The Society of Jesus [Societas Iesu/Jesu (S.J.) in Latin] was formed by St. Ignatius of Loyola and his First Companions. The Society was approved by Pope Paul III on 27 September, 1540. St. Ignatius of Loyola was born in the Basque province of Spain in 1491. In his youth, young Ignatius was filled with thoughts of valour and chivalry. He had joined the forces of the Duke of Navarre and while defending a fortress at a place called Pamplona in 1523 against French troops. During the battle his left knee was shattered by a cannon ball. During the period of his convalescence, he had a deep conversion experience and decided to join God’s forces. The Society of Jesus was designated by St. Ignatius ‘The Company of Jesus’ to indicate its true leader. St. Ignatius began his self-reform, possessed with the idea of the imitation of Christ, without any plan for a Religious Order or purpose of attending to the needs of the days. Unexpectedly prevented from carrying out this idea, he offered his services and those of his followers to the Pope to serve God and His people.
The Jesuits understand themselves and their spirituality as given in GC 34: “In remorse, gratitude, and astonishment—but above all with passionate love—first Ignatius, and then every Jesuit after him, has turned prayerfully to ‘Christ hanging on the Cross before me,’ and has asked of himself, ‘What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What must I do for Christ?’ This is the foundational grace that binds Jesuits to Jesus and to one another. Today we bring this counter-cultural gift of Christ to a world beguiled by self-centered human fulfillment, extravagance, and soft living, a world that prizes prestige, power, and self-sufficiency. In such a world, to preach Christ poor and humble, with fidelity and courage, is to expect humiliation, persecution, and even death. We have seen this happen to our brothers in recent years. Yet we move forward resolutely out of our ‘desire to resemble and imitate in some manner our Creator and Lord Jesus Christ–since he is the way which leads men to life.” A Jesuit’s vocation is to be a catalyst in bringing about social change. The General Congregation 35 defines the Jesuit in the following words: ‘A Jesuit is a fire that enkindles other fires’.
Today, the Jesuits number over 18,000. They are engaged in ministries in 112 nations in six continents. Their work is focused on education and intellectual contributions, primarily at colleges and universities, as well as missionary work and ministry in human rights and social justice.
St. Vincent (Night) College of Commerce is managed by the Poona Jesuit Schools’ Society (PJSS), a Charitable Trust. The names of the officials of the PJSS are given below:
- Fr. Bhausaheb Sansare, S.J. – Chairman
- Fr. Robert Das, S.J. – Secretary
- Fr. Mario Fernandes, S.J. – Treasurer