Promotion of justice and education for justice

Publication date: 
January 2015

The Tenth European Congress of Jesuit Alumni was coming to an end. On the afternoon of August 1, 1973, the closing session was solemnly convened. Then Fr. Arrupe, with his usual energy and enthusiasm and perhaps even more, gave the following conference. Limitations of time did not permit him to read the whole text, but the Acts of the Congress later published it as written. A conference that would change the Society of Jesus.


Pedro Arrupe, sj. born in Bilbao in 1907 and studied medicine before entering the Society of Jesus at twenty years of age. In 1938 he was sent to the Jesuit mission in Japan, where he would spend a good part of his life. He experienced firsthand the catastrophe of the first atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima and his life was profoundly affected by these events. In 1954 he was named superior of the Japan mission and in 1965 was elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus. In this position he impelled and guided the reforms recommended by the Second Vatican Council, which culminated in his calling the 32nd General Congregation. It was this Congregation that committed Jesuits to working for the promotion of justice in all spheres of human activity. On 7 August 1981 Arrupe suffered a cerebral thrombosis which paralyzed his right side; he became progressively more incapacitated until his death almost ten years later on 5 February 1991. His legacy has left a profound mark on the Society of Jesus, and he was the inspiration for the creation of many centers like Cristianisme i Justícia.

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