Next month, the Pope is to issue a papal bull decreeing the 'equivalent canonisation' of Peter Faber, the first companion of St Ignatius, whom Francis considers a model figure, reports Vatican Insider.
Pierre Faber, a 'Reformed' Jesuit priest whom Francis sees as a model figure, is to be proclaimed as a saint before Christmas, Stefania Falasca reports in an article for Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire.
The process for his cause in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints is complete and now all that remains is for Francis to issue the Bull of Canonisation that will proclaim the first companion of St Ignatius a saint, extending the cult of the soon-to-be-saint to the Universal Church.
Faber was born in the Upper Savoy region of France in 1506 and died in Rome in 1547 just a few weeks before he was due to attend the Council of Trent. He was beatified in September 1872 with a Papal Rescript issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites and ratified by the Society of Jesus. Now Francis is extending the liturgical cult to the Universal Church. The process followed for Faber’s canonization is called 'equivalent canonisation'.
This is when the Pope omits the judicial process and ceremonies involved and orders a servant of God to be venerated in the Universal Church, when such a saint has been from a remote period the object of veneration, when his heroic virtues (or martyrdom) and miracles are related by reliable historians, and the fame of his miraculous intercession is uninterrupted.
'Examples of this in recent history include John Paul II, who decreed 3 such canonizations, Benedict XVI who decreed 1, the last of which was that of Angela da Foligno, confirmed last October 9 by Pope Francis,' Avvenire writes. But Faber’s canonization takes on a whole new meaning as the Jesuit is “a model of spirituality and priestly life for the current successor of Peter.
At the same time, he is an important reference point for understanding the Pope’s leadership style. Faber lived on the cusp of an era when the unity of the Church was being threatened.
Francis spoke about Faber in his famous interview with Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica, revealing some key aspects of the priest as a figure.