Charles de Noyelle General # 12

General from 1682 to 1686



He was born in Brussels in Belgium in 1615 and entered the Society at the age of 15 in 1630.
He was 67 years old when, on July 5, he was elected unanimously by the delegates of the 12th General Congregation, which had its opening session on June 22 and was to end on September 6, 1682.

For him his four years and five months as General was sheer agony with Jesuits caught between disagreements and fights between the Bourbons in the person of Louis XIV and the Hapsburgs in the person of Charles II of Spain. Each side would put pressure on de Noyelle and he was mentally crushed trying to placate both these powerful rulers, who had so much influence over Jesuit activities in their countries. De Noyelle tried to tread in midstream fearful of the Jesuits being caught in the undertow. Pére de la Chaize, the confessor of Louis XIV, was cold to the demands of the General and ran hot and cold—more French than Jesuit. Eventually, de Noyelle yielded to France, and Spain cut off all communication with the General. Those squabbles between governments and powers and with Jesuits on both sides caused poor de Noyelle no little anxiety and his health began to fail.

Finally, after a generalate of four years and five months he collapsed on December 12, 1686. His death was a merciful release from the pressures he had undergone and he was laid to his eternal rest with his confreres in the crypt of the Gesú.