The Conventions

Rufo Mendizábal, S.J., relied on a number of conventions in the publication of his Catalogus defunctorum, and many of those conventions survive in the Jesuit Online Necrology.

1. Dates

  • All dates are entered as dd-mm-yyyy. 
  • Mendizábal listed entries in chronological order, by date of death, though gaps in the information were unavoidable. Such was the case with Jesuits who died closer to the start of the collection or who died during wars. Or who did not die, as was thought to be the case with Walter Ciszek, who was presumed to have died in a Russian prison during World War II, appeared in a 1947 necrology. Also, Mendizábal sought to reconcile the personal information for Jesuits in White Russia and other locations in the early nineteenth century where different date conventions were used.
  • Efforts are made in this database to correct any remaining errors from the Catalogus. Please contact the editor’s with corrections (

2. Provinces

  • The category of ‘Entry Province’ refers to the administrative entity where the men entered the Society. The term may refer to provinces, vice provinces, missions, or, on occasion, assistancies. In his necrology, Mendizábal listed the name of the province as it was called at the time of the individual Jesuit’s entrance, and this database keeps that convention.  

3. Category

  • Mendizábal assigned to each Jesuit his standing within the society: em (most eminent); ee (most excellent and most reverend); rp (very reverend father general); p (priest, even if he died as a scholastic or novice); s (scholastic); and c (temporal coadjutor). For some, the standing was unknown at the time of Mendizábal’s publication. 

4. Names

  • Mendizábal noted that Jesuits often exchanged their given names for those expressing devotion (such as Joseph or Francis Xavier) or for aliases. If he determined the given name, he recorded both. Mendizábal also completed the compound names that he could by using the Society’s annual catalogues. He Latinized the names that he could, but not all had a Latin form (Abdallah or Leslie, Burke or Wallace). 
  • For more on the forename conventions, please see the list of names.

5. Cities/Countries

  • Mendizábal exchanged the names of cities to reflect usage in 1972 -- Aachen, not Aix-la-Chapelle; Roma, not Rom, Rome, Rzym -- except in unfamiliar cases. For the latter, he used “the more common Western designation: So we say Le Caire, not Misr al-Qahira; Alexandrie, not al-Iskandariyya; Tripoli, not Trabulus….” Mendizábal’s locations do reflect specific moments even as the geography boundaries had changed and continued to do so. Helpfully, he made an index that provided the “ancient designations” with those used in 1972. He also provided regional designations in parentheses when they assisted in providing a city’s county, district, diocese, province, or state, and omitted them in more obvious cases -- such as New York, Milan, Paris.  He also used parentheses when information was unavailable.