The words “New Pope is a Jesuit. Praise the Lord!” are written with a red marker pen on a whiteboard in the dining hall of Andhra Loyola College Jesuit House, which houses the Jesuit priests, on the college campus. Many of the residents of the Jesuit House received the news early in the morning through SMS and other means.
Though the excitement is palpable among the inmates of the Jesuit House, the only celebration that was probably allowed was the writing of the words on the whiteboard.
Andhra Loyola College is turning 60 this year and has distinguished old students like former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, and several others who have been elected to the Assembly and Parliament.
Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan said students who pass out of Jesuit institutions were intellectuals.
The religious order of Jesuits, short for Society of Jesus, was founded in 1534. St. Ignatius Loyola and six other young men took the vows of poverty, chastity, and later obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope. It is led by a Superior General, also referred to the Black Pope (because of his black habit and influence in the catholic world), currently Adolfo Nicolas.
Pope Francis was the first Jesuit to be made the Pope in its long history.
He was also the first non-European to become the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
Rector D. Ravisekhar, the ecclesiastical head of the Jesuits working in the institute, said the appointment of Pope Francis was a great inspiration to the Jesuits, but it also puts on them a greater responsibility and demands greater commitment from them.
As a cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was very austere giving up the huge accommodation of a cardinal for a simple apartment and using the public transport instead of the personal vehicle provided to him, he said.
Veteran Jesuit Fr. Thekkamura, who has been working in the institute since 1962, said the Jesuits were not allowed to aspire for high office. The service rendered by the Jesuits was unconditional.