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Pope canonizes Peter Faber, the co-founder of the Jesuits

One of the few people Pope Francis has expressed sincere and deep admiration for is Peter Faber, the first Jesuit priest in history.

In the interview with 'Civiltí  Cattolica,' the Pope said he looked up to Faber because of

"...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.â? 

Jesuit Father Marc Lindeijer deals with canonization process of Jesuits. He says it's not a coincidence that Pope Francis highlighted those three features in Peter Faber.

FR. MARC LINDEIJER

Vice Postulator of Jesuit Sainthood Causes

"I think when the Pope uses these words to characterize Peter Faber, we can see what he is doing himself. What strikes people, everytime again, is his tenderness with people, his sweetness, embracing the disabled persons, kissing the ill, taking on the children of people...�

Peter Faber was born in Villaret, France, in 1506. He shared a room with Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier when all three studied at the University of Paris. Along with them, he is recognized as one of the founders of the Jesuit Order, and also as the first Jesuit priest in history. 

He is usually depicted surrounded by angels.

FR. MARC LINDEIJER

Vice Postulator of Jesuit Sainthood Causes

"Peter Faber, in his very short live, he only was 40 when he died, has done an enormous amount of traveling, always by foot, and while traveling he was conversing with the saints, with the angels, and everytime he passed a town, he would pray for that town invoking the guardian angel or the patron saint of that particular town.�

Nobody knows where his remains are. He was buried in the church of the Gesí¹, in Rome, but when the new church was built his body was lost. The documents for his canonization disappeared after the suppression of the Jesuits, in 1773. They were found 50 years after the Order was re-established. 

He has been canonized by Pope Francis with a so-called 'equivalent canonization,' as is usually done when Blesseds who lived many centuries ago already have a devout following. The main differences with a normal canonization is that, in this case, no miracles or ceremonies are needed to proclaim someone Saint. 

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