Luigi Fortis

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Luigi Fortis (February 26, 1748, Verona, Italy – January 27, 1829, Rome, Italy) was an Italian Jesuit elected 20th Superior-General of the Society of Jesus.

Early life and formation

Fortis joined the Jesuits in 1762 after studying at the San Sebastian High School of Verona: he was only 14 years old. He did his philosophical studies (1767–70) at Bologna and was busy teaching humanities at the University of Ferrara when the Society of Jesus was suppressed in 1773.


After the suppression Fortis returned to his home town of Verona where he got employment as a private Mathematics teacher. He pursued however his desire to become a priest and was ordained so in 1778. In 1784 he established contacts with the Jesuits of Russia but was advised to stay in Italy where there was greater need of his services. In 1793 he passed into the Duchy of Parma where the Jesuits had obtained re-entry, and he renewed his vows as a Jesuit. For a few years he taught Physics and History at the College of the Nobles of Parma. With the invasion of Parma by the French army in 1804 he was again a refugee, this time in Naples where the Society had been restored. His teaching in the newly opened college of Naples (1805) did not last as, with the arrival of José Napoleon, the Jesuits were again expelled from Naples. Fortis went to Orvieto and then returned to his home town, Verona (1810). Wherever he could he was a teacher of Poetry, Mathematics, Philosophy and Logic.

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