Fr Arrupe’s cause of beatification announced

Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ
Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ

Fr Arturo Sosa SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, has announced the beginning of the process towards possible beatification of Father Pedro Arrupe SJ, who is going to be considered from now on a "Servant of God".

The news arrived on the day of Fr Arrupe’s date of birth, 14th September. His encouragement to the rediscovery of the Spiritual Exercises and of the method of personal discernment is just one of his many contributions to the Society and to Ignatian Spirituality.

It is remembered how he asked the Trinity, in whom the Ignatian charism is rooted, "to understand what the manifestation made to Ignatius means for us and for the Society today”. This way of proceeding paved the way for the renewal of life of the Jesuits, their consecration and vows, community and mission. “In general, - writes Fr Arturo Sosa SJ in his announcement - he provided the means for the Society, the Church and society at large to be nourished by the richness of the Ignatian tradition.”

In 1965, Fr Arrupe was elected as the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus. The years he spent as head of the Jesuits coincided with the implementation of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

Convinced of the richness of cultural diversity, he encouraged inculturation in his missionary service of transmitting the Good News. Towards the end of his life, he laid the foundations for the Jesuit Refugee Service. In seeing women, men and children flee from conflict and repression in Vietnam, crowded into small boats seeking safety and refuge, Fr Arrupe appealed to Jesuit provincials worldwide for practical assistance. The generous response he received led him to think more systematically about how Jesuits and their co-workers could respond to forcibly displaced persons. With the help of British Jesuit, Michael Campbell Johnson, he discerned JRS’s threefold approach: to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and forced migrants.

Fr Arrupe led the Society - as a requirement of the service of faith - to struggle against all injustice and unbelief. He invited the Jesuit students to be “men and women for others”.

“Fr Pedro Arrupe was an inspiration to me even before I became a Jesuit,” says Fr Stephen Power SJ, Director of the Hurtado Jesuit Centre. “On taking first vows in the Society, I had taken our vow-day crucifixes to be blessed by him in Rome.  He was, as another Jesuit General Fr. Kolvenbach, stated, ‘a prophet of the conciliar (Vatican II) reforms’.  Many Jesuit houses and works have been named after him.  One of my favourite lines of his was, ‘we Jesuits as poor men just want to serve the people’.  He had many extraordinary experiences; witnessing a miracle at Lourdes (which sparked his entry in the Jesuit noviciate) and tending to the sick after the bomb at Hiroshima are two examples.  Apart from his complete dedication as a Jesuit, he was known as a remarkable companion with a wonderful sense of humour.”

Eloquent and moving letters received from all over the world confirm that his reputation for holiness is acknowledged in different sectors of the Church. As in the first stages of the process, once the nihil obstat of the Holy See, the consent of the bishops closest to Rome in the Italian Episcopal Conference have been received, and the absence of obstacles among the People of God has been assured, on the 5th February 2019, the 28th anniversary of his death, the session formally opening the cause will take place at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.

Fr Arturo Sosa SJ concluded his announcement saying “I am convinced that the person of Father Pedro Arrupe, in this time of grace as we move towards a desired beatification, will inspire in Jesuits and in those with whom we partner in mission a greater desire of union and spiritual renewal, impelling us to greater collaboration in the reconciliation of all things in Christ, guiding us, ‘under the Roman Pontiff’, wherever the Spirit leads.”

Visit the new website about Fr Arrupe