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Back to 22014_04_29_FYL_Los jesuitas en Pamplona

Ricardo Fernández Gracia, Director of the Chair de Patrimonio Arte Navarro

The Jesuits in Pamplona (1580-1767)

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 12:46:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

The circumstance of the two hundredth anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus (1814-2014) is a good reason to make some considerations about its presence in Pamplona throughout the centuries of the Ancien Régime, leaving for another occasion everything related to the return after the restoration: from the wishes of Bishop Uriz y Lasaga, the ephemeral house in Villava, the return final in 1927 and the reality of high school San Ignacio.

Briefly, we will try to summarize a feverish and rapid activity, always in the trenches, typical of those who took the initiative or helped in so many cultural and religious projects in the capital of Navarre.

Undoubtedly the best connoisseur of the importance and transcendence of the high school de la Anunciada was Father Pérez Goyena, indefatigable researcher and famous for having carried out the enormous work of compiling essay of bibliography of Navarre. In our days, other investigations of Jimeno Jurío or Vergara Ciordia have deepened in the knowledge of the founder of the high school and of his impressive Library Services. Fathers Arellano, Ordóñez and Pinedo have also written about topic and Father Sagüés has given us his invaluable financial aid at all times. We have dealt with some artistic and devotional aspects in our works on the Baroque altarpiece or the Immaculate Conception in the Comunidad Foral.

The circumstances of the establishment of the Jesuits in the city are well known, thanks to their founder, the military man Juan Piñeiro, as well as the intervention of Santa Teresa and the protection of the bishop and the viceroy for that purpose, in a context in which not everything was easy, due to the civil service examination of some sectors of the citizens.

Returning to the work of Father Pérez Goyena, we cannot but subscribe to his appreciations about the significance of the presence of the sons of St. Ignatius in the capital of Navarre, from the high school of the Anunciada and the Basilica of St. Ignatius. From his deep knowledge of topic, he distinguished five great contributions of the sons of St. Ignatius in Pamplona: the teaching of Latin in Pamplona for a century and a half, the training of the history of Navarre through three great chroniclers, the echoes of the catechism of Father Astete, the promotion of the "beautiful Basque language " and the introduction of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

To these considerations must be added, from the perspective of the tangible and intangible heritage, other no less important aspects, such as the promotion of some congregations and the cult of St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier and everything related to the cultural goods that the high school treasured in its Library Services and its dependencies: paintings, sculptures, altarpieces and sumptuary arts, as well as the numerous editions that the sons of St. Ignatius, as authors, chroniclers or editors, were the protagonists. Finally, we cannot forget the cultivation of the theater, called collegiate, that gave so many positive fruits in different areas, especially in the famous "deleitando discitur".

The programs of study

For more than a century and a half the youth of Pamplona had in the fathers of the Society of Jesus their teachers in the programs of study of Latin, rhetoric, literature and universal and Spanish history. This was agreed upon by the city council in 1597 with a consideration of 250 ducats, considering that the boys "it was seen by experience that in addition to having them collected, they advanced much more". The official opening of the course, every October 18, feast of St. Luke, was attended by the municipal authorities, at the invitation of President of high school. 

The programs of study were organized by age in four sections, which were called General de Mínimos, de Menores, de Medianos and de Mayores. In the academic year 1668-1669 all those grammar students were distributed as follows: the Mínimos with 136 students, the Minimos with 76, the Medianos with 114 and the Mayores with 73. The programs of programs of study and models of exams are known exhaustively, as well as the names of numerous teachers and outstanding disciples, contributed by Pérez Goyena and Vergara Ciordia. The latter concludes that in the Pamplona high school there was a B response to the humanistic programs of study .

The history of Navarra

The authors of the five volumes of the Annals of the Kingdom of Navarre (1684-1715) were two Navarrese Jesuits, Father Moret and Father Alesón, from Pamplona and Viana, respectively. The work, as Martín Duque points out, constituted for three centuries the official history of the Kingdom since its publication in the last decades of the 17th century. As Professor Floristán Imízcoz has pointed out, its elaboration, together with the compilation and arrangement of the fueros and laws of the kingdom of Chavier, were a very clear exponent of an awakening of the conscience of Navarre, in the fields of history and law.

The eighteenth-century and illustrated edition of the same work had a clear political intention, that of making the governing and enlightened minorities aware of the singular past of the kingdom, which was the foundation of the foral regime. And this took place precisely at a time of reforms and attempts to standardize the country by the Bourbon monarchs as a response or precaution for what might happen in the future. The problems to which it gave rise with its publisher made the Diputación del Reino nominate as expert to judge the text and the illustrations of the Navarrese kings with which the illustrated edition was to be endowed, Father Mateo Calderón, a learned Jesuit, professor and teacher of theology at the high school de la Anunciada in Pamplona.

The compiler of the Annals was at position of Father Elizondo, also a Jesuit, commissioned by the Cortes in order to make the historical contents of the volumes of Moret and Alesón more accessible and which was published with certain rhetoric in 1732, as a posthumous work.

Catechism and missions

As is well known, the publication of the Cathechismus romanus of St. Pius V constituted a fundamental milestone in the history of catechisms throughout the Catholic world. The interest of the bishops of Pamplona for its teaching was patent in all their visits to the towns and other actions, in a context that Goñi Gaztambide denominates as of restoration of the Christian life. On this occasion, primers or compendiums of the catechism were published in Spanish and Basque. To those published in the latter language in 1561, 1571, 1620 and by Father Mendiburu in the 18th century, we must add the numerous editions in Spanish and Basque by the famous Jesuit Father Astete (1537-1601), a catechism that was used almost exclusively in the north of Spain, as opposed to the south where that of Father Ripalda was more popular, of which there were hardly any Pamplona editions.

Regarding the missions entrusted in many cases by towns and cities to the Jesuits, we must remember how frequent they were in Navarre. We will remember that Don Juan Cruzat, archdeacon of the Chamber of the cathedral of Pamplona, the same one who ordered an image of the saint to be made in 1620, left in his will the respectable amount of 2,000 ducats so that two Basque fathers could make mission statement in Basque for fifteen days, every two years. In 1656, Doña Adriana del Vayo left another 1,000 ducats for the same purpose.

For some missions we have extensive and detailed reports about their
development. The one carried out in San Cernin de Pamplona, in 1660, was published by Don Juan Albizu and of the ones directed in the city by the famous missionary from Tafalla, Pedro de Calatayud in Pamplona, in 1731, we have extensive accounts given by Gómez Rodeles and Goñi Gaztambide. Texts in all cases very significant and fresh for the knowledge of the social behaviors and mentalities of the Baroque, through that phenomenon perfectly articulated around the pastoral strategies, so assumed by the Society of Jesus at that time.


Eucharistic devotion and piety were always a reference in the high school of the Annunciation, especially in the Forty Hours services, during the days preceding Lent.

Along with the cults to the saints of the Society, the Jesuits stood out in the extension of the cult to the Immaculate Conception. The Marian Congregation founded in 1613 under the invocation of the Immaculate Conception was located at high school in Pamplona.

Special accredited specialization deserved the worship dedicated to San Francisco Javier, co-patron of the Kingdom since 1657, with the celebration of the novena of Grace, endowed since 1713 by Francisco Antonio Galdeano and intervention of the cathedral music chapel, the solemn functions sponsored by the Kingdom on the day of his feast, as well as the octave endowed by the Marquis of Cortes in 1723.

The day of St. Ignatius had its reference in the basilica and particularly since 1754 when the feast of the Fall of St. Ignatius was founded by the Duke of Granada de Ega, Don Antonio de Idiáquez, with a sung mass, sermon, music and siesta. In a diary of the high school, its procurator noted annually: "In the afternoon there is usually a siesta for some students, who sing and are given a snack, which is usually veal pies". St. Aloysius Gonzaga enjoyed great popularity, as shown by the numerous editions of his novena and the creation of a congregation under his invocation in 1752.

But if the Jesuits, especially some of the fathers of high school in Pamplona, stood out in something, it was in the extension of the devotion to the Heart of Jesus, which, as we know, had its great promoter in Father Bernardo de Hoyos. Between 1734 and 1767, a group of "companions" of Father Hoyos in Navarra: Cardaveraz, Loyola, Calatayud and Idiáquez spread his iconography through engravings and devotion through missions, the publication of various books in Spanish and Basque and the foundation of numerous congregations based on a prayerful, intimate and individual devotion. The rapidity of the implantation of the new devotion is surprising. In 1746 there were more than 60 Congregations founded throughout Navarre. Among its congregants were the bishop of the diocese Don Francisco Ignacio de Añoa y Busto and such distinguished and influential nobles as the Duke of Granada de Ega, Don José Antonio de Guirior, Lord of Villanueva de Lónguida and translator of the Life of the V M. Sister Margarita de Alacoque and the Marquis of Góngora, among others.

Property, plant and equipment 

Unfortunately, most of the movable property of the church and the high school have been lost. The liturgical furnishings of the Basilica of St. Ignatius had a better fate. Through it we can get an idea of the origin of some pieces of Roman and Castilian origin that may also have been in the old high school and its dependencies.

The old main altarpiece, the work of the Tudela-based master Francisco San Juan (1690), was moved to the church of the Capuchins and no longer exists. Better luck had some canvases and reliquaries that passed to the cathedral, among which are preserved some sculptures, a pair of beautiful canvases with the vision of the Storta and the first Jesuits of the early seventeenth century, as well as the ebony reliquary with the sheet in which the saint was wrapped and the silver one commissioned by the high school of the Anunciada in 1738, the work of José García Rebollón.

Also preserved is the beautiful sculpture of the Immaculate Conception that was commissioned in the city of Valladolid in 1681, currently at entrance hall of seminar. From the same Castilian capital the Jesuits imported other sculptures or parts of them, such as a head and hands of St. Ignatius in 1675, or a sculpture of Sculpture of the Immaculate Conception of entrance hall the Virgin of the Good committee, whose whereabouts of seminar from high school of we ignore. seminar The last altarpiece in which the sculpture of the Immaculate Conception, made in Valladolid in 1681, was found, made around 1749, also came from a chapel of the high school where the Marian congregation was located.

In the church of the Anunciada was also venerated for the first time publicly, in the capital of Navarre, a canvas of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a gift from the Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo. Its first feast was in 1690, at the same time that Rafael Díaz de Jáuregui built its altarpiece. In order to solemnize its feast, the "buscapiés", "voladores" and "comportillas" were played and "chirimías" (shawms) were played.

At high school the nativity scene was installed at an early date, around 1655, imitating what their European brothers had been doing for decades in order to catechize and sensitize their students to the mystery of Christmas.

Regarding the Library Services, with more than 4,000 works, a large part of it passed to the Episcopal bookshop and to seminar. On the shelves of the latter there are still many of those books with signs of those who acquired and possessed them throughout the centuries of the Ancien Régime.