Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus. A Christian religious order of the Catholic Church founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola on August 15, 1534. This religious order is better known by the name "Jesuits" ("Soldiers of Christ"). The Order is the largest of men in the Catholic Church. It has presence is 112 nations on six continents with over 20,000 members, working in the fields of education, intellectual research, cultural pursuits, missionary work, human rights and social justice. It founded many schools in the US, including Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, Loyola University Chicago and in D.C. In the world it has about 56 university centers and 400,000 students, 28 Jesuit universities and colleges in the United States.
Ignatius of Loyola wrote the Jesuit Constitutions, which created a tightly centralized organization and stressed absolute self-abnegation and obedience to Pope. Jesuits do not have an official habit.
Christ as the model of human life.
The spirituality practiced by the Jesuits, called Ignatian spirituality, is based on the Catholic faith and the Gospels. The purpose of St. Ignatius's "Spiritual Exercises" is to conquer oneself and to regulate one's life, based solely on the discern of God's will, who is ever active in people's lives.