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The Congregation and the Society of Jesus

So began the revolt against Rome, which soon spread to other lands under other leaders. One of these, the Frenchman Calvin, had fled from France -- where the reformers were being persecuted -- to Geneva. There he made himself "Pope and Emperor" of the reformed church, and ruled with a rod of iron. He even caused a heretic to be called before the Inquisition and "to be burnt at a slow fire on evidence supplied by Calvin in seventeen letters."

Calvin's influence in the world was more widespread than Luther's, for his teaching was followed by the Swiss, the Dutch, the Huguenots of France, and the Puritans of England, Scotland, and America, and he had a great influence on all their schools. His church system had no place for bishops. In his eyes every man who preached the Word might be presbyter or elder of the "congregation."

Thus, new reformed churches sprang into being. But the Roman Church was also reformed. Once again there were saintly popes. Above all, a new order of monks, called the Society of Jesus, was founded by a Spaniard, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and, like the Friars of old, the Jesuits went forth into all parts of the world to put down heresy and convert the heathen. They "planted their missionary stations among Peruvian mines, in the markets of the African slave-trade, among the islands of the Indian Ocean, on the coasts of Hindustan, in the cities of Japan and China, in the recesses of Canadian forests, amid the wilds of the Rocky Mountains."

St. Ignatius was indeed one of the greatest organizers of victory the world has ever seen.