Ignatius Visconti General # 16

General from 1751 to 1755



The tenure of this General was among the shortest of all the Generals. He was in office for only three years and ten months. He was originally from Milano, had been professor of Rhetoric, Philosophy, Theology, and Superior of the Jesuit Church of San Fedele in Milano, a few paces from the famous cathedral. Then, he became Provincial, Assistant and Vicar General. When Retz died after his twenty years in office, the delegates to the 17th General Congregation elected the 69 year old Visconti on July 4, 1751 a couple of weeks after the Congregation had begun. It lasted from its opening on June 22 until September 5, 1751.

During his generalate, short as it was, he was able to get off some letters to the whole Society on the use of Studies and the value of Poverty, but he really had little time to accomplish much. His letter to the Austrian Jesuits was on the value of the use of Latin or, in some cases, use of the vernacular. The Jesuit response to these letters was less than encouraging as was the Jesuit weak or non-existent response to the government's programs for the colleges. The Reductions in Paraguay were forced to re-locate, but the import of these hedgings did not seem to be understood and the Society became more divided and weak, seemingly waiting for the end, which many could see coming. His short term ended when he died on May 4, 1755.

After the usual service in the Gesú his remains were carried to the crypt.