January 31st 1615 - Death of Father General Aquaviva
Grand times for the Society of Jesus were the years between Ignatius' death and the death of the Neapolitan Claudius Aquaviva, the fifth General of the Order. The Society of Jesus was prominent in science, literature and pedagogy. It controlled the lecturer's desks, the confessionals, the academies. It controlled thereby a considerable part of the key positions for public opinion.
In that time Laínez and Salmerón were special agents at the Council of Trent. They had decisive influence on its resolutions. In that time it came to the intellectual renewal of the Catholic position by Suarez and Bellarmin. In that time the educational work of Nadal brought its results. In that time Petrus Canisius recovered half Germany.
Protestantism controlled at that time the north of Europe and Catholicism the south. Both sides had large talents. And both sides were involved into various mistakes. At the beginning Protestantism seemed to have far better chances, but Rome was finally victorious.
Aquaviva was for thirty-four years the General of the Order. Of special importance for the cultural development of Europe was the 'Ratio studiorum' (1586), which had been ordered by him and is recognized as programmatic work.
Aquaviva died in Rome on January 31st 1615.