Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa, the current superior, informed Jesuits Nov. 14 that the cause “has been set in motion in the Vicariate of Rome, the place of his death” and that “from now on, therefore, he is considered a ‘Servant of God.’”
In July, during a meeting in Spain, Sosa told Jesuits and lay collaborators that the serious work of preparation had begun. That preparation included compiling all of Arrupe’s writings and seeking eyewitnesses who could attest to his holiness.
More than 100 witnesses — mainly from Spain, Japan and Italy — are expected to testify, Sosa said. In addition, two commissions already have begun reviewing all Arrupe’s published works and “many unpublished documents written by or about Arrupe and the socio-ecclesial context in which he lived.”
Sosa, in his November letter, said that assuming the Vatican and the bishops in and around Rome pose no objections, “the session formally opening the cause will take place at the Basilica of St. John Lateran” in Rome Feb. 5, 2019, the 28th anniversary of Arrupe’s death.
“Eloquent and even moving postulatory letters received from all over the world confirm that his reputation for holiness is recognized in different sectors of the church,” Sosa said. “This reputation of holiness is spontaneous, continuous and enduring.”
Arrupe’s work to help Jesuits rediscover the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and “the method of personal discernment and discernment in common” helped the Jesuits renew their life, “their consecration and vows, community and mission,” Sosa said.