Oliva a noted Italian Jesuit, who rose to the first dignity in the brotherhood, was descended from a noble family of Genoa, where his grandfather and uncle had been respectively doge of the republic. He was born near the opening of the 17th century. After entering the Jesuitical order he taught for some time, and was so well appreciated that he was given the rectorate of a Jesuit college at Rome. He was an intimate friend of pope Alexander VII, and when general Nickel was deprived of his office, pope Innocent X, also his friend, pointed to Oliva as the proper person for Nickel's place. The Jesuits made haste to secure Oliva, as they too believed him "a chief according to their hearts." In 1664 he was finally elevated to the generalship of the order, and the immense political importance which the society acquired under his government proved that they had made a wise choice (see Nicolini, p. 322). Personally Oliva was not a favorite. He kept himself at a great distance from the inferior brethren of the order, and seldom condescended to give an audience. He spent a great part of his time in the delicious villa near Albano, where he occupied himself with the cultivation of the rarest exotics. When at Rome he retired to-the novitiate of St. Andrea. He never went out on foot. He lived in a most sumptuously and elegantly adorned apartment, enjoying the pleasures of a table furnished with the most select. delicacies. He was only studious of enjoying the position he held, and the power he had obtained. Reserving for his particular attention matters of political importance, he left the affairs of the society to the entire management of subordinate officials. But it must by no means be inferred that Oliva failed to attract notice or to strengthen his order. The political importance which the Jesuits acquired then was due almost wholly to Oliva's personal efforts. He maintained a correspondence which extended to almost all the monarchs of Europe, in which indeed he showed himself a consummate politician, and deeply engaged in most serious and important affairs. Oliva died in 1681, and was succeeded by Noyelle (q.v.). See Nicolini, Hist. of the Jesuits, p. 320-325; Steinmetz, Hist. of the Jesuits, vol. ii; Ranke, Hist. of the Papacy, 2:247 sq. (J. H.W.)

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