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Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Worldwide celebrations for Jesuit founders
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¬†The lives of three of the founding Companions of the Society of Jesus will be celebrated at Farm Street Church in London on Saturday, 22 April. The British Jesuit Provincial, Fr Michael Holman SJ, will preside and preach at the Jubilee Mass on the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother of the Society of Jesus, to mark the 450th anniversary of the death of St Ignatius Loyola, and the 500th anniversary of the birth of St Francis Xavier and Blessed Peter Favre. Jesuits, their friends, associates and co-workers, will be travelling from all over Britain to join the celebrations. Among them will be pupils from St Aloysius College, Glasgow, who will be processing into the church carrying banners of the three Companions. These banners were designed by Sr Anthony Wilson SND and hand-stitched by David Peglar. A further four, of the four English Jesuits martyred in 1606, will also be on display. Meanwhile in Rome, several dozen pupils from St Aloysius and Stonyhurst Colleges ≠ along with parents and staff ≠ will be completed a 100km walk to the Vatican, where they will meet with the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach, before attending a Jubilee Mass in St Peter's Basilica. After the Mass, the group will receive a blessing from Pope Benedict XVI. April 22 was chosen as the date of the international celebrations because of its significance in the Jesuit calendar and St Ignatius' particular devotion to Our Lady. It was on 22 April 1541 ≠ the Saturday after Easter ≠ that the first companions gathered at Our Lady's altar in the Basilica of St Paul-outside-the-walls in Rome to repeat the original vows they had made seven years earlier. With nine fellow students in Paris, including Xavier and Favre, Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus in 1540. It now numbers 20,000 men in 100 countries worldwide. Source: Jesuit Communications
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