Father Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991)
28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus (1965-1983)
As a scholar, doctor, and priest, Father Pedro Arrupe was a champion for service to others and justice for all. Born on November 14, 1907, in the Basque country of Spain, Fr. Arrupe interrupted his medical studies at the University of Madrid to join the Jesuits in 1927. He later resumed his doctoral studies in the United States, where, in 1936, he was ordained.
In 1938, Father Arrupe went to Japan, serving as a missionary for the next 27 years. He was living in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb fell in 1945. He led the first rescue party to enter the devastation, building a makeshift hospital and utilizing his medical skills to serve the wounded and the dying. To him, this was “a permanent experience outside of history, engraved on my memory.” He later was appointed as the first Jesuit provincial superior in Japan.
Due to failing health, Father Arrupe resigned his position in 1983. He passed away in Rome on February 5, 1991.