German Version

December 29th 1926 - University Sankt Georgen

After the re-establishment of the Society of Jesus in the year 1814 the Order had a philosophical-theological study centre in Fribourg in Switzerland for its German branch.

After the Sonderbundskrieg 1847, in consequence of which the Jesuits had to leave Switzerland, the Order shifted the 'Scholastics' (students) first to Paderborn (1856-1863). In the year 1863 it acquired the former Benedictine Abbey Maria Laach (in 1093 founded, secularized in 1802).

But due to the Kulturkampf already in 1872 took place the expulsion of the Jesuits from Germany. They found a refuge in Ditton Hall (England). There Lady Stapleton had left her large country house to the banished German Jesuits. There the theological study stayed up to the removal into the new built Ignatius College in Valkenburg (Holland) in August 1895.

The abolition of the 'Jesuitengesetz' in 1917 suggested a resettlement to Germany. This wish met with that of the diocese Limburg to send its theology students no longer to Fulda but to educate them in the own diocese.

Already in 1917 the Limburg Vicar General Höhler (1913-1920) took up contact with the Society of Jesus. Bishop Augustinus Kilian had the intention to establish at the new Frankfurt University a theological faculty, and to entrust it, according to the Innsbruck model, to the Jesuits. That idea however could not be realized. But according to Prussian law the bishop was authorized to have in his diocese his own, nationally recognized theological institute. The diocese Limburg with the Imperial City Frankfurt belonged at that time to Prussia. This project was promoted particularly by Nuncio Pacelli, who thought of a centre of scholastic theology in the German speaking area.

In the year 1926 it came to the conclusion of an agreement between the diocese and the Society of Jesus. That agreement was submitted to the government. It declared its assent and gave on December 29th 1926 the national acknowledgment. Now one hoped for a fast removal from the university in Valkenburg to Frankfurt, where the Order had already purchased in the district Sachsenhausen the Grunelius' estate. Contrary to all expectations the realization was delayed because of the political events - Nazi Period and World War II. The Jesuits stayed in Valkenburg up to the liquidation of the house by the Gestapo in the year 1942. After the war the scholasticate was accommodated first provisionally in Büren (1945-50). Only 1950 it moved finally to Frankfurt.

For twenty years the university worked separately for Scholastics and Alumni. Both groups had their own instructions, and partially also different professors. The lack of instructors forced to lay together the instructions. That wholesome obligation helped to the breakthrough of Father Ludwig Köster's original thought of an undivided university.

In the year 1980 took place the national acknowledgment of Sankt Georgen as a university with university rank. On May 10th 1982 followed the right to bestow the doctor degree in theology, and on June 14th 1983 that of the licentiate - also with effect for the national range.


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