Blessed Peter Faber

Blessed Peter Faber

December 9, 2013

Pope Francis is expected to issue a decree declaring one of his favorite Jesuits, Blessed Peter Faber, a saint.

The decree is likely to take the form of what the Vatican terms an "equivalent canonization," in which the pope inserts the name of the new saint in the universal calendar of saints without verifying a miracle performed through his intercession and without holding a formal canonization ceremony.

Jesuit Father Marc Lindeijer, vice postulator or promoter of Jesuit sainthood causes, told Catholic News Service Nov. 27 that "more or less right after his election" in March, Pope Francis asked that the process be started for the canonization of Blessed Faber, who with St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier, was a founding member of the Society of Jesus.

While according to Church law Pope Francis could have signed a decree immediately, Lindeijer said the pope asked that the cause "be studied and evaluated on its merits."

The "equivalent canonizations" – used most recently for St. Angela of Foligno and St. Hildegard of Bingen – recognize the candidates' widespread fame of holiness and veneration by Catholic faithful sustained over centuries.

Faber, who was born in 1506 in what is now France, shared lodgings with Ignatius and Francis Xavier at the College of St. Barbara at the University of Paris.

Faber actually was the first of the Jesuits to be ordained a priest and he celebrated the Mass in 1534 during which St. Ignatius and the others took their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.