Pied Beauty Historical Context

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The Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

St. Ignatius of Loyola (born Iñigo López de Loyola, 1491–1556) founded the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, as they are commonly known, in 1534. The Jesuits are a religious order of Catholics who profess direct loyalty and service to the pope. They are often called “Soldiers of Christ” and “Footsoldiers of the pope,” partly because St. Ignatius was a soldier before he became a priest. St. Ignatius emphasized the importance of love for God and believed that man was created to praise and serve him (as, for instance, the poet of “Pied Beauty” does, while exhorting his readers to do likewise). In the process, he will save his own soul. Unusual among Christian teachers, St. Ignatius believed that emotions were important and taught that a person should be sensitive to the emotions that...

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