and to win their passionate devotion. The faith planted by him lasts to today. In 1638, Japan closed its gates to foreigners and tried to uproot the Church and eradicate nearly a century of Jesuit progress. In the purge, 40,000 Christians were martyred by beheading or crucifixion rather than deny their faith, probably the largest group of martyrs in the history of the Church. Of the 100 Jesuit martyrs listed, 44 were Japanese. Xavier was declared the Patron of Navigators as well as, alng with St. Theresa of Lisieux, the Patron Saint of all Missions. (Ban, Cor, Ham, JLx, O'M, Som, Tyl)
John Young, S.J. (Irish: 1589-1664) was the Novice Director at Kilkenny and Tertian Director in Cork. His frankness and dedication impressed Mercure Verdier, the official Visitor to Ireland sent by the General Carafa to find ways to help the beleaguered Irish Jesuits. The Visitor was impressed by the Irish Jesuits' ability to work hard and endure poverty but he was taken aback by their offering public prayers for a pirate who had helped the Jesuits out in time of financial need. The visitation occurred just before the annihilation of the Irish Mission which was brought to an abrupt halt by the 12,000 seasoned soldiers of Oliver Cromwell in 1649. John was then summoned to become the director of the Irish College in Rome. At his death the General directed that his portrait be painted and his eulogy be preached in the refectory of the Roman College. (Ham, McR)
Nicolas Zucchi, S.J. (Italian: 1586-1670) taught mathematics at the Roman College. Laland speaks with great admiration of his work in perfecting the reflecting telescope. He designed an apparatus which uses a lens to observe the image focused from a concave mirror.This was the model for many of the later designs by scientists such as Isaac Newton. He lived in a time of scientists who held both ingenious ideas together with extravagant errors. For instance he taught that the sun was further from the earth in summer, evident from the need to alter the telescope length; but he also held that Venus was further from earth than Mercury. Nicolas was held in such great esteem that he was sent as a papal legate to the court of the Emperor Ferdinand II. (DSB, Ham, JLx, Som)
Intoduction to Jesuit Portraits
Contents Names of 202 Jesuits
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 1 A to Be
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 2 Bo to Cam
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 3 Can to Cos
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 4 Cot to Go
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 5 Gr to K
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 6 L to Me
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 7 Mi to Pe
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 8 Pi to Ri
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 9 Ro to St
Jesuit Portraits Chapter 10 Su to Z
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