Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 13.djvu/353

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1797, it settled in the village of Hagenbriinn, three leagues from Vienna. There the founder, not more than thirty years of age, fhed of smallpox, 9 July, 1797, and Father Varin, but twenty-eight years of age, was chosen his successor.

The new superior submitted the statutes of the society for the endorsement of the exiled French bishops in Germany and the approbation of Pius VI, then detained at Florence. The number of postulants having greatly increased, a novitiate was opened at Prague under the protection of the Arch- duchess Maria Anna, and Hagenbriinn was con- verted into a boarding-school. This was at the close of the year 1798. Nicholas Paccanari, a native of Valsugnana, near Trent, had at one time been a sergeant in the garrison of S. Angelo, had then be- come a merchant and, having met with financial disaster, was reduced to earn his living as a sort of guide or cicerone. Though entirely without educa- tion, he possessed a remarkable natural gift of elo- quence.

At about this period Paccanari was attached to the Oratory of the Caravita, a pious association at Rome under the direction of Father Gravita, who had been a Jesuit. Here Paccanari conceived a desire to re-constitute the Society of Jesus. He won over to his project those priests who were his asso- ciates at the Caravita: Joseph della Vedova, a doc- tor of the Sapienza; Halnat, of the Diocese of Rennes, formerly a missionarj^ in ^ladagascar; Epinette, of the Diocese of Le Mans. He drew up a rule of life for them and shut himseK up at Loreto in a retreat which lasted eleven months. Returning to Rome in May, 1797, he obtained for his project the approval of Cardinal della Somaglia, the pope's vicar, and on 15 August, in the Chapel of the Caravita, the founder and his three companions made the three vows of religion and the vow of obedience to the sovereign pontiff. They adopted the habit of the original Jesuits and settled themselves at Spoleto. In August, 1798, Paccanari, having been received by Pius VI who was then at Sienna, obtained from the pope several privileges and a Rescript in which the society was designated "The Company of the Faith of Jesus". The pope charged him with the care of the Propaganda students who had been ex-pelled from their seminary.

Paccanari made three journeys to Rome to collect these young men; the third time he and his compan- ions were arrested by the French military' authorities and lodged in the Castle of S. Angelo. They re- mained there four months, were then expelled from the Roman Republic and retired to Parma, where many of the former Jesuits had established them- selves under the protection of the duke. Father Halnat, having learned of the existence of the Sacred Heart Fathers, suggested to Paccanari the idea of one foundation for the two institutes devoted to the same object. Negotiations were opened, but were in- terrupted by the imprisonment of Paccanari, and were resumed in 1799. The founder of the Fathers of the Faith, after a visit to Pius VI who heartily encour- aged his project, repaired to Vienna. The society numbered about a score of members, only three of them priests. It had at first been well received by the Jesuits of Parma and of Venice, but its leader's lukewarmness towards the idea of union with the Jesuits of Russia rendered it suspect to those re- ligious.

Fusion with the French community at Hagenbriinn therefore offered the only opportunity for its devel- opment. Conferences were inaugurated at Hagen- briinn, 9 April, 1799, and lasted nine days. Father Sineo della Torre, one of the Sacred Heart Fathers, acting as interpreter between Father Varin and Paccanari, who knew neither French nor Latin. The encouragement given by Pius VI was accepted by


the Fathers of the Sacred Heart as a command, and their already numerous congregation allowed itself to be absorbed by Paccanari's little society. On 18 April, Paccanari, still only a tonsured cleric, was received as superior-general, and the name Fathers of the Sacred Heart was changed to that of Fathers of the Faith. The general, deeming the manner of life of the Hagenbriinn Fathers too austere and too confined, shortened their hours of prayer, increased the time devoted to studies and recreation, and launched his subjects on the external life and the work of preaching. Having been introduced by Father Varin to the Archduchess Maria Anna, Pac- canari gained an extraordinary ascendency over that princess, through whose good offices he received minor orders, the subdiaconate, and the diaconate from the hands of the nuncio at Vienna.

At the request of his new subjects, who were al- ready beginning to be uneasy about his tendencies, he gave out (11 Aug., 1799) a somewhat vague state- ment of his intentions in regard to the original Jesuits. At last he left Germany, but only after distributing his men among the different countries of Western Europe. A college was opened at Dillingen, a foun- dation which lasted five or six years was made at Amsterdam, and Fathers Rozaven and de Broglie with some scholastics set out for England, where, in March, 1800, they opened a boarding-school at Kensington. Paccanari himself, returning to Italy, established a novitiate at Cremona, then at Este.

He scattered many of his religious among the hos- pitals — at that time overcrowded with wounded soldiers — in Italy and Germany. In the midst of his labours he was ordained priest at Padua, and soon after this he received from the new pope, Pius VII, permission to have a house at Rome. The Arch- duchess Maria Anna bought from the Theatinea the Church of St. Sylvester, with its convent and gardens, at Monte-Cavallo; and in 1801 the pope in person came to install the Fathers there. In the month of August, 1802, the first congregation was held; with some temporary modifications, the old constitution of the Society of Jesus was adopted. In 1803 and 1804 Paccanari summoned to the College of St. Sylvester the young rchgious of the society, and the courses in philosophy and theology, as well as the solemn theses, of this house of studies shed great lustre upon the nascent order. At that time there were 110 religious at St. Sylvester. In the beginning of 1804, again under the archduchess's patronage, the Salviati Palace, near St. Peter's, was opened as a boarding-school for young nobles, the institution being named, after its benefactress, the "Collcgio Mariano".

Throughout Italy, but particularly at Spoleto, the Paccanarists gave missions with great success. In Nov., 1805, the Council of the Repubhc of Le Valaia offered Paccanari the College of Sion, which was accepted. To Father Varin France had been assigned as the field of his apostolate; he returned thither in the spring of 1800 and began by preaching to the sick in the hospitals of Bicetre and la Salpetriere. It was at this time that, with Blessed Sophie Barat, he es- tablished the Society of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart (21 Nov., 1800). The Fathers of the Faith rapidly increased in number; in 1801 they were able to open at Lyons a boarding-school, which was trans- ferred in the following year to the old Jesuit college at Belley. Lamartine was educated there. Another school was established in 1802 at Amiens, and then another at Roanne in 1804. These foundations aroused the suspicions both of Fouche, the minister of pohce, and of Napoleon; but Portalis and, still more. Cardinal Fesch quieted them for a time. Mis- sions were preached with brilliant success; at the first mission, at Tours, the extraordinary power which