On 3 June 2021, just two weeks after the official
opening of the Jubilee Ignatian Year in Pamplona and all over the world (500th
anniversary of the conversion of St Ignatius), the Russian State Museum of the
History of Religion, in the heart of St. Petersburg, Russia, officially opened
an exhibit titled, Ad maiorem Dei gloriam: For a solemn jubilee of the
Jesuit Order, dedicated to the apostolic life and activities of the Society
of Jesus past and present, from its glorious times in the Russian empire to the
present humbler presence.
The exposition and accompanying catalog present a rich
assortment of church artifacts, lithograph prints, photographs and video
installations which have been in the stores of the Museum since Soviet times,
when the Museum was named the State Museum of Atheism and Religion.
Of particular interest are numerous books and prints
which belonged to the Jesuit Colleges in Polotsk, Vilnius and other cities of
the Russian Empire during the time of the Suppression of the Society until the
expulsion of the Jesuits in 1815. In juxtaposition visitors see and experience
over 200 color images presented as prints and through digital displays
illustrating the present activities of the Society in Russia as the
“Independent Region of the Society of Jesus”.
Contemporary Jesuits are given a special highlight:
Pope Francis, Cardinal Sigitas Tamkevičius, SJ, of Lithuania who spent many
years in Siberia as a political prisoner; Bishop Joseph Werth, SJ, one of the
first three bishops ordained in 1991 with the return of Church structures in
the then Soviet Union; and the late Miguel Arranz, SJ, who is well known in
Russia for his writings and collaboration with the Leningrad Orthodox Academy
during Soviet times as a world-renown scholar of Eastern-rite liturgy.
exhibit will run until 12 September 2021.