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Muzio Vitelleschi

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Born at Rome 2 Dec., 1563; died there 9 Feb., 1645. He belonged to a distinguished family but notwithstanding brilliant prospects he entered the Society of Jesus 15 August, 1583, and after completing his studies in the order was made a professor. In 1593 he was appointed rector of the English College which had been established in 1579 by Gregory XIII . At later dates he was made provincial of the society for Rome and Naples, assistant of the Jesuit general for Italy, and finally was elected General of the Society on 15 November, 1615, by the seventh general congregation. The society during his generalate attained a high degree of prosperity. The missions were extended to Thibet, Tonking, and to the Maranon, and the English mission was raised to an independent province. The only difficulties encountered by his administration were in France, where finally, on account of Richelieu, he forbade his subordinates to speak or write of the supremacy of the pope. In 1617 and 1619 he issued regulations concerning the doctrine of Probabilism in two general letters addressed to the superiors of the society. Some of his letters and general epistles have been edited by de Prat, "Recherches historiques", V (Lyons, 1878), 360 sq.

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