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St. George and the Dragon
Used with permission of www.heavenlyvisions.com

HISTORY

The Jesuits Quiz

By Bill Dodds
How much do you know about St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits?


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Do you know what the largest religious order in the world is? If you guessed the Society of Jesus (called “the Jesuits”), you’ll have to complete this quiz to find out if you’re right! Travel with us to Spain at the time of the Counter-reformation, and quiz yourself on one of the greatest Catholic saints of all time, and his followers.

Jesuits have played central roles in the Catholic Church for hundreds of years. How much do you know about the Society of Jesus? Begin with No. 1 and then just follow the directions.

1.The founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius Loyola, was born in what century?

a) The 13th. (Go to 31.)

b) The 15th. (Head for 41.)

2. The Church had no feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1534. She had appeared to Juan Diego only three years earlier. Return to 21.

3. Right. He was a soldier. Now head for 38.

4. No. That would be the Benedictines. Return to 7.

5. Both answers are correct. Now head for 28.

6. Aim high, right? Ignatius succeeded. He died in Rome on July 31, 1556, and was canonized in 1622. Now move to 21.

7. There were seven members when the society began. How many are there today?

a) Around 8,500. (Go to 4.)

b) More than 22,000. (Move to 15.)

8. No. Although one could argue that since there were more than 100, there were also more than two dozen but . . . Return to 16.

9. After receiving an education befitting his station in life, young Ignatius entered what?

a) Military service. (Go to 3.)

b) The Benedictine brotherhood. (Move to 39.)

10. The Holy Father gave formal approval for the Society of Jesus in 1540, and Ignatius was elected the first superior general. What became the group’s motto?

a) “Ora et labora.” (Head for 20.)

b) “Ad majorem Dei gloriam.” (Go to 30.)

11. No, Ignatius’ “wake-up call” was much more . . . concrete. Return to 38.

12. Twentieth-century Jesuits have carried on the society’s missionary tradition, and some have paid the ultimate price. In what country were six Jesuits killed at Central American University?

a) El Salvador. (Head for 19.)

b) Nicaragua. (Go to 37.)

13. The fledgling society didn’t earn a reputation just for its courage in the mission fields, but for its scholarship. What Jesuit saint is a doctor of the Church?

a) Robert Bellarmine. (Head for 18.)

b) Alphonsus Liguori. (Go to 36.)

14. Yes. Each also promised to serve the Holy See and to try to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Now head for 35.

15. Yes, and of those, some 15,000 are priests. That makes the Society of Jesus the world’s largest religious institute of men. Now head for 43.

16. Needless to say, the Jesuits are renowned for the number of colleges they’ve founded. Ignatius began the first one in 1548. By the end of that century, how many were there?

a) More than two dozen. (Go to 8.)

b) More than 100. (Move to 25.)

17. Both answers are correct. Now head for 28.

18. You’re right. Among the works of St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) is “The Art of Dying Well.” Now move to 16.

19. Yes. On Nov. 16, 1989. Now move to your final question, 7.

20. No “prayer and work” is the Benedictines’. Return to 10.

21. What happened between Ignatius’ change of heart and his death? A lot. His own spiritual journey included pilgrimages, time spent alone in prayer, the writing of his famous “Spiritual Exercises,” and years of study. While in school, he gathered around him other like-minded men who wanted to dedicate their lives to God. On what great Marian feast in 1534 did Ignatius and these half dozen companions first take vows in the chapel of a Benedictine monastery in Paris?

a) Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12. (Go to 2.)

b) Assumption, Aug. 15. (Move to 14.)

22. No. St. Isaac Jogues and seven fellow Jesuits are the North American martyrs, killed between 1642 and1649. Return to 28.

23. Oh, no. Return to 34.

24. No, the founder of the Franciscans never became a Jesuit. Return to 35.

25. Amazing, isn’t it? Today they have colleges around the world. Now head for 40.

26. It was during the siege of Pamplona in 1521. Ignatius was wounded in the leg by a French cannonball and spent a long time convalescing. (He was partially crippled for the rest of his life.) It was during this period, reading the Life of Christ and the lives of the saints, that the young man set a new goal for himself. Now go to 34.

27. Yes. Like Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) came from a noble family. One of the Church’s greatest missionaries, he worked in the Far East. Now go to 10.

28. The history of the Society of Jesus is filled with heroes who gave their lives while spreading the Faith. Among those killed in England during Elizabethan times was:

a) Isaac Jogues. (Move to 22.)

b) Edmund Campion. (Head for 33.)

29. Both answers are correct. (Not to mention Loyola College in Baltimore and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.) Now go to 12.

30. Yes. “To the greater glory of God” is often abbreviated AMDG. The purpose of the society was to honor God and save souls. Now move to 42.

31. Uh oh. You’re not off to a very good start. Return to 1.

32. Both answers are correct. (Not to mention Loyola College in Baltimore and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.) Now go to 12.

33. That’s right. Edmund Campion (1540-1581) is considered the most famous of the Jesuit martyrs of England. He’s one of the “Forty Martyrs” the Church canonized in 1970. Now go to 13.

34. The obvious question is: What became his goal?

a) Sainthood. (Head for 6.)

b) The founding of a religious order. (Go to 23.)

35. Three year later Ignatius and his companions were ordained in Italy. Since a pilgrimage to the Holy Land wasn’t possible, they offered their services to Pope Paul III. What other saint was in that select group?

a) Francis of Assisi. (Move to 24.)

b) Francis Xavier. (Head for 27.)

36. No, St. Alphonsus (1696-1787) founded the Redemptorists. Return to 13.

37. Sorry. Return to 12.

38. What first led to Ignatius’ decision to pursue a life more centered on the spiritual?

a) A vision. (Move to 11.)

b) A cannonball. (Head for 26.)

39. No, although later he made an important pilgrimage to the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat. Return to 9.

40. Among the Jesuit universities in the United States is one named “Loyola.” Where is it located?

a) New Orleans. (Move to 29.)

b) Chicago. (Head for 32.)

41. Yes. St. Ignatius, the youngest son of a noble family, was born in 1491 in the family castle of Loyola in Azpeitia, Basque province, Spain. Now move to 9.

42. Men joining the Jesuits took a special oath of obedience to the Holy See, promising to be at the pope’s disposal. Members were also expected to work diligently at becoming well educated. This was especially important because:

a) The society was just beginning at the time of the Reformation. (Go to 5.)

b) Jesuits were serving as missionaries throughout the world. (Move to 17.)

43. Let’s end with a quote from the English martyr St. Edmund Campion from his address to the “Lords of her Majesty’s Privy Council.” It explains the members’ courage in facing hardship and death.

Be it known to you that we have made a league—all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude must overreach all the practices of England—cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us. … The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: so it must be restored.

Copyright © 2000 Bill Dodds




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