Secret Instructions of the Jesuits - Diego Laynez

Chapter XII:
Who Should be Favored

Who should be cherished and favored in the society.

I. The first rank is due to diligent laborers, who promote equally the temporal and spiritual good of the order, such are most frequently, the confessors of princes and nobles, widows, and rich devotees, as well as preachers and professors, all in short, who know these secrets.

II. The second place belongs to those, who waisted in strength and decrepid with age, have spent their talents, for the temporal good of the society; and this as well out of a decent regard to their past services, as, the rather, because they are suitable instruments for reporting to the superiors the usual defects, which being constantly at home, they perceive in other members.

III. These last must never be discharged, if possible to avoid it, lest the society be reproached.

IV. Next let all be favored as they are distinguished for understanding, high birth, and riches, particularly if they have powerful friends and kindred who are attached to the society, and are themselves sincerely devoted to it, in the manner aforesaid; let such be sent to ROME, or to the more celebrated universities to study; but if they should study in the provinces, they are to be encouraged by the utmost kindness and indulgence on the part of the professors, and up to the moment of their surrendering every thing to the society, nothing is to be denied them; after that, however, they are to be mortified like the rest, some regard perhaps, being always had to the past.

V. The superiors must also show peculiar respect to those who may have drawn any clever youths into the society, whereby they have not a little proven their love for it; but so long as these are not yet professed, let not the others be too much indulged; lest possibly, they should withdraw from the society, those whom they led into it.