PIERRE JEAN BECKX (1795-1887), general of the Society of Jesus, was born at Sichem in Belgium on the 8th of February 1795, and entered the novitiate of the order at Hildesheim in 1819.
The old infirmary building is now occupied by St Joseph's College, a commercial academy of the Marist Brotherhood, in connexion with which there is a novitiate for the training of members of the order for missionary service at home or abroad.
His novitiate was marked by a fervour of humility.
A lay brother, before he can become called away to a third year's novitiate, called the tertianship, as a preparation for his solemn profession of the three vows.
This glade can seldom be reached until she candidate is in his forty-fifth year, which involves a probaLion of thirty-one years in the case of those who have entered on the novitiate at the earliest legal age.
These various members of the Society are distributed in its novitiate houses, its colleges, its professed houses and its mission residences.
Among other buildings and institutions are a novitiate of Marist Fathers, a science and art school, a pier with pavilion and concert rooms, and a yacht club.
In 1580 he joined the Society of Jesus, after a two years' novitiate, passed mostly at Tournay.
There was a novitiate of three years, during which the intending member was tested as to his fitness for entering the society.
A novitiate had to be passed, and young boys were to be educated in the monastery, but were not expected to become monks.
Membership of the corps is gained after a somewhat trying novitiate, but is the only passport to the various social and sports societies.
Two slight innovations were introduced: the minimum age of an abbess was fixed at sixty, and the period of novitiate was prolonged from one year to two.
His earliest extant performances, in considerable number, are at Cortona, whither he was sent during his novitiate, and here apparently he spent all the opening years of his monastic life.
In 1880 he joined the Society of Jesus and passed his novitiate at Manresa and other houses of the order, becoming teacher of philosophy at Stonyhurst.
He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1625, and two years later pronounced his first vows.