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Pope delegates cardinal to centenary of Tokyo’s Sophia University

August 31, 2013 - Pope Francis on Saturday appointed Italian Cardinal Raffaele Farina as his special representative to the 100 years’ celebration of Japan’s eminent Sophia University in Tokyo, run by the Society of Jesus or Jesuits. The celebration is scheduled for November 1. Preparations for the actual foundation of the university began in 1908, when three Jesuit priests arrived in Japan in response to a request from Pope Pius X. Five years later, in 1913, they opened the first Catholic university in Japan on the site called Kioi, where Sophia still stands. With Fr. Hermann Hoffmann as its first president, the new university included departments of philosophy, German literature, and commerce. The ultimate origin of Sophia University can be traced back to the plans of the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier, who came to Japan in 1549 to spread Christianity.


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