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Cause for Pedro Arrupe's beatification to begin

The Jesuits are beginning to investigate the beatification cause for Fr. Pedro Arrupe, superior general of the order from 1965 to 1983. The process will officially begin in two months.

A missionary in Japan, Arrupe witnessed the Hiroshima bombing in 1945, after which he and his colleagues treated 150 victims despite dangers of exposure to radiation. According to Fr. Pascual Cebollada, this would influence Arrupe later on as leader of the Jesuits.

General Postulator
“He even carried out some medical operations. All this was an important experience for him, as it signified the pain and suffering of humanity, which would influence his decisions as Jesuit leader.”

This suffering of humanity was a constant concern for Arrupe. For example, his call for more worldwide humanitarian response to help refugees fleeing Vietnam in the late 1970s led to the founding of the Jesuit refugee Service in 1980. 

The will of Arrupe courageously confront problems is something Pope Francis also pointed out at the “European Jesuits in Formation” meeting, referring to Arrupe as the “song of the swan,” the prayer.

As leader of the Jesuits, Arrupe encouraged the order, especially in Latin America, to work more practically with the poor. As Fr. Pascual Cebollada says, Arrupe had a very attractive personality in which many people had confidence.

General Postulator
“With this respect and this great confidence that he had with others, he treated others with a great feeling of responsibility that each one would have in their commitment to him.”

If Arrupe's cause is successful, he would be joining a long list of saints from the Jesuits, who already have 53 saints and 152 blessed.