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

(13 reviews) Write a Review
Pedro Miguel Lamet
495 pp, bibl., index
Publication Date:
IJS Studies - Research on Jesuits and the Society of Jesus
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Product Overview

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."

This book is part of the Jesuit Sources imprint, IJS Studies: Research on Jesuits and the Society of Jesus.


Editorial Reviews

"A magisterial biography of one of the great Christians of our time."  
     - James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything



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

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

1. The Hourless Day

2. The Adventures of “Peru”

3. From Doctor to Jesuit

4. Rebirth in Loyola

5. All Is Horizon

6. From Cleveland to Yokohama

7. That Incredible Japan

8. An Exceptional Pastor

9. Light in the Prison

10. The Novice Master

11. The Bomb

12. Condemned to Live

13. Leader of a World in Miniature

14. General for a Council

15. The Contentious Sixties

16. In the Crater of a Volcano

17. The Great Option

18. Profile of an Eagle

19. The Resignation

20. Silence Speaks

Epilogue: Prophet of the Twenty-First Century

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

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

Appendix 3: Be Good




(13 reviews) Write a Review

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  • 5
    Pedro Arrupe: Witness of the 2oth century, prophet of the 12st.

    Posted by Charles J. Jackson, S.J. on Jan 24th 2022

    An outstanding book! It's s long, but a page-turner in every meaning of that expression: a wonderful compolation of historical witness coupled with personal reflection. A must read for everyone interested in Pedro Arrupe.

  • 5

    Posted by Joseph O connor on Oct 27th 2021

    No problems with delivery and book in perfect condition.

  • 5

    Posted by Christopher Wong on Mar 23rd 2021

    Very informative

  • 5
    Phenomenal and Engaging

    Posted by Holly Kapusinski MSN, RN NC-BC CPNP-PC on Mar 20th 2021

    I searched for an edifying read during Lent this year and I was not disappointed by this book selection. Father Arrupe was both a visionary and a deeply spiritual sage. I highly recommend it. Both engaging and well written.

  • 4
    Pedro Arrupe

    Posted by Robert Scullin SJ on Mar 16th 2021

    Excellent biography. Lamet's lengthy conversations with arrupe in his last decade were inspiring. Good mix of Arrupe's writing and other sources.

  • 5

    Posted by Glenn Willard on Mar 16th 2021

    Truly inspiring bio of a post-Vatican II prophet, saint and precursor to Pope Francis.

  • 5
    The best biography of Arrupe in English

    Posted by Taiga on Mar 11th 2021

    Having read a number of biographies and books on Arrupe, I think this is the best biography of Arrupe available in English. Lamet traces Arrupe's life in a way that we learn not only about the events of Arrupe's life, but also of his spirituality. The book is rich in content but also very easy to read!

  • 5
    A thorough biography

    Posted by Will on Mar 9th 2021

    A thorough biography of Fr. Pedro Arrupe. Fr. Arrupe’s kindness, fidelity and closeness to Christ were manifest in his everyday life. He was a man with a vision before his time and is sure to be a future saint.

  • 5

    Posted by Elia Cuomo on Mar 2nd 2021

    I’m halfway through the book and I am astounded at the accomplishments that this holy and inspiring man has lived. Father Arrupe revolutionized what the Jesuits where to accomplish when he was Superior General of the order. Yet his focus always was his relationship with God. This short sentence from one of his poems captures the essence of that union, “Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.”