Friday, March 11, 2011

Fr. James Laynez, S.J. Venetian Lent In 1545

The Jesuit Church in Venice, Italy
Before the Carnival, two young men, who had openly derided the worship of saints, the power of the Church, and the indulgences of Popes, 
were induced to make a recantation in public; others brought Lutheran books and burnt them; many Papists abstained from carnival diversions, and, during Lent, a large multitude were reconciled to the Church. 
If the historians of the Company were the only relaters, we might imagine that those recantations were the effect of conviction; but contemporary evidence, with knowledge of the uniform custom of Inquisitors in all such cases, places it beyond all doubt that Fr. Diego Laynez , S.J.was merely a person of the drama, and that the "great multitude" that renounced the doctrine of the Gospel in Venice was impelled by terror. 
After the labours of Lent and Easter, many who had been shriven by the Jesuit brought him the accustomed offerings; but he refused to accept them, declaring, from the pulpit, that the discipline of his Company forbade its members to accept gifts on such an account; a
nd, glorying in the reputation of poverty and voluntary mendicity, he remained until autumn in the hospital of St. John and St. Paul.
Link (here) to read the full account in the book entitled, Celebrated Jesuits.

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