January 1st - Titular Feast of the Society of Jesus
By the consultation in Vicenca in the year 1538 Ignatius and his companions asked themselves the question how they should call their community, if they were asked after its name. They decided unanimously for the designation
Societas of Jesus
For Ignatius this name was the dearest wish. He had obviously held it ready for a longer time already, and insisted always with great deciveness on that designation.
We find the name 'Societas of Jesus' in the introduction to the Constitutions, in the Examen (1), in the Summary (1).
The confirmation bull of Paul III (Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae 1540) gave legal power to the desired name. Pope Julius III affirmed that first confirmation by the bull 'Exposcit debitum' from 1550.
The only epithet reads: Minima SJ.
In the prayer of the today's liturgy we ask:
let us also in the new year
always and everywhere experience
the intercession of our gracious Mother Mary.
Change our hearts, so that we understand
what you want to tell us by your word today.
Let us progress on the way
upon which Christ has called us.
Let us serve you every day
in holiness and justice,
and lead us within this year
nearer to you. Amen.
Peter Knauer SJ