September 23rd 1590 - Bobadilla Nicolás Alonso
† in Loreto
He was named simply Bobadilla - after his native place Bobadilla del Camino in the diocese Palencia in Old-Castilia. There he was born about the year 1509. Ignatius had won the Parisian student by his Spiritual Exercises for his friend circle. He belongs to the seven companions of Montmartre.
Bobadilla was the first Jesuit who was banished from German countries by Emperor Charles V, after he had worked there for six years with great success. He was during his whole life preacher and missionary in Germany and Austria. He accompanied Nuncio Verallo and was active as theological adviser, especially in Augsburg at the negotiations which preceded the 'Interim', the agreement between Catholics and Protestants. That Interim allowed among other things the Communion under both species, and the marriage of priests. Bobadilla turned so sharply against it that he excited the Emperor's disgust, who then let exile him.
Bobadilla went to Rome and put Ignatius into a dilemma. On the one hand Ignatius did not want to annoy the Emperor; on the other hand he knew that also Pope Paul III opposed the Interim.
Without doubt, Bobadilla had a difficult character. His own companions have judged him quite hard. They called him extravagant and unbalanced, harsh and rustic like his homeland, an enemy of all hypocrisy and flattery, who wore always his heart on his sleeves, and said his opinions to everybody's face without circumlocutions. He was pert, affable, and talkative. Gladly he talked about himself, his many studies, and experiences. He could also be obstinate and wilful. With all that he was fiery, energetic, self-sacrificing, and filled with enthusiasm for the kingdom of God.
In April 1548 he left Germany. He did pastoral work in Italy and Dalmatia, and went thereby through seventy dioceses. With the formation of the constitution his contribution was rather impeding and confounding than promoting, as it corresponded to his emotional nature.
Toward Ignatius he could express himself very insulting. Already in 1543 he had written Ignatius that he was too busy to read Ignatius' letter, and to adapt his correspondence to the form prescribed by Ignatius.
Bobadilla was against Ignatius' style of leadership. He called him a 'tyrant' and said frankly that some rules of the Order had not to be observed. He swore by the spirit of freedom and wished less organization. He called the Statutes 'an impenetrable labyrinth'. One can understand that Ignatius never entrusted to him an executive function in the Order - perhaps only once in Naples.
Nadal expressed himself devastating about Bobadilla, who was also indignant that he had not been included into the preparations for the General Congregation. Bobadilla intrigued also with the Pope and convinced him that the companions of the first hour were ignored by Laínez, Polanco, and Nadal. In that point he was occasionally supported by Rodrigues and Broët.
Of the first companions Bobadilla lived longest. He took part in the election of the four first Generals: Ignatius in 1541, Laínez in 1558, Francisco de Borja in 1565 and Mercurian in 1573. He died in the important place of pilgrimage Loreto, in the province Ancona, close to the Adria, on September 23rd 1590, at the age of approx. eighty. Places of pilgrimage were highly esteemed by Ignatius, and by the whole early Society of Jesus.
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