Collection: Heart of Ignatius on Mind of Arrupe

ARTIST: Fr. Bob Gilroy, SJ


"The work of Christ has to be furthered, and furthered with the same modalities with which Christ did it: as an unconditional, universal mission, and with a Kenosis - which means poverty, humility and the cross - and in constant union with the Father."
—Pedro Arrupe, SJ.

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Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. (1907-1991) was superior general of the Jesuits, the first Basque to occupy this position since the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola.   In his eighteen years as superior general (1965-1983), Arrupe oversaw a renewal of the Jesuits so profound that he is revered by many Jesuits as a "second founder."  

Arrupe's belief -- that the gospel requires effective solidarity with a suffering world -- had roots in his early years as a priest. As a missionary in Japan in 1945, Arrupe was serving just four miles from the center of Hiroshima, close enough to be nearly blinded by the flash of the atomic bomb. The memory of that day and the suffering survivors whom he tended in the following weeks were present to him in each Mass he celebrated for the rest of his life.  

He was instrumental in promoting the famous "fourth decree" of the Thirty-second Congregation, a meeting of representatives from all over the Jesuit world in 1975. The fourth decree defined the modern mission of the Jesuits in terms of "faith that does justice." In the words of this decree, "Our faith in Christ Jesus and our mission to proclaim the Gospel demand of us a commitment to promote justice and to enter in solidarity with the voiceless and the powerless."

—Fr. Charles R. Gagan, S.J. Pastor

Teach me how to be compassionate to the suffering,
to the poor, the blind, the lame, and the lepers;

show me how you revealed your deepest emotions,
as when you shed tears,
or when you felt sorrow and anguish
to the point of sweating blood
and needed an angel to console you.

Above all, I want to learn
how you supported the extreme pain of the cross,
including the abandonment of your Father.

—Pedro Arrupe, SJ

More than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.

But now there is a difference;
the initiative is entirely with God.

It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
to know and feel myself so totally in God's hands.

—Pedro Arrupe SJ  

—Pedro Arrupe composed this prayer after he suffered a debilitating stroke, the effects of which he patiently endured for the final ten years of his life.