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About the Jesuits

Francis Xavier

The Society of Jesus is a Catholic men's religious congregation founded by seven friends led by Saint Ignatius de Loyola (1491-1556), the headquarters of which is currently in Rome.
One of the founders, St. Francis Xavier (1506–1552), first introduced Christianity to Japan when he arrived in Japan in 1549. After that, the Jesuits worked on the growth of the Japanese church until the persecution during the Tokugawa shogunate made it an impossibility
In the modern era, after the Meiji government lifted the ban on Christian missions, the Jesuits returned to Japan in 1908, and in response to Pope Pius X's intention, Sophia University was established in Tokyo.
Currently, in Japan, educational activities are conducted at Sophia University in Tokyo and Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima, and four junior high schools in Hyogo, Kanagawa, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. Other ministries include parish pastoral work, the social apostolate, and spiritual accompaniment through retreat giving.
In addition, the Jesuits, as a missionary order, carry out international apostolic activities. With approximately 20,000 members worldwide, the Jesuits are engaged in a wide range of services to bring the gospel to the modern world, such as missions, education, prayer and spiritual direction, writing and publishing.

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