5 February: we remember Father Arrupe

By Pascual Cebollada, SJ - Postulator

Father Pedro Arrupe has been considered a "Servant of God" since the moment his cause for beatification was initiated. This took place in the Vicariate of Rome on 5 February 2019. February 5 is the anniversary of his death in 1991, 30 years ago today. Since then, we, the team of the Postulator for the Causes of Saints of the Society of Jesus, have been working on Father Arrupe's cause in conjunction with the different sections of the Vicariate.

The Tribunal has interviewed more than 50 witnesses in Rome and Madrid. Due to the pandemic, it twice suspended its trip to Japan to gather 20 more testimonies. For the same reason, several Jesuits coming from far away had to cancel their trip to Rome. In total, about 80 testimonies are expected from people who, whether or not they have dealt directly with Father Arrupe, will provide information from different angles.

Several "theological censors" continue to read his hundreds of published works to attest to the orthodoxy of his writings. One of these groups is responsible for a number of his works which are only in Japanese. The five members of the Historical Commission are now concentrating on the archives of the General Curia, examining the thousands of letters he wrote as Superior General of the Society for 18 years. Other Vatican archives have already been consulted, and the work will be completed when it is possible to report on what is contained in the archives of the various places where Father Arrupe lived. The Commission will also examine other documents that relate to the sociological and historical context of those years. From this immense material, a dense account of the personality of the Servant of God, as it emerges from the consulted writings, will be elaborated and will accompany the report submitted to the tribunal.

We are confident that the pandemic will not further delay the process and that we can depend on ourselves to move forward. If there are no notable setbacks, we should be very close, within a year, to the conclusion of this diocesan phase, to the holding of the closing session and to the sending of all the evidence gathered to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints for study and judgement. In the meantime, we continue to pray for the intercession of Father Arrupe:

“O God, loving Father: in baptism you clothed with Christ your servant Pedro Arrupe and you called him to follow you in spiritual poverty in the Society of Jesus, listen to our prayer benevolently.
He delivered himself to you completely, in missionary activity, and in the guidance of his brothers; in time of health, as in the hour of infirmity.
Moved by the Holy Spirit, you placed him at the service of faith, making him a master of discernment and meek servant of the justice of the Kingdom.
With trust we pray, in imitation of Jesus Christ, poor and humble, whom he loved deeply, that Father Arrupe be recognized as a model of evangelical life and prophetic witness in the world, encouraging us to become in every culture ‘men and women for others’.
By his intercession, and for your greater glory, I ask you now for this particular grace [...] that you grant to me, as long as it is for your service and praise.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

Fr. Pedro Arrupe


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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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