German Version

August 15th 1534 - Montmartre

On the morning of the feast Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Ignatius (43), Faber (28) and Xaver (28), Bobadilla (25), Rodrigues (24), Laínez (22) and Salmerón (only 19) went through the city-gate up to the at that time lonely hill Montmartre. A nunnery of the Benedictines crowned the hill.
On half height of the hill stood peacefully a very old, devout small church, a chapel of Our Lady. It was dedicated to the memory of St Dionysius, the first bishop of Paris, who according to the tradition suffered here with his companions the martyr's death.

Among the companions the Savoyard Peter Faber was the only priest. On May 30th he had just been ordained priest by the bishop from Paris, and had on July 22the said his First Mass, in which the companions took part.
During the Mass, before the Holy Communion, Faber turned to his companions, holding the Communion wafer above the paten. Kneeling at his place one after the other one said with loud voice the formula of the vows, by which they promised poverty, chastity, and a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and, if they could not get there, obedience against the Holy Father, the 'Governor of Christ', for any mission. When the last had said his vows, Faber handed the Holy Communion to all of them. Then he turned toward the altar and said the same vows himself, likewise with loud voice and took afterwards the Lord's Body and Blood.

After Thanks Saying the seven companions went up the hill to the nunnery, where they delivered the key. Then they went down on the northwest side to the close Well of St Dionysius (today Rue Girardon 5). Here, in the quiet solitude of the vineyards, the small group ate the brought along lunch, and spent the rest of the mild summer day. The sun went down already in the west, when the seven companions began their way home.

In the hearts of the seven Parisian friends the memory of that solemn hour should never die out. Bobadilla reported later that he regarded that day as the day of the foundation of the Society of Jesus and similarly did Rodrigues.

In lively consultations they had agreed to live after the end of their studies, for which was determined the beginning of the year 1537, to serve God in perfect poverty, to lead a virginal life, to help the souls, and to go to the Holy Land.
Ignatius added some conditions to those vows: If the passage should prove impossible within a year, or if they should not stay indefinitely in Palestine, or if the majority of them judged it better to return again to the Occident: then they would place themselves in Rome to the Pope's disposal.

It was a private pilgrim vow. It did not contain the promise of obedience, and there was no actual social element in the sense of integration into a community.

Also in the year after, on August 15th 1535, the companions renewed the vow. The two students who had joined them made also the vow, i.e. the Frenchman Paschasius Broet from North France and Claude Le Jay from Savoyen.

The same happened also one year later, on August 15th 1536. For the first time Jean Codure was there, likewise a Frenchman from Seyne in the Provence.

It is remarkable that no Italian was among the ten first companions. The first Italian Jesuit was Peter Codacio, who originated from Lodi by Milan, and who followed Ignatius in 1539.

 

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Link to 'Public Con-Spiracy for the Poor'