Giving an insight into how precarious Jesuit life was in 1810, at Rome, Fr. Joseph Pignatelli, fearing the suppression of the re-emerging Society of Jesus. gave strict orders to his community at San Panteleo to no longer use the words, father, brother, provincial or rector. He also asked the brothers to wear secular dress. Pignatelli had been appointed provincial superior of the Jesuits within Italy in 1800 by Pope Pius VII. The rehabilitation of the Jesuits had been mainly due to the influence of Ferdinand the Duke of Parma, who in an extraordinary series of letters had lobbied the Pope to restore the Society, ".... to stop the flood of impiety, illuminism, and Jacobinism in my empire".
Pignatelli is an outstanding figure in this generation of Jesuits, possibly the outstanding figure. He soon became a bridge between the old Society and the New Society. A reliquary containing his remains rest today under the altar of the Chapel of the Passion in the Church of the Gesù in Rome. This hints as his status as the 'refounder' of the Society in many historians eyes. From a Spanish noble family, his connections were vital as he was key in organising and securing provisions for Jesuits in exile. Firstly in Corsica - where he led 500 priests and scholastics in their studies and religious practice. His sister, the Duchess of Acerra, aided them with money and provisions. Then when France took control of Corsica in 1770, the Jesuits were obliged to go to Genoa for shelter. Pignatelli was again required organise supplies and shelter, but this time for a bigger group as it included those forced home from the missions in New Spain.
After the Suppression by Pope Clement XIV in August 1773 he sought refuge in Bologna, forbidden to exercise his ministry. There he devoted himself to study and collecting books and manuscripts bearing on the history of the Society. He then proved key in the Restoration, renewing his vows in 1797, becoming novice master in 1799, then Provincial. Pignatelli founded colleges in Rome, Tivoli, and Orvieto, and the Jesuit fathers were gradually invited to other cities. He was beatified in 1933 by Pius XI and was canonized on 12 May 1954 by Pius XII.