The Arrupe Collection

On May 22, 1965, the delegates at the 31st General Congregation of the Society of Jesus elected Pedro Arrupe as the Jesuits’ 28th superior general. Like the order’s first general, Arrupe was a native of the Basque region of Spain, born in Bilbao on November 14, 1907. He attended medical school in Madrid at the Universidad Complutense before joining the Jesuits at the age of 20 in 1927. The Spanish Republican government soon expelled the Society of Jesus from the country, forcing Arrupe to continue his academic studies in the Netherlands and Belgium. He was ordained a priest in 1936, after which time he left for more medical training in the United States. Arrupe, on missionary assignment in Japan, was a novice master in Hiroshima in August 1945 when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He would later offer vivid recollections of that morning.


Arrupe served as superior general until the delegates of the 33rd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus accepted his resignation on September 3, 1983. Arrupe had suffered a debilitating stroke more than two years before, and his resignation as superior general was the first in the order’s history. He died on February 5, 1991, and is interred in the Church of the Gesù in Rome. Arrupe’s generalate was marked with significant changes within the Society of Jesus, the Catholic Church, and the larger society. He was appointed general during the pivotal Second Vatican Council, and he spent much of the next two decades determining how to adjust the internal works of the Society of Jesus to the external changes and orientating the Jesuit mission towards the service of faith and the promotion of justice.


The Arrupe Collection will consist of every work published through Jesuit Sources. Three of four volumes are currently available.


You will find formal speeches, interviews, letters, and press conferences. Much of the work first appeared in three books edited by Jerome Aixala, but those titles are now out of print. Copies of Jesuit Life & Mission Today (2009) may be purchased through Jesuit Sources. In addition, Jesuit Sources has a movie of the general’s life, Pedro Arrupe: His Life and Legacy.


The wordcloud below represents the most used words in the speeches, interviews, letters, and press conferences that currently comprise the Arrupe Collection, with a larger size denoting greater frequency.




Use the interactive chart below to sort the contents of the Arrupe Collection by year or date range, by title, by type (speech, letter, etc.), or by source. You can also search those three categories. For example, below search ‘1974’ to only see the items from that year. Or search ‘Poverty’ (or ‘Education’ or ‘Justice’) to only see documents with that term in the title.



To contribute additional content to this collection, please contact the Portal’s editors ( Contributions are welcomed in any language.



The full contents of the Arrupe Collection, as well as the other Essential Documents, are searchable available through the Portal to Jesuit Studies.


wpDataTable with provided ID not found!
Scroll to Top