5 ways Jesuits have made an impact on the world

For 500 years, the Jesuits have been making an impact on the world. Here are five examples of Jesuit influence both past and present. 

St. Ignatius conceived of the Jesuits as a highly mobile order. Instead of settling in one place, they were expected to go where the needs of the Church were greatest. As a result, Jesuits were often on the cutting edge of cross-cultural understanding and discovery. Their missionary work in India, China and Japan helped introduce these civilizations to the West. Jesuits also founded Sao Paolo, Brazil, and charted large stretches of the Amazon and Mississippi rivers.

The Jesuit tradition emphasizes intellectual curiosity, and Jesuits have made a variety of important discoveries over the years. A Jesuit is credited with developing the Gregorian Calendar, as well as the decimal point. Jesuit’s Bark, a remedy for malaria, was originally described and introduced by Jesuit missionaries working in Peru.

As seen on film
You know you’ve arrived when your likeness appears in film. Jesuits have been portrayed in many movies, the most famous of which are "The Exorcist" and "The Mission". There have also been rumors that Jedi Knights are based on the Jesuits.

Men on the moon
Thirty-five craters on the moon are named for Jesuits in honor of their contributions to science and astronomy.

The Jesuits didn’t set out to be educators, but what better way to impact the greatest number of people? Today, there are 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States and 100 institutions of higher learning in 27 countries worldwide. Among others, Jesuits have educated Bill Clinton, Descartes, Alfred Hitchcock, James Joyce and Voltaire – not to mention Campbell Brown, Bing Crosby, Chris Farley, Geraldine Ferraro, Salma Hayek, Vince Lombardi and Denzel Washington.

Find out how a Jesuit education can prepare you to do great things.