The Jesuits have the reputation of addressing themselves first to the most privileged social circles. This is easily explained if we consider the strong involvement of the Jesuits, from their foundation, in the colleges, at a time when teaching at this level concerned only a very small minority.
But does this correspond to reality? Are the Jesuits really an order for the elites? What place do the most modest populations and, among them, those who experience great precariousness? If, as we will see, we can indeed detect in the history of the Company an interest in the poor, is this part of the DNA of the Jesuits, or is it an element which essentially depends on the charisma of some of its members? In other words, is the presence of the less favored populations part of the mission of the Jesuits, to the point that it should be considered as a feature of their identity?
This book attempts to answer these two questions by going through the history of the Jesuits, from their founding until now.