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Jesuit Priests Essay, Research Paper

The Jesuit community was founded in the year 1540. Jesuit, or the Society of Jesus, played an important role in the renewal of the Catholic Church. Most of the early Jesuits were scholars, teachers, and also trained as missionaries. Some were also preachers who devoted all of their time to helping the sick, imprisoned, and wounded soldiers. In the year 1556, there were about a thousand Jesuits. One hundred years later, there were nearly fifteen thousand. After the next one hundred years, the numbers had nearly doubled. As you can see, the work done by these traveling men of God, was a very respectable one.

There were a great number of Jesuit priests who came over to North America also. These men were very well know, some of them were more known for their exploring, rather than for their missionary work. One of the most popular explorers of the North American continent is father Jacques Marquette.

Father Marquette established the first permanent mission to the local Chippewas in the year 1671. Along with partner, Louis Joliet, a well renowned French explorer, Marquette has reached fame by being remembered to most as the man that discovered the Northern Mississippi. They were the first people other than Indians to do so.

Father Marquette, as he was known, was born in Laon France. In the year 1666, he arrived in Canada, and was schooled in the languages, and the ways of the different Indian tribes that he lived with. For about 2 years, he did missions work in the areas now known as Michigan, and Wisconsin, until the year 1671, when he met his colleague to be, Louis Jolliet.

Jolliet as Marquette, was raised in a Jesuit mission. Three years before he met Marquette, Jolliet decided not to be a priest. Once Marquette was joined with his companion, the two had endless places to go. The two joined forces, and traveled across Lake Michigan, and all the way down the Mississippi. Once they met the Arkansas River, the two turned back.

Father Marquette is just one of the most famous Jesuit priests to come to North America during the Catholic Reformation. The job that these men did is a never-ending one for many people of spreading the ideas of their religion throughout the world. One of the ways that Jesuits differed themselves from ordinary clergymen was the fact that they wanted to get out into the world, and share their religion. Monks and other clergymen wanted to keep to themselves, and stayed isolated, and away from all sins. Jesuits felt different about this, and they decided the only way that other people would learn of their own catholic religion was through interaction with the people themselves. The Jesuits originated in Europe, and spread Catholicism throughout the continent of Asia, and all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to the Indians of North America. These were the first real missionaries.

As described in the following paragraph, the Jesuits are men of God who believe strongly in their religion. Strong enough to take it to the opposite side of the world, and explore new lands that had never been seen, or even imagined by domestic people in their time period.


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