Wednesday 18th July 2018

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Pignatelli

October 31, 2017 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Since the founding of the Society of Jesus in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola up to the mid-eighteenth century, the order of priests and brothers had met with phenomenal success. But despite the high respect the Jesuits received from Popes, bishops, and kings, they eventually found themselves exiled and suppressed. The same bishop who started the Jansenist movement had been rejected by the Jesuits when he applied to become a novice.
Enraged by this rejection, he vowed to destroy the Jesuits and — along with other forces working against the order — nearly did so. His undermining of the order slowly worked its way through all levels of society and the Jesuit priests were suppressed in one country after another, including France, Italy, and Spain. The order seemed doomed. At the time, the Society of Jesus was the largest missionary order in the Catholic Church.
One of those expelled from Spain was a frail, quiet priest who would later be credited as the second founder of the Society of Jesus: Fr. Joseph Pignatelli. He was born on December 27, 1737 in Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain, about 75 miles south of the border with France. His parents were members of the nobility and faithful Catholics. When he was nine years of age, Joseph lost both his parents.
However, Joseph and his younger brother, Nicholas, managed to study with the Jesuits. For college, he and his brother became resident students at the college in Zaragoza where Joseph contracted tuberculosis in 1953. The bout left him weak and frail for the rest of his life.
On May 8, 1753, Joseph entered the Jesuit novitiate and went to Tarragona — located on the Mediterranean coast about 50 miles southwest of Barcelona. Joseph continued his studies with the Jesuits and was ordained a priest in 1762 after nearly ten years of formation.
Immediately after Ordination, Joseph was sent back to Zaragoza to teach at the college and minister to the people. He became known as a peacemaker, especially in 1766. The people were enraged at a threatened famine and gathered to attack the governor’s palace. Fr. Pignatelli addressed the throng with his eloquence and logic and dispersed the mob.
King Charles III wrote a letter of thanks to Fr. Joseph for his part in averting violence. However, this episode and the letter did nothing to stop the hostility brewing against the Jesuits. Shortly after this incident, King Charles expelled them from Spain.
In 1767, when Fr. Joseph was just 30 years old, he and his brother were offered the chance to stay in Spain if they would give up their membership in the Jesuit order. Their noble lineage brought them such a privilege. They both refused to abandon the order, however, and set sail with 6,000 other expelled Jesuits who had been marches to the coast.
Their ship was headed for Italy but it was refused docking by several ports. Eventually, the Corsicans allowed them to land. Once they landed, Fr. Joseph — despite his weakened condition — organized the 300 priests and seminarians so that they could continue studying and living a somewhat communal life.
The Duchess of Acerra, Pignatelli’s sister, provided funds for Fr. Joseph to find food and housing for the exiled Jesuits. Under his leadership, the Jesuits managed to stay there for three years. During this time, Fr. Joseph labored to acquire all the books from the libraries and the other treasures of the Jesuits that had been confiscated from their institutions.
When the French acquired the island of Corsica, the men were once again forced to leave. “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head” (Matt. 8:20). Once again they set sail and this time they landed in Genoa. However, the situation became critical because the Jesuits from the Americas had also been expelled and were seeking shelter.
Then the final blow fell when Pope Clement XIV suppressed the entire order in August 1773, forcing the band of men to disperse.
Joseph and his brother, Nicholas, then traveled to Bologna, forced into early retirement and banned from priestly ministry when Joseph was age 36. Still, they made good use of their time by researching the origins and the history of the Jesuit order. Joseph gathered many of the Jesuit books and preserved them for prosperity.
In addition, he kept in touch with Jesuits all over the world. One of these with whom he communicated was the first bishop of the colonies that would become the United States of America. Bishop John Carroll urged him to preserve all Jesuit possessions in his diocese.
Slowly things seemed to be changing in favor of the Jesuits. Shortly after his election, Pope Pius VI granted permission for the Jesuits in Russia to remain in the order there. Encouraged by this development, Fr. Joseph planned to go to Russia where he could live out his vows.
However, there were many delays for various reasons and Fr. Pignatelli never made it to Russia. He did find favor with Ferdinand, the Duke of Parma, though. Even though the duke had violently driven the Jesuits out of his duchy in 1768, he had a change of heart and re-established the order. Sadly, Nicholas had already died from the wretched conditions like thousands of other Jesuits.
The duke received permission to invite three Jesuits from Russia to Parma. When Fr. Joseph learned of this, he wrote to Pope Pius VI and received verbal permission to open a small house and then to profess private vows. He became superior of the small group and also served as the master of novices in Colorno in 1799. In 1800, Pope Pius VII named him superior.
Permission was given to open another house but none could make their public vows unless they went to Russia, where the Orthodox religion flourished.
In 1801, the Jesuits were finally recognized in the small kingdom of Naples, Italy. At this time, Fr. Pignatelli became “Provincial” of the Jesuits there. A college and some Jesuit schools were opened in Sicily, but when the French acquired that island, the Jesuits were forced to flee once again.
Though still weak, Fr. Joseph managed to found Jesuits colleges in Rome, Tivoli, and Orvieto. Slowly, the Jesuits were invited to other cities. In 1807, after prudently avoiding conflict with Napoleon’s forces, Fr. Pignatelli obtained the restoration of the Jesuits in Sardinia.
With these small successes, Fr. Pignatelli had great hopes for the order. Sadly, before that happened, he fell ill from hemorrhaging. In October 1811 he became bedridden. He suffered for another month before he died peacefully on November 15, 1811. Just three years later, the labors of this poor, humble priest bore fruit when Pope Pius VII fully restored the Society of Jesus in 1814.
Dear St. Joseph Pignatelli, with your heroic virtues of loyalty to the Pope, obedience, prudence, and patience, you rescued the Jesuits from extinction. Help us during our struggles and confusion to hold on to the Truth and be confident in our obedience that your Church will not be overcome by the gates of Hell. Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Elects New Superior General

LINCOLN, Neb. — The general chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a society of apostolic life that celebrates the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, Monday elected Father Andrzej Komorowski as its next superior general. The July 9…Continue Reading

Catholic-heavy Supreme Court moves right as the church moves left

(RNS) — With his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Trump has succeeded in doing for the judicial branch what he has often failed or neglected to do in his administration: acting efficiently…Continue Reading

Election of the Superior General . . . Society of Saint Pius X

Election of the Superior General On July 11, 2018, Father Davide Pagliarani was elected Superior General, for a mandate of 12 years, by the 4th General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X. The new Superior General is 47…Continue Reading

Paradoxes and indicators of Capella’s and McCarrick’s cases

These days we will find out whether Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, the former advisor to the Washington nunciature that the Vatican sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for possession and distribution of “large quantities” of child pornography, will present an appeal…Continue Reading

Diocese led by pro-gay bishop says it’s ‘up to each parish’ whether to promote homosexuality

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic church in the heart of Appalachia has attracted media attention for the Gay Pride Month banner stretched across its front lawn. The local ordinary, Bishop John Stowe, has a record of collaborating with a…Continue Reading

Al Gore: Pope Francis a ‘moral force’ for solving climate crisis

(Vatican.news) Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former U.S. Vice President, Al Gore, is one of the world’s most vocal defenders of the environment. His 2007 documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, won an Oscar and his Climate Reality Project recently hosted…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops heading to border to tackle family separation issues

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A delegation of Catholic bishops from across the country are heading to the border on Monday. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will lead the delegation in its visit to the…Continue Reading

Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality ‘evil’, McAleese says

The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is “evil”, former president Mary McAleese has said. Speaking ahead of her inaugural participation in the Dublin Pride event on Saturday, where she will march with her son Justin and his husband, the former…Continue Reading

Senate Will Vote Before Elections on Replacing Pro-Abortion Justice Anthony Kennedy

The United States Senate will vote before the elections this November on a replacement for pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made that announcement today shortly after the surprising but welcome announcement that the longtime abortion…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider respond to Pope Francis’ inflight intercommunion comments

ROME, June 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The reception of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church — even in exceptional cases — by a Protestant or other non-Catholic constitutes a “lie” that betrays the Apostolic tradition and the Church’s constant practice…Continue Reading

German Bishops Publish Intercommunion Handout with a Rhetorical Trick

Today, the German bishops have published their very controversial pastoral handout which allows Protestant spouses of Catholics, in certain cases, to receive Holy Communion. Since Pope Francis, on 21 June, objected to a national bishops’ conference publishing such an official text, the…Continue Reading

Vikings host ‘LGBTQ summit’ to promote ‘inclusion’ in sports

EAGAN, Minnesota, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Minnesota Vikings are hosting a conference and fundraiser today for “LGBTQ inclusion in sports,” the first of its kind in the National Football League (NFL). The event will include speeches, interviews, and…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

British pro-lifers say abortion clinic ‘buffer zones’ harm women and children

London, England, Jul 12, 2018 / 12:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After a decision from the United Kingdom’s High Court, two women are attempting to overturn a ban on prayer and public discussion of abortion near a British abortion clinic. On July 2, the High Court of England and Wales upheld a “buffer zone” imposed by Ealing Council, west London, around a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. The zone prevents any pro-life gathering or speech, inc

Calligraphers face jail time for not promoting same-sex ‘weddings’

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Arizona calligraphy artists faced with fines and jail time for declining to take part in promoting gay “weddings” are asking the state’s Supreme Court to hear their challenge to the city of Phoenix’s law that compels them create artwork that violates their religious beliefs. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, face up to six months in jail, $2,500 in fines, and three

Bishop Paprocki disagrees with US bishops’ support for unions that fund abortion, LGBT

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, July 11, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – Hailed by free speech and religious liberty advocates alike, the United States Supreme Court recently ruled that public sector employees can no longer be required to pay mandatory fees to support unions which promote causes and political activities – including abortion – to which they are opposed. The ruling has also exposed a significant rift among the nation’s Catholic bishops. Despite public sector unions’ unabashe

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump’s choice to succeed the pro-abortion, pro-gay Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the president announced Monday night. Trump praised Kavanaugh’s committment to “equal justice under the law” and called him a “brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style.” He is “universally regarded as…one of the finest legal minds of our time.” Kavanaugh formerly clerked for Kennedy. “Justice Kennedy devoted his career to…Continue Reading

Prof fired by Catholic university for defending marriage has huge court win

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, July 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The professor forced out by a Jesuit-run Catholic university for blogging about an undergrad student being assailed by his teacher for his having voiced defense of marriage has won in court. In a landmark decision Friday the Wisconsin Supreme Court said Marquette University violated John McAdams’ right to free speech when it suspended him for writing the blog post, and it ordered the University to restore McAdams immediately with his full rank,…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Federal District Court . . . Orders End To HHS Mandate For Ave Maria Law School

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A federal district court issued an order Wednesday, July 11 that permanently prevents the federal government from enforcing the HHS mandate against a Catholic law school in Florida represented by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys. The order also declares that the mandate violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Obama-era mandate…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic … Old And New Tyrannies Borne Of Lust

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Book Review… What Man Does Not Reverence, He Will Profane

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Society and Sanity, by Frank Sheed (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2013), 261 pp. $17.95. Available from www.ignatius.com or at 1-800-651-1531. This new edition of Sheed’s 1953 classic work of apologetics brings to mind the famous myth of Procrustes’ bed. The wicked king captures his victims then tortures them if their legs do…Continue Reading

How Vice Can Absorb Virtue

By DONALD DeMARCO Just as the Devil is at war with God, so too, vices are at war with virtue. The Devil wants people to believe that God does not exist. He also wants people to believe that neither does virtue exist. He would like to demolish virtue. One way of achieving this is to…Continue Reading

Henan, China… New Limits Imposed On The Religious Freedom Of Catholics

BEIJING (AsiaNews) — The Chinese government is approving increasingly restrictive measures against Catholics in the central province of Henan. As Eglises d’Asie reports, five new rules have been imposed which include the requirement of religious working in the province to collect data and information on their faithful. A priest from the Diocese of Zhengzhou reports…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Leadership Studies?

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Air War College, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books. He has also taught at Notre Dame, Norwich, Auburn, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He serves in the Diocese…Continue Reading

Sheep Without A Shepherd

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Jer. 23:1-6 Eph. 2:13-18 Mark 6:30-34 In the first reading today, God speaks a word of woe through the Prophet Jeremiah to the shepherds who mislead the Lord’s flock entrusted to their care. God says that these shepherds scattered the flock and drove them away and did not…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . In Death The Church Gives Everything

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Funerals, as many priests have learned, can often be pastorally challenging and problematic episodes. Grieving family members who are not dealing with death on a regular basis by practicing their faith are suddenly confronted with its reality upon the passing of a parent or other family member. Parents who have to bury a child sometimes…Continue Reading

Martin Luther… The Man And The Myth

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 (Editor’s Note: As this October marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Raymond de Souza is taking a break from his usual apologetics to correct the popular image of Luther.) + + + In the last article, I quoted from…Continue Reading

The Anatomy Of A Moral Act

By DON FIER Last week, as we considered the role that human freedom plays in the economy of salvation, it was immediately acknowledged that “man’s freedom is limited and fallible” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1739). Free will, so wondrously bestowed upon man as an essential element of his great dignity of being created “in the image and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica Giuliani

By CAROLE BRESLIN In July, the month of the Precious Blood, the Catholic Church remembers saints by the name of Veronica. On July 12, the memorial of Veronica (meaning “true image”), the saint from the first century who presented her veil to wipe the face of Jesus, is celebrated. Three days before that, on July 9, St. Veronica Giuliani is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord had a special love for the poor when He walked this earth. At one time He rebuked one of the apostles, saying, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matt. 26:11). Rather than avoiding the destitute or shun the homeless, Christians are called to love them as we love ourselves. At the beginning of…Continue Reading