By Joseph McCabe

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Sample text

Orlandini naively confesses, however, that at the election 17 -_ tius gave a blank vote, and we can hardly suppose that he was so far lost in contemplation as to be unaware that a blank vote was a vote for himself. Further, the result of the second ballot plainly suggests that, if Ignatius had again refused to accept the office, Favre would have been appointed. It is difficult to doubt that he intended from the first to hold the office of General, and indeed it would have been ludicrous for them to appoint any other.

That this account may be typical of these early Jesuit reports of missions. To learn Gaelic and traverse the whole of Ireland, or any large part of it, in thirty-four days (Orlandini), in the sixteenth century, and in circumstances which compelled them to travel with the greatest prudence, would assuredly be a miracle, especially when we are told that for some time even the common folk shrank from them, and it is hinted that the scattered Irish priests were unfriendly. Apparently they travelled a little in disguise, or hid in the farms here and there, for a few weeks, granting indulgences and dispensations, probably through some Gaelic interpreter, until the English officials heard of The their presence and put a price on their heads.

Frivolity and good-living are the only vices charged, whatever we may suspect. The students stooped to writing sonnets, and the King’s money provided plenty of good cheer. Ignatius felt that Father Simon had lost his fervour at the court, deposed him from office-he was Provincial (or head of the province)-and ordered him to go either The piety of Rodriguez had to Brazil or Aragon. evidently deteriorated, and he made a struggle to hold his place. He was a handsome and comfortable man, THE FIRST JESUITS 47 much liked for his liberality.

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