Jesuit Priest Who Saved Lives Post-Hiroshima on Path to Sainthood

Tags: Currents Faith, Hiroshima, Inspiration, Japan, Media, Pope Francis, World News

Currents News Staff

The Holy Father’s trip to Japan will be marked by his firm position against nuclear arms.

Japanese Jesuit Father Yoshio Kajiyama knows the consequences that these weapons produce, and hopes the world will listen to the pontiff’s message from the country of the rising sun.

“I don’t know my grandfather, and I don’t know one of my aunts. Hiroshima, my hometown, was where the atomic bomb killed my grandfather and one of my aunts,” he said. “I’d like Pope Francis to talk about peacemaking and reconciliation in Asia and abolition of nuclear weapons.”

Before Pope Francis, another Jesuit dedicated his life to advocating the dangers of nuclear arms against humanity. One of the people who survived the bombings, Father Pedro Arrupe later spent years as the Superior General for the Society of Jesus.

“All this was an important experience for him, as it signified the pain and suffering of humanity, which would influence his decisions as Jesuit leader,” said Father Pascual Cebollada, the general postulator of the Society of Jesus.

The beatification process for Fr. Arrupe began at the beginning of 2019. The documentation details, among other things, how he acted when the disaster occurred.

He wrote about this in his own book, “I Lived the Atomic Bomb.” 

The Jesuit who studied medicine risked his own life as well as the lives of his novices to create a hospital in their house, where they tended to more than 150 injured people.

More than 70,000 people died on the day of the Hiroshima bombing. Another 200,000 suffered terrible injuries. By the end of 1945, the death toll had risen to 160,000 people.