|A depiction of the execution of Fr. Gabriel Malagrida, S.J.|
Pope Francis is the first Latin American pope. He is also the first jesuit to become pope. The Jesuits and Brazil have a long history which the jesuits have certainly not forgotten. During the 18th century, it was from Brazil that the jesuits were first expelled. The frontier between Brazil and what would later become Argentina was one of the key locations of the conflict which pitted the jesuits against the crowns of Portugal and Spain.
The Treaty of Madrid, of 1750, was the first negotiated settlement of the land frontiers in South America between the two Iberian powers. Portuguese claims to the inland frontier were upheld. In return they ceded to Spain the Colonia do Sacramento, on the northern bank of the rio de la Plata. The land of the seven jesuit missions, previously under the control of Spain, would become Portuguese. The treaty envisioned the evacuation of the Uruguayan jesuit missions and their Guarani neophytes, as well as over a million head of cattle, across the Uruguayan river. The Jesuits opposed this, and the jesuit missions took up arms. A joint Spanish and Portuguese military force was sent to defeat them. Pombal, who was the principal minister in Lisbon, and his brother, who was the governor of Para, were also in conflict with the jesuit missions in the Amazon. As with the Guarani in the south, in the Amazon Pombal intended to emancipate the Indians and to encourage their intermarriage with European settlers. This collided with the most basic philosophical tenet of the protectionist Indian policy of the jesuits. But Pombal was supported by the Brazilian colonists with whom the jesuits had long been in conflict over access to Indian labour. The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 aggravated the situation. In 1758, a failed assassination of the king of Portugal provided Pombal with an excuse to crack down on aristocratic and jesuit opposition.
The Jesuit Gabriel Malagrida was, in 1761, accused of complicity and was sentenced by the Inquisition. He was the last person to be burnt at the stake in Lisbon. Pombal sponsored a virulent public campaign throughout catholic Europe against the Jesuits. In 1773, pope Clement XIV, a Franciscan friar, suppressed the Jesuits.
When he died unexpectedly the following year it was rumoured that he had inadvertently taken poison disguised in his chocolate drink. Pope Francis knows this Jesuit history. As do the cardinals who elected him. They joked that the new pope should take the title of Clement XV.Link (here)