Peter Faber

Last updated

Saint
Peter Faber
S.J.
Pierre Favre(1).jpg
Co-founder of the Society of Jesus
Priest, Founder
Born(1506-04-13)13 April 1506
Villaret, Duchy of Savoy
Holy Roman Empire
Died1 August 1546(1546-08-01) (aged 40)
Rome, Papal States
Venerated in Catholic Church
(Society of Jesus)
Beatified 5 September 1872, Rome, Kingdom of Italy, by Pope Pius IX
Canonized 17 December 2013 (equivalent canonization), Vatican City by Pope Francis
Feast 2 August

Saint Peter Faber SJ (French : Pierre Lefevre or Favre, Latin : Petrus Faver) (13 April 1506 – 1 August 1546) [1] was the first Jesuit priest and theologian, who was also a co-founder of the Society of Jesus, along with Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier. Pope Francis announced his canonization on 17 December 2013.

Contents

Life

Early life

Faber was born in 1506 to a peasant family in the village of Villaret, in the Duchy of Savoy (now Saint-Jean-de-Sixt in the French Department of Haute-Savoie). As a boy, he was a shepherd in the high pastures of the French Alps. [2] He had little education, but a remarkable memory; he could hear a sermon in the morning and then repeat it verbatim in the afternoon for his friends. [1] Two of his uncles were Carthusian priors. [3] At first, he was entrusted to the care of a priest at Thônes and later to a school in the neighboring village of La Roche-sur-Foron.

In 1525, Faber went to Paris to pursue his studies. He was admitted to the Collège Sainte-Barbe, the oldest school in the University of Paris, where he shared his lodgings with Francis Xavier. [1] There Faber's spiritual views began to develop, influenced by a combination of popular devotion, Christian humanism, and late medieval scholasticism. [3] Faber and Xavier became close friends and both received the degree of Master of Arts on the same day in 1530. At the university, Faber also met Ignatius of Loyola and became one of his associates. He tutored Loyola in the philosophy of Aristotle, while Loyola tutored Faber in spiritual matters. [2] Faber wrote of Loyola's counsel: "He gave me an understanding of my conscience and of the temptations and scruples I have had for so long without either understanding them or seeing the way by which I would be able to get peace." [4] Xavier, Faber, and Loyola all became roommates at the University of Paris and are all recognized by the Jesuits as founders of the Society of Jesus.

Jesuit preacher

Saint Peter Faber, S.J. Pierre Favre (1506-1546).jpg
Saint Peter Faber, S.J.

Faber was the first among the small circle of men who formed the Society of Jesus to be ordained. Having become a priest on 30 May 1534, he received the religious vows of Ignatius and his five companions at Montmartre on 15 August. [5]

Upon graduation, Loyola returned to Spain for a period of convalescence, after instructing his companions to meet in Venice and charging Faber with conducting them there. [1] After Loyola himself, Faber was the one whom Xavier and his companions esteemed the most. [6] Leaving Paris on 15 November 1536, Faber and his companions rejoined Loyola at Venice in January 1537. When war between Venice and the Turks prevented them from evangelizing the Holy Land as they planned, [4] they decided to form the community that became the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuit Order. The group then traveled to Rome where they put themselves at the disposal of Pope Paul III. After Faber spent some months preaching and teaching, the Pope sent him to Parma and Piacenza, where he brought about a revival of Christian piety. [6]

Recalled to Rome in 1540, Faber was sent to Germany to uphold the position of the Catholic Church at the Diet of Worms and then at the Diet of Ratisbon in 1541. [4] Another Catholic theologian, Johann Cochlaeus, reported that Faber avoided theological debate and emphasized personal reformation, calling him "a master of the life of the affections". [4] Faber was startled by the unrest that the Protestant movement had stirred up in Germany and by the decadence he found in the Catholic hierarchy. He decided that the remedy did not lie in discussions with the Protestants but in the reform of the Roman Catholic, especially of the clergy. For ten months, at Speyer, at Ratisbon, and at Mainz, he conducted himself with gentleness with all those with whom he dealt. He influenced princes, prelates, and priests who opened themselves to him and amazed people by the effectiveness of his outreach. [7] Faber possessed the gift of friendship to a remarkable degree. He was famous not for his preaching, but for his engaging conversations and his guidance of souls. He crisscrossed Europe on foot, guiding bishops, priests, nobles, and common people alike in the Spiritual Exercises. [8]

As a lone Jesuit often on the move, Faber never felt alone because he walked in a world whose denizens included saints and angels. He would ask the saint of the day and all the saints "to obtain for us not only virtues and salvation for our spirits but in particular whatever can strengthen, heal, and preserve the body and each of its parts". His guardian angel, above all, became his chief ally. He sought support from the saints and angels both for his personal sanctification and in his evangelization of communities. Whenever he entered a new town or region, Faber implored the aid of the particular angels and saints associated with that place. Through the intercession of his allies, Faber could enter even a potentially hostile region assured of a spiritual army at his side. As he desired to bring each person he met to a closer relationship through spiritual friendship and conversation, he would invoke the intercession of the person’s guardian angel. [9]

Called to Spain by Loyola, he visited Barcelona, Zaragoza, Medinaceli, Madrid, and Toledo. [4] In January 1542 the pope ordered him to Germany again. For the next nineteen months, Faber worked for the reform of Speyer, Mainz, and Cologne. The Archbishop of Cologne, Hermann of Wied, favored Lutheranism, which he later publicly embraced. Faber gradually gained the confidence of the clergy and recruited many young men to the Jesuits, among them Peter Canisius. After spending some months at Leuven in 1543, where he implanted the seeds of numerous vocations among the young, he returned to Cologne. Between 1544 and 1546, Faber continued his work in Portugal and Spain. [2] Through his influence while at the royal court of Lisbon, Faber was instrumental in establishing the Society of Jesus in Portugal. There and in Spain, he was a fervent and effective preacher. He was called to preach in the principal cities of Spain, where he aroused fervor among the local populations and fostered vocations to the clergy. Among them there was Francis Borgia, another significant future Jesuit. King John III of Portugal wanted Faber made Patriarch of Ethiopia. [7] Simão Rodrigues, co-founder of the Jesuit order, wrote that Faber was "endowed with charming grace in dealing with people, which up to now I must confess I have not seen in anyone else. Somehow he entered into friendship in such a way, bit by bit coming to influence others in such a manner, that his very way of living and gracious conversation powerfully drew to the love of God all those with whom he dealt." [4] He then worked in several Spanish cities, including Valladolid, Salamanca, Toledo, Galapagar, Alcalá, and Madrid. [4]

Death

In 1546, Faber was appointed by Pope Paul III to act as a peritus (expert) on behalf of the Holy See at the Council of Trent. Faber, at age 40, was exhausted by his incessant efforts and his unceasing journeys, always made on foot. In April 1546, he left Spain to attend the Council and reached Rome, weakened by fever, on 17 July 1546. He died, reportedly in the arms of Loyola, on 1 August 1546. [1] [10] Faber's body was initially buried at the Church of Our Lady of the Way, which served as a center for the Jesuit community. When that church was demolished to allow for the construction of the Church of the Gesù, his remains and those of others among the first Jesuits were exhumed. [1] His are now in the crypt near the entrance to the Gesù. [4]

Writings

Faber kept a diary of his spiritual life known as his Memoriale. Most of it dates from June 1542 to July 1543, with some additional entries from 1545 and a final brief entry made in January 1546. It begins with a quotation from Psalms: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." It takes the form of a series of conversations, mostly between God and Faber with occasional contributions on the part of various saints and Faber's colleagues. [4]

Peter Faber authored "The Blessed Sacrament" which proffers a convincing argument for the existence and nature of God.

Veneration

Those who had known Faber in life already invoked him as a saint. Saint Francis de Sales, whose character recalled that of Faber's, never spoke of him except as a saint. He is remembered for his travels through Europe promoting Catholic renewal and his great skill in directing the Spiritual Exercises. Faber was beatified on 5 September 1872. [7] His feast day is celebrated on 2 August by the Society of Jesus. Faber was honored as part of the 2006 Jesuit Jubilee Year which celebrated the 500th anniversary of the birth of Francis Xavier, the 500th anniversary of the birth of Peter Faber, and the 450th anniversary of the death of Ignatius Loyola.

Pope Francis, on his own 77th birthday, 17 December 2013, announced Faber's canonization. [11] He used a process known as equipollent canonization that dispenses with the standard judicial procedures and ceremonies in the case of someone long venerated. Faber is regarded as one of Pope Francis' favorite saints. A few weeks earlier, Francis had praised Faber's "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." [12] Francis also gave thanks for Faber's canonization when he celebrated Mass on 3 January 2014, at the Church of the Gesù. [13]

Legacy

The Saint Peter Faber Jesuit Community at Boston College is a residence for priests in formation. [14]

Creighton University confers the Blessed Peter Faber Integrity Award on a student, faculty or staff member who is involved in activities that promote integrity, social justice, peace, and religious, racial, and cultural harmony and is able to inspire and lead others to distill their values and integrity. [15]

Saint Peter Faber House at Gonzaga University is an extension of the University Ministry office reserved for preparing retreats and further developing University Ministry programs. [16]

The Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality was adopted as a ministry of Marquette University in November 2005. [17]

The St. Peter Faber conference room in Loyola Hall at Manresa House of Retreats, Convent, Louisiana, is the location where men on retreat are directed through the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola [18]

The School of Business at Australian Catholic University is known as the Peter Faber School of Business.

Faber Hall at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, is a residence hall and administrative building. [19]

It was announced in Publishers Weekly on 26 October 2016 that Loyola Press has contracted Jon M. Sweeney, the author of The Pope Who Quit and other historical books, to write a new narrative life of Saint Peter Faber. [20]

Related Research Articles

Francis Xavier Roman Catholic saint and missionary

Saint Francis Xavier, S.J., was a Navarrese Catholic missionary and saint who was the co-founder of the Society of Jesus.

Society of Jesus male religious congregation of the Catholic Church

The Society of Jesus is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and six companions with the approval of Pope Paul III in 1540. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

Alfonso Salmeron Spanish biblical scholar and early Jesuit

Alfonso (Alphonsus) Salmerón was a Spanish biblical scholar, a Catholic priest, and one of the first Jesuits.

Simão Rodrigues Portuguese missionary

Simão Rodrigues de Azevedo, was a Portuguese Jesuit priest and one of the co-founders of the Society of Jesus.

<i>Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola</i> 1522–1524 set of works by Ignatius of Loyola

The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Divided into four thematic "weeks" of variable length, they are designed to be carried out over a period of 28 to 30 days. They were composed with the intention of helping participants in religious retreats to discern the will of God in their lives, leading to a personal commitment to follow Jesus whatever the cost. Their underlying theology has been found agreeable to other Christian denominations who make use of them and also for addressing problems facing society in the 21st century.

The Sodality of Our Lady (also known as the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Roman Catholic Marian Society founded in 1563 by young Belgian Jesuit, Jean Leunis, at the Roman College of the Society of Jesus. The modern Ignatian lay group, Christian Life Community, traces its origins to the first Sodality.

Catholic spirituality Sprituality and devotions, and religious life focused on at least one aspect in Catholic Church

Catholic spirituality includes the various ways in which Catholics live out their Baptismal promise through prayer and action. The primary prayer of all Catholics is the Eucharistic liturgy in which they celebrate and share their faith together, in accord with Jesus' instruction: "Do this in memory of me." The Catholic bishops at the Second Vatican Council decreed that "devotions should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some fashion derived from it, and lead the people to it, since, in fact, the liturgy by its very nature far surpasses any of them." In accord with this, many additional forms of prayer have developed over the centuries as means of animating one's personal Christian life, at times in gatherings with others. Each of the religious orders and congregations of the Catholic church, as well as lay groupings, has specifics to its own spirituality – its way of approaching God in prayer to foster its way of living out the Gospel.

The Oblates of the Virgin Mary is a religious institute of priests and brothers founded by Bruno Lanteri (1759–1830) in the Kingdom of Sardinia in the early 19th century. The institute is characterized by a zeal for the work of preaching and the sacrament of confession, according to the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola and the moral theology of St. Alphonsus Liguori. It is also marked by love for Mary and fidelity to the magisterium.

James Martin (priest, born 1960) Jesuit priest and writer

James J. Martin is an American Jesuit priest, writer, and editor-at-large of the Jesuit magazine America. In 2017, Pope Francis appointed Father Martin as a consultant to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communications. He is a New York Times Best Selling author and frequent commentator on the life and teachings of Jesus, and on Ignatian spirituality as inspired by the life and teachings of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Father Martin's outreach to the LGBT community has drawn a strong backlash from conservative Catholics. He is the author of Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.

Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Saint, founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)

Saint Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish Basque Catholic priest and theologian, who co-founded the religious order called the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and became its first Superior General at Paris in 1541. The Jesuit order served the Pope as missionaries, and they were bound by a fourth vow of special obedience to the sovereign pontiff in regard to the missions. They therefore emerged as an important force during the time of the Counter-Reformation.

Daughters of Jesus (Spain) organization

The Daughters of Jesus is a Roman Catholic congregation of Religious Sisters founded on 8 December 1871 in Salamanca, Spain, by Saint Candida Maria of Jesus (1845-1912). Known as Jesuitinas in Spain, their work is primarily educational, and includes the administration of schools and colleges. The congregation is devoted to education in all its forms, and is inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, also offering the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises to women and girls.

Ignatian spirituality, also known as Jesuit spirituality, is a Catholic spirituality founded on the experiences of the sixteenth-century theologian Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. The main idea of this form of spirituality comes from Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises, the aim of which is to help one "conquer oneself and to regulate one's life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment." The Exercises are intended to give the person undertaking them a greater degree of freedom from his or her own likes and dislikes, that they may choose based solely on what they discern God's will is for them. Even in the composition of the exercises by Ignatius early in his career, one might find the apostolic thrust of his spirituality in his contemplation on "The Call of the Earthly King" and in his final contemplation with its focus on finding God in all things.

St. Marys Higher Secondary School, Dindigul school in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India

St. Mary's Higher Secondary School in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India, was established in 1850 by the Society of Jesus (Jesuit) order in the Catholic church to educate the poor. In early India education was rarely available to the common people. Foreign Jesuits initiated the school to remedy this problem. It began as a high school and later added higher secondary, under the accreditation of the Government of Tamil Nadu Education Board. It is government-aided but also receives funds from Jesuits abroad. It has an experienced academic and sports staff.

Loyola House Church in Guelph, Canada

Loyola House or its full name Loyola House Retreat and Training Centre is a Jesuit spirituality centre in Guelph, Ontario. It moved to Guelph in 1964 and was the centre of a renewal in Ignatian spirituality in the 1970s. It is within the grounds of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre situated on Woolwich Street to the west of Riverside Park. In the 1960s and 1970s it was the centre of a significant shift in Ignatian spirituality.

Xavier Catholic College Independent co-educational secondary day school in Australia

Xavier Catholic College is an independent Roman Catholic co-educational secondary day school, located in the Northern Rivers regional town of Ballina, New South Wales, Australia. A Companion School of the Society of Jesus, the school was founded in 2000 and is administered by the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Lismore.

The Martyrs of Natal were a group of 30 Brazilian Roman Catholic individuals – two of them priests – killed in northern Brazil in massacres that a large group of Dutch Calvinists led. One priest was a Brazilian Jesuit missionary, while the other priest was an evangelizer himself. The others were all lay Catholics, most of them anonymous members of the Church, some of them children.

Jérôme Nadal Spanish catholic priest

Jérôme Nadal was born on 11 August 1507 in Palma De Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands, Spain, and died on 3 April 1580 in Rome. He was a Spanish Jesuit priest in the first generation of the companions of St. Ignatius of Loyola. A very close collaborator of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, he was sent to explain to the various Jesuit communities of Europe the first draft of the Constitutions. He is known as the "Ignatian theologian" for having developed the theology behind Ignatian spirituality.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Jesuit Saints and Martyrs, 2nd ed". LoyolaPress.com. 1998. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 ""Saint Peter Faber, SJ (1506–1546)", Ignatian Spirituality". Ignatian Spirituality. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  3. 1 2 "The Spirituality of Peter Faber" (PDF). 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Padberg, John W. (17 July 2006). "A Saint Too Little Known". America.
  5. Michael Servetus Research Archived 11 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Website that includes graphical documents in the University of Paris of: Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Alfonso Salmerón, Nicholas Bobadilla, Peter Faber and Simao Rodrigues, as well as Michael de Villanueva ("Servetus")
  6. 1 2 Suau, Pierre (1911). "Bl. Peter Faber". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company: Newadvent.org. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  7. 1 2 3 "Blessed Peter Faber". sacredspace.ie. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  8. "Blessed Peter Faber". Ucanews.com. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  9. Gavin, John. "Invisible Allies: Peter Faber's Apostolic Devotion to the Saints" (PDF). New Jesuit Review, Vol.2, No.7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  10. Favre, Pierre Manus online
  11. Allen Jr., John L. (17 December 2013). "It's official: Jesuit Fr. Peter Faber is a saint". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  12. Tornielli, Andrea (24 November 2013). "French Jesuit priest Peter Faber to be made a saint in December". Vatican Insider. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  13. "Francis remembers St. Peter Favre". Vatican Insider. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  14. "Faber Jesuit Community". Faberjc.org. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  15. ""Blessed Peter Faber Integrity Award", Creighton University" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  16. "Faber House, Gonzaga". Gonzaga.edu. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  17. "Faber Center, Marquette University". Marquette.edu. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  18. Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola
  19. Michele, Chen. "Faber Hall". www.fordham.edu.
  20. "Religion Book Deals: October 2016".

Sources