Society of Jesus began when seven men with Ignatius Loyola
as leader banded themselves together to serve God under the
banner of the Cross. On
September 27, 1540, the Society was approved by Papal Bull
as an exempt Religious Order of clerics with solemn vows and
a special vow to undertake spiritual ministries the Pope assigns
them for the good of the universal Church.
Its membership comprises the professed priests with
solemn vows and their priestly and lay helpers with simple
vows. St. Ignatius
was the first elected General, who is for life.
All authority resides in the General who is accountable
to the General Congregation, which meets from time to time.
The world-wide apostolate of the Order covers vast
area of spiritual and secular activities.
Some of these are the sacred and secular sciences,
the missionary apostolate, works of human development, education
and research. In spiritual
renewal work their special contributions is the Spiritual
Exercises popularly known as the Ignatian Retreat.
The Jesuits first came to Sri Lanka in 1602 settling
in Colombo and responsible for the coastal belt north of the
Ma-Oya. They came a second time in 1895 to the Batticaloa and Galle areas
and built up those dioceses.`
SOCIETY OF JESUS
St. Ignatius of Loyola