Giovanni Paolo Oliva (4 October 1600 – 26 November 1681) was the eleventh Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
Oliva was born at Genoa in 1600, and in 1616 he entered the Society of Jesus. A famous pulpit orator, he was Apostolic Preacher of the Palace under Popes Innocent X, Alexander VII, Clement IX, and Clement X. In 1661, during the disease of the Superior General Goschwin Nickel, the General Congregation XI elected him vicar-general with the right of succession. His chief aim was to remove all causes of dissension and of personal friction between his institute and other religious orders, towards which he showed himself most reverent and yielding. He extended and increased the missions, creating new ones outside of Europe, especially in Japan. His book of forty-odd sermons for Lent, and his work of six folio volumes, In Selecta Scripturae Loca Ethicae Commentationes, demonstrate his scholarship and piety. Remembering what had happened to Cardinal Francesco Sforza Pallavicino, Oliva printed one thousand of his letters, in order that they might not be printed by others and be misconstrued.
In 1678 the English informer Titus Oates named him as one of the ringleaders of the Popish Plot, a supposed Catholic conspiracy to kill King Charles II of England, which in fact was entirely Oates' own fabrication. Fortunately for Oliva, unlike the many English Jesuits who suffered in the Plot, he was safely out of reach of the English authorities. Oates had never met him but was acquainted with several English Jesuits, and knew enough about the Society to make it appear that he was in the Jesuits' confidence. In reality Oliva could have no motive to kill King Charles, who was himself an all but open Roman Catholic, and Oliva may even have corresponded with him, as he certainly did with his brother, the future King James II of England. In addition he took a strong view of the unlawfulness of attempting to overthrow a sovereign ruler, stating that if any Jesuits had engaged in such actions (while stressing that he thought it most improbable that they had) they deserved to suffer the full penalties of the law.
He died at Sant'Andrea al Quirinale in Rome.
Titus Oates was an English priest who fabricated the "Popish Plot", a supposed Catholic conspiracy to kill King Charles II.
The Popish Plot was a fictitious conspiracy invented by Titus Oates that between 1678 and 1681 gripped the Kingdoms of England and Scotland in anti-Catholic hysteria. Oates alleged that there was an extensive Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Charles II, accusations that led to the executions of at least 22 men and precipitated the Exclusion Bill Crisis. Eventually Oates's intricate web of accusations fell apart, leading to his arrest and conviction for perjury.
Peter Talbot was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin from 1669 to his death in prison. He was a victim of the mythical Popish Plot.
William Ireland was an English Jesuit and martyr from Lincolnshire. He was falsely accused of conspiring to murder King Charles II during the Popish Plot hysteria, and was executed on 24 January 1679. He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI and his feast day is celebrated on 24 January, the day of his death.
Claude La Colombière was a Jesuit priest and the confessor of Margaret Mary Alacoque. He is formally venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. His feast day is the day of his death, 15 February. He was a missionary and ascetical writer. Colombière left a large number of writings, including his principal works, Pious Reflections, Meditations on the Passion, and Retreat and Spiritual Letters.
Sir George Wakeman was an English doctor, who was royal physician to Catherine of Braganza, Consort of Charles II of England. In 1678, in the allegations of the fabricated Popish Plot, he was falsely accused of treason by Titus Oates, who had gained the backing of Thomas Osborne, 1st Earl of Danby, the effective head of the English government. Oates accused Wakeman of conspiring to kill the King with the help of the Jesuits, and to put his brother James, Duke of York on the throne in his place. At his trial in 1679 Wakeman was acquitted, the first sign that the public was beginning to lose faith in the reality of the Plot.
Israel Tonge, aka Ezerel or Ezreel Tongue, was an English divine. He was an informer in and probably one of the inventors of the "Popish" plot.
David Lewis, S.J. was a Jesuit Catholic priest and martyr who was also known as Charles Baker. Lewis was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales and is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. His feast day is celebrated on 27 August.
Miles Prance was an English Roman Catholic craftsman who was caught up in and perjured himself during the Popish Plot and the resulting anti-Catholic hysteria in London during the reign of Charles II.
William Petre, 4th Baron Petre was an English peer and victim of the Popish Plot.
Richard Langhorne was an English barrister and Catholic martyr, who was executed on a false charge of treason as part of the fabricated Popish Plot. He fell under suspicion because he was a Roman Catholic, and because he had acted as legal adviser to the Jesuits at a time of acute anti-Catholic hysteria.
Edward Colman or Coleman was an English Catholic courtier under Charles II of England. He was hanged, drawn and quartered on a treason charge, having been implicated by Titus Oates in his false accusations concerning a Popish Plot. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.
Thomas Whitbread was an English Jesuit missionary and martyr, wrongly convicted of conspiracy to murder Charles II of England and hanged during the Popish Plot. He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI and his feast day is celebrated on 20 June.
William Barrow was an English Jesuit, executed as a result of the Popish Plot, a fabricated Catholic conspiracy to kill the King. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1929. By a papal decree of 4 December 1886, this martyr's cause was introduced, but under the name of "William Harcourt". This is the official name of beatification.
John Fenwick, real surname Caldwell was an English Jesuit, executed at the time of the fabricated Popish Plot. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI.
Andrew Bromwich was an English Roman Catholic priest. He was a survivor of the Popish Plot, and the founder of the Oscott Mission in Staffordshire, which later became St. Mary's College, Oscott.
John Gavan was an English Jesuit. He was a victim of the fabricated Popish Plot, and was wrongfully executed for conspiracy to murder King Charles II. He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI.
Anthony Turner was an English Jesuit priest and martyr. He was a victim of the Popish Plot, and was falsely convicted and executed for conspiracy to murder Charles II. He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI and his feast day is 20 June.
John Arnold, widely known as John Arnold of Monmouthshire, was a Welsh Protestant politician and Whig MP. He was one of the most prominent people in Monmouthshire in the late 17th century. A stark anti-Catholic, he was a notable figure during the Popish plot and the suppression of Catholicism in the country. Arnold represented the constituencies around Monmouth and Southwark in Parliament in the 1680s and 1690s. His strong anti-Catholic beliefs and insurgences against Catholic priests made him an unpopular and controversial figure amongst his peers and in his native Monmouthshire. In his later years his behaviour became increasingly eccentric, and he was widely believed to have faked an attempt on his own life. Amongst his associates were Titus Oates and Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury.
Edward Thwing was an English Catholic priest and martyr.