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Gian Paolo Oliva

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Born at Genoa, 4 October, 1600; died at Rome, at Sant' Andrea Quirinale, 26 November, 1681. In 1616, he entered the Society of Jesus, in which he excelled by rare intellectual powers, learning and sanctity. A famous pulpit orator, he was Apostolic Preacher of the Palace under Innocent X, Alexander VII, Clement IX, and Clement X. In 1661, during the critical period of the Provost General Father Goswin Nickel, the general congregation elected him vicar-general with the right of succession. His chief aim was to remove all causes of dissension and of personal friction between his institute and other religious orders, towards which he showed himself most reverent and yielding. He extended and increased the missions, creating new ones outside of Europe, especially in Japan. His book of forty-odd sermons for Lent, and his work of six folio volumes, "In Selecta Scripturæ Loca Ethicæ Commentationes", printed at Lyons, evince his scholarship and piety. He took a keen interest in the events of his time. Remembering what had happened to Cardinal Palavicino, Oliva printed one thousand of his letters, in order that they might not be printed by others and be misconstrued.

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