BECKX, PIERRE JEAN: General of the Jesuits; b. at Sichem (33 m. s.e. of Antwerp) Feb. 8, 1795; d. at Rome Mar. 4, 1887. He entered the Society of Jesus at Hildesheim in 1819, and was professed in 1830. He was active as a pastor at Hamburg, Hildesheim, and Brunswick, and in 1826 was stationed at Kothen as the confessor of the newly converted duke and duchess of Anhalt-Kothen. From 1830 to 1848 he was in Vienna, where he exercised much influence, especially over Metternich, and was made procurator of the Society of Jesus in that country in 1847; when his Order was expelled from Austria in 1848, he was appointed rector of the University of Louvain. Four years later, however, the Jesuits were readmitted to Austria, largely through his unceasing activity, and in 1852 he returned to Vienna as provincial of the Society. In the following year he was elected general, and held this office until 1883, when, on account of his advancing years, the vicar-general Antoine M. Anderledy was appointed to assist him. In the following year Beckx resigned the generalship in favor of Anderledy. The successful fortunes of the Jesuits during the attacks upon them both in Austria and Germany were due in great part to his ability and tact, and in his administration the numbers of the Society were almost doubled. He was the founder and editor of the famous Civiltà Cattolica, and also wrote the anonymous Der Monat Mariä (Vienna, 1838; Eng. transl. by Mrs. Edward Hazeland, London, 1884).
BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. M. Verstraeten, Leven van den hoogeerwaarden Pater Petrus Beckx, Antwerp, 1884).