1. It is necessary that much prudence shall be exercised, respecting the election of the Youth; having to be sprightly, noble, well liked, or at the least excellent in some of these qualities.
2. To attract them with greater facility to our institute, it is necessary in the meanwhile, to study that the rectors and professors of colleges shall exhibit an especial affection; and outside the time of the classes, to make them comprehend how great is God, and that some one should consecrate to his service all that he possesses; and particularly if he is in the Society of his Son.
3. Whenever the opportunity may arrive, conducive in the college and in the garden, and yet at times to the country houses, that in the company of ourselves, during the recreations, that we may familiarize with them, little by little, being careful, notwithstanding, that the familiarity does not engender disgust.
4. We cannot consent that we shall punish them, nor oblige them to assemble at their tasks among those who are the most educated.
5. We must congratulate them with gifts and privileges conforming to their age and encouraging above all others with moral discourses.
6. We must inculcate them, that it is for one divine disposition, that they are favorites among so many who frequent the same college.
7. On other occasions, especially in the exhortations, we must aim to terrify them with menaces of the eternal condemnation, if they refuse the divine vocation.
8. Meanwhile frequently expressing the anxiety to enter the Society, we must always defer their admission, that they may remain constant; but if for these, they are undecided, then we must encourage them incessantly by other methods.
9. If we admonish effectively, that none of their friends, nor yet the fathers, nor the mothers discover their vocation before being admitted; because then, if then, they come to the temptation of withdrawing; so many as the Society desires to give full liberty of doing that which may be the most convenient; and in case of succeeding to conquer the temptation, we must never lose occasions to make them recover spirit; remembering that which we have said, always that this will succeed during the time of the novitiate, or after having made their simple vows.
10. With respect to the sons of the great, nobles, and senators, as it is supremely difficult to attract them, meanwhile living with their fathers, who are having them educated to the end, that they may succeed in their destinies, we must persuade, vigorously, of the better influences of friends that are persons of the same Society; that they are ordered to other provinces, or to distant universities in which there are our teachers; careful to remit to the respective professors the necessary instructions, appropriate to their quality and condition, that they may gain their friendship for the Society with greater facility and certainty.
11. When having arrived at a more advanced age, they will be induced to practice some spiritual exercises, that they may have so good an exit in Germany and Poland.
12. We must console them in their sadness and afflictions, according to the quality and dispositions of each one, making use of private reprimands and exhortations appropriate to the bad use of riches; inculcating upon them that they should depreciate the felicity of a vocation, menacing them with the pains of hell for the things they do.
13. It will be necessary to make patent to the fathers and the mothers, that they may condescend more easily to the desire of their sons of entering the Society, the excellence of its institute in comparison with those of other orders; the sanctity and the science of our fathers; its reputation in all the world; the honor and distinctions of the different great and small. We must make enumeration of the princes and the magnates, that, with great content, have lived until their death, and yet living in the Society. We must show how agreeable it is to God, that the youth consecrate themselves to Him, particularly in the Society of his Son: and what thing is there so sublime as that of a man carrying the yoke of the Lord from his youth. That if they oppose any objections because of their extreme youth, then we must present the facility of our institute, the which not having anything to molest, with the exception of the three vows, and that which is most notable, that we do not have any obligatory rule, nor yet under penalty of venial sin.
Return to Contents