They gathered at Venice in 1537, where all but the previously ordained Favre and Salmerón became priests.
Again chance and luck intervened. Bad luck: War between Venice and the Ottoman Empire (which controlled Palestine) broke out. There would be no ship to Palestine. Good luck: The Turks would never have allowed 10 companions to proselytize in Jerusalem. They would have been executed or made into galley slaves, never to be heard from again.
Fortunately, the Montmarte vow had a backup clause: If the companions could not go to Jerusalem, they would put themselves at the pope’s disposal to work for souls. They waited several months, preaching and helping the needy, before they went to Rome and undertook work suggested by Pope Paul III. Favre lectured on scripture at the University of Rome. Loyola directed people through the Spiritual Exercises. Later the pope assigned others of the companions to preaching in various Italian towns. While this arrangement offered opportunities to serve God, it placed their companionship at risk, prompting them to form a religious order whose rules and goals would bind them together, however dispersed their work.
In 1540 they requested and received papal approval for the Society of Jesus. Loyola remained in Rome as superior general of the Jesuits until his death in 1556. The others brought the good news of Christ to the far corners of the world.
Favre helped reform the diocese of Parma in north-central Italy before being sent to the famous Colloquy of Regensburg in Germany, which tried and failed to work out a doctrinal agreement between Lutherans and Catholics. There, Favre gave the Spiritual Exercises to bishops and priests. His next stops were his native Savoy, then on to Madrid where he spent three months preaching, hearing confessions, and explaining that new order—the Jesuits. He also lectured on the psalms at the University of Cologne, where he gave the Exercises to Peter Canisius, who then entered the Jesuits. Favre’s next assignment was Portugal. Paul III also appointed him a papal theologian at the Council of Trent. He went to Rome where he conversed with Loyola for the first time in seven years. But his health was broken, and he died at age 40 on Aug. 1, 1546, with his old roommate, Loyola, at his bedside.
Xavier’s travels dwarfed those of Favre. King John III of Portugal asked for two Jesuits to serve as missionaries in India. Loyola appointed Rodrigues and Bobadilla, but Bobadilla fell ill. Loyola then asked Xavier, who had been serving in Rome as his secretary, if he would take Bobadilla’s place. Xavier volunteered enthusiastically, left Rome on March 15, 1540, and never saw Loyola or Favre again.
Xavier sailed from Lisbon on a 13-month journey, six of them working in Mozambique, before arriving at Goa, the main Portuguese base in India.