Society of Jesus
From Ignatian Wiki
The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Jesu -S.J.- or Societas Iesu -S.I.-) is a Christian religious order of the Catholic Church in direct service to the Pope. Its members, known as Jesuits since the Protestant Reformation, have been called "Soldiers of Christ", first, and "Footsoldiers of the Pope", second, in part because the Society's founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, was a soldier before he became a priest. Today, Jesuits number 20,170, (with 14,147 priests), and comprise the largest religious order of men in the Catholic Church. Jesuit priests and brothers are engaged in ministries in 112 nations on six continents. Their work is focused on education and intellectual contributions, primarily at colleges and universities, as well as missionary work and ministry in human rights and social justice.
The Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage of Madonna Della Strada, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is led by a Superior General, presently Adolfo Nicolás. The General Curia of the Society is headquartered in Rome. Its historic complex of buildings includes the Church of the Gesu, the Jesuit Mother Church.