The Jesuits Counter Reformation History, Facts and Information

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Society of Jesus or the Jesuits established as evangelical arm of Catholics. Jesuits were very successful against Protestantism throughout Europe. Jesuits had very strict rules of order. They established schools for education and indoctrination and spread Catholicism to India, China and Spanish America revitalizing the Church. The Inquisition began. 

The Jesuits came about during the Counter Reformation. The Counter Reformation was the Catholic Church’s response to the reformation. The Catholic Church had become corrupt, its clergy and officials corrupt and immoral. Martin Luther said it all in his 95 thesis, which was a list of the corruption he saw in the Church. Martin Luther was particularly inflamed by the belief that salvation could be purchased through the indulgences.

From the Counter Reformation came the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. They established missions throughout the world and lived a very pious life. The Jesuits practiced celibacy and believed in martyring themselves.

The Jesuits accompanied the French in Canada to establish missions to convert the natives. They did not try to convert the Indians into French men and women. They only wished to convert the natives to the Catholic faith. The Jesuits had a hard time surviving in the wilderness without the Indians.

The Indians thought the Jesuits odd because of their effeminate robes, beards and because their practice of celibacy. However, the Jesuits won many converts. The Indians thought the Jesuits had some kind of power because the Jesuits were immune to the deadly diseases that were brought by the Europeans the Jesuits also had a knack for languages. The Indians were quite impressed at how quickly the Jesuits learned their native tongues.