Nov. 2, 1769 -- 240 years ago -- Jesuits were expelled from the Marianas, leaving all possessions behind. The Jesuits left the spiritual responsibilities of Guam with the fathers of the Order of St. Augustin; their farms soon lay fallow and the animals ran wild.
Jesuit land holdings were extensive. Their major properties consisted of all churches and rectories in Guam and Rota, the College of San Juan de Letran and all that pertained to it, an apothecary, and several ranches, which were well kept and well stocked.Because of their expanding political power, influence and wealth, the Jesuits were jealously feared by monarchs and other religious orders in Europe. As a consequence, the destruction of the order was planned by the European heads of state. The Jesuits were expelled from Portugal in 1759, from France in 1764, and on Feb. 27, 1767, Charles III of Spain issued the proclamation of confiscation of all Spanish possessions of Jesuits and Jesuit land. All Jesuits were required to return to Spain.