Pedro Arrupe, S.J. (1907-1991)
28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus (1965-1983)
Pedro Arrupe was born in 1907 in Spain and grew up to be a good soccer player, a medical doctor, a Jesuit priest and the 28th head of the worldwide Society of Jesus. He liked the theatre, music and opera. He spoke six languages fluently. He offered Mass at dawn at the summit of Japan’s sacred Mount Fuji, and was in Hiroshima when the first atom bomb fell there. Throughout the tumult and pain of the world around him during most of the 20th Century, Arrupe remained optimistic, humorous and amazingly effective. He aimed the entire Society of Jesus toward care of the poorest of the poor – their bodies and souls – and helped to transform the Catholic Church worldwide.
Early Life in Spain and the USA
Missionary at Hiroshima
Tapped for Leadership
In September 1981, he suffered a massive stroke. He was heart-broken when the Pope had to assign others to guide the Society, but accepted everything as God’s will for him and for the Society of Jesus. For 10 years, he lived, prayed and gave silent witness to the power of love. He died in 1991.
Pedro Arrupe wrote this after he suffered a debilitating stroke, the effects of which he patiently endured for the final ten years of his life:
More than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
But now there is a difference;
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
Fr Arrupe’s speech, “Men for Others” (1973)
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