Clemens PP. XIV. Ad perpetuam rei memoriam. Dominus, ac Redemptor… Roma, 21 luglio 1773 [Datum Romae apud Sanctam Mariam Majorem sub annulo Piscator. die XXI. Julii MDCCLXXIII. Pontificatus nostri anno quinto]

Autore: CLEMENTE PP. XIV (Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli, 1705-1774)


Dati tipografici: Roma, 1773

Formato: in quarto

Suppression and restoration of the Society of Jesus

4to (245x180 mm). 23, [1] pp. Collation: A8 B4. Pope Clemens XIV's woodcut coat of arms between the Saints Peter and Paul. Decorated initials. Text printed in two columns, in Latin and Italian. At l. B3r begins the brief Clemens PP. XIV. Ad perpetuam rei memoriam. Gravissimis ex causis nuper Nos…, issued on 13 August 1773 and signed by Cardinal A. Nigronius. Some marginal foxing, light dampstain to the lower half of the booklet.

(bound with:)

PIO VII (Barnaba Niccolò Maria LuigiChiaramonti, 1742-1823). Sanctissimi in Christo Patris et Domini nostri Domini […] Pii Divina Providentia Papæ septimi Constitutio qua Societas Jesu in statum pristinum in Universo Orbe Catholico restituitur. Romae, apud Francisum, et Felicem Lazzarini, Florentiæ, Typis Regiæ Celsitudinis, 1814 [Datum Romae apud Sanctam Mariam Majorem Anno Incarnationis Dominicae Millesimo Octingentesimo Quartodecimo Septimo Idus Augusti Pontificatus Nostri Anno quintodecimo].

8vo (214x150 mm). 8 pp. Pius VII's woodcut coat of arms on the title page. Uncut.

The two bulls are sewn together in contemporary blue-coloured wrappers bearing the titles on the front cover. Preserved in a modern cloth case.

One of several editions printed in the same year, in Latin and many other different languages, of the famous bull “Dominus ac Redemptor” of 21 July 1773, which finally suppressed the Jesuit Order. This edition also contains the brief issued on 13 August 1773, which enforced the previous bull and appointed the commissioners to superintend its implementation. The Society of Jesus had been founded in 1540 under Paul III.

“This remarkable document opens by citing a long series of precedents for the suppression of the religious orders by the Holy See, amongst which occurs the ill-omened instance of the Templars. It then briefly sketches the objects and history of the Jesuits themselves. It speaks of their defiance of their own constitution, expressly revived by Paul V, forbidding them to meddle in politics; of the great ruin to souls caused by their quarrels with local ordinaries and the other religious orders, their condescension to heathen usages in the East, and the disturbances, resulting in persecutions of the Church, which they had stirred up even in Catholic countries, so that several popes had been obliged to punish them. Seeing then that the Catholic sovereigns had been forced to expel them, that many bishops and other eminent persons demanded their extinction, and that the Society had ceased to fulfil the intention of its institute, the pope declared it necessary for the peace of the Church that it should be suppressed” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, New York, 1911, XV, pp. 346).

The Jesuits were first banned from the territories of Portugal, Spain, France, and Naples, and from the colonies of South and Central America. At the same time the Bourbon sovereigns ruling over those countries exerted strong pressure on Clement XIV, inducing him in the end, “for the peace of the Church”, to issue the bull “Dominus ac Redemptor” of suppression of the Order. According to contemporary practice, however, the bull was to be ratified by the sovereigns of state: this explains why the Compagnia survived in Prussia and Russia.

Bound together is a Florentine reprint of the first Roman edition of the famous bull of 7 August 1814, with which Pius VII restored the Society of Jesus. In the chapel of the congregation of the Roman nobility, in the presence of a large crowd and in front of 150 Jesuits ordered before the suppression, Pius VII publicly read the bull “Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum”, with which the Society was reconstituted to all intents and purposes. The Jesuits then, in groups or alone, were allowed to return to the lands from which they had been banned 70 years ago and reopen churches and schools.