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Pope Francis Set to Declare Jesuit Priest a Saint

Vatican Insider is reporting that Pope Francis is set to declare 16th century Jesuit, the Rev Peter Faber, a companion of St. Ignatius Loyola, a saint.

The outlet predicts that Pope Francis will issue the Bull of Canonization before Christmas.

This canonization will not follow the typical route of canonization. It’s reportedly called “equivalent canonization” and occurs when the pope bypasses the typical process. Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict each declared a few servants of God to be saints in this way during their pontificates.

Pope Francis previously spoke about his admiration of Fr. Faber in his interview with Civiltà Cattolica.  In that interview the Pope described the qualities of Fr. Faber that he believes makes him a great role model for priests today.  He stated, “[His] dialogue with all, even the most remote and even with his opponents; his simple piety, a certain naïveté perhaps, his being available straightaway, his careful interior discernment, the fact that he was a man capable of great and strong decisions, but also capable of being so gentle and loving.”

According to New Advent:

He was admitted gratuitously to the college of Sainte-Barbe, and shared the lodging of a student from Navarre, Francis Xavier, the future saint, in a tower, which still existed in 1850.

They became intimately attached to each other, receiving on the same day in 1530 the degree of Master of Arts. At the university he also met St. Ignatius of Loyola and became one of his associates. He was ordained in 1534, and received at Montmartre, on 15 August of the same year, the vows of Ignatius and his five companions. To these first six volunteers, three others were to attach themselves. Ignatius appointed them all to meet at Venice, and charged Faber to conduct them there. Leaving Paris 15 Nov., 1536, Faber and his companions rejoined Ignatius at Venice in Jan., 1537. Ignatius then thought of going to evangelize the Holy Land, but God had destined him for a vaster field of action.

After Ignatius, Faber was the one whom Xavier and his companions esteemed the most eminent. He merited this esteem by his profound knowledge, his gentle sanctity, and his influence over souls. Faber now repaired to Rome, and after some months of preaching and teaching, the pope sent him to Parma and Piacenza, where he brought about a revival of Christian piety.

Though Fr. Faber is unknown by many Catholics, he has long been revered as a great figure by Jesuits.

Gonzaga University, a Jesuit institution, is home to Faber House, an extension of the university ministry office. It acts as a space for preparing retreats, continuing retreats and further developing university ministry programs.

Marquette University is home to The Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality, which is dedicated to providing faculty, administrators, and staff with support and guidance in leading a reflective life through retreats, reflection groups, a spiritual library and spiritual direction.

In 2010, Boston College dedicated The Blessed Peter Faber Jesuit Community, a space devoted to the formation of Jesuit priests. 

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