How many Jesuit saints are there?
There are 53. St. Ignatius was canonized in 1622, and 52 additional Jesuits have followed him into sainthood thus far.
When Galileo proposed the idea that the Earth revolved around the sun, it was a Jesuit who informed him that his theory was contrary to biblical teaching. Who broke the bad news? (Hint: A residence hall at Loyola is named after him.)
Robert Bellarmine, S.J., was given orders from Pope Paul V in 1616 to tell Galileo that his theory of heliocentricity could not be supported by the Church. Born to an impoverished Italian family with noble roots, Bellarmine entered the Jesuits and became a renowned teacher, writer, and advisor to popes.
Salvador Dali, Alfred Hitchcock, and John Lennon have all stayed in the historic Manhattan hotel named after this Jesuit saint, who was known for his hospitality to travelers.
John Francis Regis, S.J., was a 17th century French priest who spent his life serving the poor and marginalized. In 1904, New York’s St. Regis Hotel was named after him, and today his name is on an international chain of hotels—as well as a Loyola residence hall.
This famous Jesuit was a missionary in Japan when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, but he is not a saint (yet).
Pedro Arrupe, S.J., was a Spaniard who served as a missionary in Japan during World War II and was imprisoned after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Upon his release, he ministered to survivors of the Hiroshima bombing. The namesake of Loyola’s Arrupe College, he is now on the path toward sainthood.
Former U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Wills, and baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning all attended the American university named for which 16th century Jesuit?
Francis Xavier, S.J., a missionary and one of the original companions of St. Ignatius, has colleges named after him in countries around the world, including India, Australia, Nepal, and the Philippines. Boehner, Wills, and Bunning all attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
This Englishman won the favor of Queen Elizabeth I—until he left the Church of England and entered a Catholic seminary in France. Upon returning as a Jesuit missionary, he was arrested and executed. Who was he?
Edmund Campion, S.J., knew it was risky to return to his home country of England to preach the Catholic faith. After Campion’s arrest, Queen Elizabeth herself offered him the chance to renounce Catholicism but he refused the queen’s offer.
Some people went to great lengths to join the Jesuits—literally. Which 16th century saint walked 350 miles to Rome to enter the order?
The son of a Polish nobleman, Stanislaus Kostka, S.J., defied his family’s wishes to leave Poland and join the Jesuits. He never completed his formation, however, and died at the age of 17 while still a Jesuit novice.
This Jesuit was a firm believer that actions speak louder than words, having been quoted as saying, “We must speak to them with our hands before we speak to them with our lips.”
Peter Claver, S.J., was born in Spain and discovered the Jesuit order while studying philosophy in college. He evangelized the Catholic faith in Colombia, where he baptized and ministered to the needs of more than 300,000 slaves over 34 years.
This Italian Jesuit, who served as a missionary in India, has a first-year residence hall at Loyola named after him.
Roberto de Nobili, S.J., was an Italian noble who was related to two popes—but chose to join the Society of Jesus and preach the Gospel in Southern India.
Actress Cate Blanchett didn’t attend a Jesuit university, but she did name one of her children after this famous Jesuit saint whose name means “fiery one.”
The name Ignatius reached its peak of popularity in the early 20th century but Blanchett chose it for her third son in 2008. The name of the Society of Jesus founder means “fiery”—appropriately enough for someone who wanted to set the world on fire.