Today 239 years ago Pope Clement XIV published the Brief for the Suppression of the Society (Dominus ac Redemptor). After signing it, Cardinal Pacca says the pope threw the pen from him and fell senseless on the marble pavement. At that time there were 22,589 Jesuits, 49 Provinces, 669 Colleges and over 3000 missionaries. Fr General Ricci was lead away to the English College - he would later be transferred to Castel Sant Angelo, where he would die as a prisoner. It had been 14 years since the Royal Edict against the Jesuits in Portugal - which had began a domino effect of Jesuits being exiled from various European Countries and their foreign colonies.
It looked like the final nail on the coffin would be the universal suppression of the Jesuits by the Pope - but the activation of the Brief depended on local Bishops promulgating it. This was meant to prevent valuable Jesuit assets such as land an property being lost to the church. This was the saving grace for the Jesuits - as Catherine of Russian refused to promulgate this as she was keen to keep the Jesuit Colleges open. They were important for her as they were greatly valued by the Polish aristocracy. Russia was experiencing a period of imperial expansion under Catherine and it was important to keep the good will of these aristocrats. In 1768 she formally became protector of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, absorbing them into the Russian Empire.
The events leading up to the Suppression are explored in much more detail on this website.