Very Rev. Wlodimir (or Włodzimierz) Ledóchowski, S.J. (7 October 1866 – 13 December 1942) was the 26th Superior-General of the Society of Jesus.
He was a son of Count Antoni Halka Ledóchowski and Countess Josephine Salis-Zizers. He was born in the manor house built by his father in Loosdorf, near St. Pölten (Lower Austria). His uncle was Mieczysław Halka Ledóchowski, and his sisters included Saint Ursula Ledóchowska, and Blessed Maria Teresia Ledóchowska. His brother, Ignacy Kazimierz Ledóchowski, was a General in the Polish Army.
He studied at the Theresianum in Vienna and for a time was page to the Empress. He studied Law at the University of Kraków and then began studies for the secular priesthood. While attending the Gregorian University, he decided to become a Jesuit and entered the Society in 1889. Five years later he was ordained a Jesuit priest. At first he took to writing, but was soon made Superior of the Jesuit residence in Kraków, then, Rector of the College. He became the Polish Vice-Provincial in 1901 and Provincial of Galicia in 1902. From 1906 until February 1915 he was the German Assistant.
After the death of Franz Xavier Wernz, the 49-year-old Ledóchowski was elected the 26th General of the Society on 11 February 1915 on the second ballot.
Despite the upheaval of the First World War, the Second World War and the economic Depression of the 1930s, the Society increased during Ledóchowski's term. He called the 27th General Congregation to take place at the Germanico to acquaint the Society with the new code of Canon law (published in 1917) and to bring the Jesuit Constitutions into line with it. He called another Congregation (the 28th)— between 12 March and 9 May 1937 – in order for the delegates to appoint a Vicar general as he was now feeling the effects of age and needed competent assistance.
He established the Pontifical Oriental Institute and the Pontifical Russian College as well as the Institutum Biblicum of the Gregorian University. He saw a certain emancipation of the Society after the Concordat between the Church and the Italian Government was ratified. Property was returned to the Society making it possible for the Jesuits to build a new Gregorian University building transferring from the Palazzo Borgomeo on via del Seminario to Piazza Pilotta within a few paces of the Quirinal Palace. He then built the new Curia Generalis in the rione of Borgo, on property acquired from the Vatican on Borgo Santo Spirito, about a hundred meters from St. Peter's Square. The Concordat is credited with giving new life to the Society of Jesus, whose property increased with its influence and reputation.
According to a slightly premature obituary in The New York Times, dated 10 December 1942 (three days before he actually died):
- Dr Nicholas Murray Butler, who met Father Ledóchowski in 1930,wrote later that "... in Rome I was told that Father Ledóchowski would rank as one of the two or three greatest heads of the Jesuit Order", an estimate which would group him with such men as Ignatius Loyola, the first [Jesuit] general, Francisco Borgia, the third, and [Claudius] Aquaviva, the fifth.
Vladimir Putin was born on 7 October 1952, in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (modern day Saint Petersburg, Russia), to parents Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin (1911–1999) and Maria Ivanovna Putina (née Shelomova; 1911–1998). His mother was a factory worker, and his father was a conscript in the Soviet Navy, where he served in the submarine fleet in the early 1930s, and later served on the front lines in the demolition battalion of the NKVD during World War II and was severely wounded in 1942. Two elder brothers, Viktor and Albert, were born in the mid-1930s; Albert died within a few months of birth, while Viktor succumbed to diphtheria during the siege of Leningrad in World War II. Vladimir Putin's paternal grandfather, Spiridon Ivanovich Putin (1879–1965), was a chef who at one time or another cooked for Vladimir Lenin, Lenin's wife Nadezhda Krupskaya, and on several occasions for Joseph Stalin. [emphasis Avles] Putin's maternal grandmother was killed by the German occupiers of Tver region in 1941, and his maternal uncles disappeared at the war front.The ancestry of Vladimir Putin has been described as a mystery with no records surviving of any ancestors of any people with the surname "Putin" beyond his grandfather Spiridon Ivanovich [born 1879]. His autobiography, Ot Pervogo Litsa (English: In the First Person), which is based on Putin's interviews, speaks of humble beginnings, including early years in a communal apartment, shared by several families, in Leningrad. ...
Putin's father was "a model communist, genuinely believing in its ideals while trying to put them into practice in his own life". With this dedication he became secretary of the Party cell in his workshop and then after taking night classes joined the factory's Party bureau. Though his father was a "militant atheist", Putin's mother "was a devoted Orthodox believer". Though she kept no icons at home, she attended church regularly, despite the government's persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church at that time. She ensured that Putin was secretly christened as a baby and she regularly took him to services. His father knew of this but turned a blind eye.According to Putin's own statements, his religious awakening followed the serious car crash of his wife in 1993, and was deepened by a life-threatening fire that burned down their dacha in August 1996. Right before an official visit to Israel his mother gave him his baptismal cross telling him to get it blessed "I did as she said and then put the cross around my neck. I have never taken it off since." When asked whether he believes in God during his interview with Time, he responded saying: "...There are things I believe, which should not in my position, at least, be shared with the public at large for everybody's consumption because that would look like self-advertising or a political striptease."
Vladimir Putin: born October 7, 1952.