Pedro Arrupe: Witness of the Twentieth Century, Prophet of the Twenty-First

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:8 mins read
Pedro Arrupe : Witness of the Twentieth Century, Prophet of the Twenty-First | Pedro Miguel Lamet

Pedro Arrupe: Witness of the Twentieth Century, Prophet of the Twenty-First

Pedro Miguel Lamet

IJS Studies: Research on Jesuits and the Society of Jesus




495 pages

The renown of few contemporary church figures has grown as much over time as that of the charismatic General of the Jesuits, Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991). Born into a bourgeois family in the industrial city of Bilbao, he studied medicine in Madrid, but after several years of study he left medical school to join the Society of Jesus, where decisive events awaited him. Expelled from Spain during the Republic, Arrupe was a citizen of the world by vocation and formation. During World War II he worked as a missionary in Japan, where he was accused of being a spy and imprisoned. He directly witnessed the explosion of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and he used his medical knowledge to attend to the victims.

In his position as Superior General he became one of the most captivating agents of change in the Church of the 20th century. At the same time he was a prophet for the 21st century, which he anticipated with many of his brilliant intuitions regarding justice, education, racism, globalization, the marginalization of women, and the plight of refugees and drug addicts. In the last fifty years, nearly one hundred Jesuits, inspired by Arrupe’s insistence on both service of faith and promotion of justice, have given their lives for defending the poor.

Pedro Miguel Lamet researched Arrupe’s life for five years in Rome, Japan, and the Basque Country, and he had the privilege of spending many hours conversing with Arrupe after he had suffered a debilitating stroke. Drawing on a vast variety of sources, Lamet has written this entertaining and captivating biography, which has been revised several times and is already a classic, available now for the first time in English. Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., the 30th Superior General of the Society of Jesus states in the prologue, "this biography has the merit of being the very first to trace with fidelity [Pedro Arrupe's] human and spiritual profile and to make it available to a larger public."


Prologue: The Magis of Father Arrupe
Adolfo Nicolas, S.J.

Introduction to the New Edition: The Twenty-Five Years of a Book

1. The Hourless Day

2. The Adventures of "Peru"

  • A Boy at Last!
  • The First Farewell
  • University Student in Madrid
  • First Contact with Injustice
  • Enrolled in Medical School

3. From Doctor to Jesuit

  • Complete Darkness
  • Miracle Within
  • The Decision
  • On the Way to Loyola

4. Rebirth in Loyola

  • The Master of Novices: A Slender Basque
  • Arrupe's Disk
  • The Office of "Angel"
  • From Jokes to Mysticism
  • Friends in the Lord
  • An Intuition

5. All Is Horizon

  • The Vow to a Foreign Power
  • A Happy Exile
  • Masses Longer Than Two Hours
  • On the Other Side of the "Puddle"
  • America Live

6. From Cleveland to Yokohama

  • In Maximum-Security Prisons
  • Weeping at the Sight of Yokohama

7. That Incredible Japan

  • Japan Is Not Like That
  • Hana ga takai desu ne: What a Schnozzle!
  • Arms Raised over Fuji-san

8. An Exceptional Pastor

  • In Xavier's Parish
  • The Orchestra Man
  • The Subtle Japanese Soul
  • The Profound Self of Zen

9. Light in the Prison

  • "International Spy"
  • A Bare Cell
  • A Prisoner Who Captivates
  • Tonight Is Christmas Eve
  • Returning to the Parish

10. The Novice Master

  • The Infinite in a Cup of Tea
  • A Novitiate in Times of War
  • Profile of a Novice Master
  • Transmitting a Way of Life

11. The Bomb

  • The Manhattan Project
  • The Pika-don
  • An Improvised Hospital
  • A Desert of Ashes
  • Mass over Hiroshima
  • A Sack of Boric Acid
  • "Give it all you have"
  • Radioactive Pathology
  • Shadows of Hiroshima
  • Explosion of a New Era

12. Condemned to Live

  • Hirohito Ceases to Be Divine
  • Burning Corpses
  • As If All His Time Were for Me
  • Books in Japanese
  • "Where You Never Are"
  • Look at the Person, and Then Preach

13. Leader of a World in Miniature

  • Learn the Rules of Baseball
  • "You Have All Eternity to Rest!"
  • Conferences of a Friend
  • In the Place of the Other
  • The Hill of the Martyrs
  • Accused in Rome

14. General for a Council

  • A "Transitional" Pope
  • A Prophetic Toast
  • On the Front Pages
  • In Defense of Teilhard
  • Face to Face with the Pope
  • Faith for the Year 2000
  • With the Founder of Opus Dei
  • The Novitiate of a General
  • "Here You Have Me"

15. The Contentious Sixties

  • An Era of -Protest"
  • Shedding Light on Aggiomamento
  • The Letter on Latin America
  • Trip to India
  • Against Racism in the United States
  • In Dom Hilderb Brazil
  • New Winds at Medellin
  • Tensions in the Vatican

16. In the Crater of a Volcano

  • Conservative Reaction
  • The Conquest of Spain
  • The Creative Explosion
  • Decorated as a Shoeshine Boy
  • The Synod on Justice
  • God Is Joyful
  • Fire at Discretion

17. The Great Option

  • A General's Agenda
  • Rumors of Resignation and Other Campaigns
  • The Pope Asks Questions
  • The Holy See Calls for a Stop
  • The Option for Social Justice

18. Profile of an Eagle

  • Before the Cameras of RAI
  • Jesus Christ Is All
  • Possessed by a Mission
  • Details with Soul
  • Just Another Guy
  • Last One Out, Turn Out the Lights!
  • Golden Jubilee

19. The Resignation

  • The Posthumous Discourse of John Paul I
  • Pre-conclave Discussion
  • The Surprise of the New Pope
  • Good News in Puebla
  • The Cry of the Refugees
  • The Resignation
  • Premonition of the Test

20. Silence Speaks

  • The Last Letters
  • The Swan Song
  • The Great Test
  • Diary of a Sick Man
  • Confidences of a Sick Man
  • The Farewell of a General
  • A light in the Emptiness
  • Superior General Nicolas and Pope Francis

Epilogue: Prophet of the Twenty-First Century

  • With the Future in the Marrow of Our Bones
  • The Woes of the Third World
  • Young People and Native Cultures
  • Commitment of Blood
  • Women, Europe, the Church
  • The Ultimate Secret

Appendix 1: Genealogical Tree of Father Arrupe (SP 541)

Appendix 2: Letter of Father Arrupe, January 3, 1983 (SP 542)

Appendix 3: Be Good



Leave a Reply