August 1st 1556 - Burial of St Ignatius of Loyola
When Ignatius had died early in the morning of July 31st 1556, his body covered with the priestly garments, was put into a wooden shrine. Up to the next day he stayed put on the bier. On that August 1st a funeral celebration under large participation of the faithful took place after the vesper at five o'clock p.m. The shrine was then buried in the small Maria della Strada Church, which had been so much loved by Ignatius.
In the year 1568 that church was pulled down to make place for the splendid Order Church Il Gesù. The Saint was put into a new coffin, and is resting now in the Il Gesù Church left in front.
The second General, Diego Laínez, died in the year 1565, still before the foundation-stone of Il Gesu was laid (1568). He too was buried in the church Santa Maria della Strada at the side of his spiritual Father Ignatius. There he rested up to his transfer to Madrid, as Pedro de Ribadeneira († 1611) reported.
Also the third General, St Francis Borja († 1572), was transferred to Madrid when in 1617 his beatification was opened. A large relic remained however in Rome. In Spain his body has seen several transfers, until he was finally buried in 1901 in the Order Church at the Professed House in Madrid. When a large fire destroyed the church - an arson attack in 1931 with following plundering led to it -, also the silver shrine with the Saint was brought to smelting. Only little could be saved.
The further Generals up to the abolition of the Jesuit Order in 1773 were buried in the crypt of Il Gesù. There their names, carved in stone, can be read. There rests also Lorenzo Ricci, the eighteenth General of the Old Society who died as prisoner in the Angel Castle (1775), and was at night silently buried in Il Gesù.
The first General of the 1814 again established Society of Jesus, Father Tadeusz Brzozoeski († 1820) was buried in Polotsk (Russia). His successor, Luigi Fortis († 1829), in the crypt of Il Gesu, and Father Jan Roothaan († 1835) in the second right side chapel.
Father Peter Beckx died in 1887 in the Germanicum, three years after he had resigned from the General's Office. His grave remained there until he was transferred to the Campo Verano, the Main Cemetery of Rome.
Father Pedro Arrupe († 1991) rests in the side chapel of Il Gesù beside Father Roothaan. There rests also a Saint of the Order, who was not a General, but who was, as it were, a link between the Old and New Society, i.e. St Josef Pignatelli († 1811 in Rome).