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By Rafael Galaz
Jul 4th, 2018

The International Secretary for Education, Fr. José Alberto Mesa SJ visited the site in Messina in the north east of Sicily, Italy where the first Jesuit school was built.

The visit took place after an invitation was sent to Fr. Mesa on behalf of the University of Palermo. During the visit the only remains of the first school, which was destroyed by an earthquake which hit the city on December 28th, 1908, could be seen.

The school in Messina was founded in 1548 and became a milestone for the formation of the identity of the nascent Society of Jesus. To explore this further, we recommend the article written by Fr. John O’Malley SJ  “How the First Jesuits Became Involved in Education”

During his visit, Fr. Mesa was accompanied by the Provincial Delegate for Education, Fr. Vitangelo Denora, SJ. They were also welcomed by some of the authorities of the University of Messina, the place where the vestiges of the first school are located. After the collapse of the school building the University was built in the same location and only the original door of the school is conserved.

The visit ended with some of the premises and parts of the current educational community of San Ignacio de Messina School.