Faber (Favre, Lefèvre), Peter, Bl.
FABER (FAVRE, LEFÈVRE), PETER, BL.
The first companion of St. ignatius of loyola; b. Villaret, Savoy, April 13, 1506; d. Rome, Aug. 1, 1546. After early study at Thônes and La Roche he enrolled at St. Barbara's College in the University of Paris in 1525. Here he met and lodged with Francis xavier. In 1528 Ignatius of Loyola arrived in Paris and joined Faber and Xavier in firm, deep friendship. On May 30, 1534, Faber was ordained and on Aug. 15, 1534, he said the Mass at which Ignatius and his small band of friends vowed poverty, chastity, and a journey to the Holy Land to work among the Muslims. He then shared the experiences of Ignatius's group in northern Italy and Rome that led to the foundation of the Society of Jesus (see jesuits). When their plans for missionary work among the Muslims were blocked in 1537 by the Turkish war, Faber went with Ignatius to Rome where he was appointed professor of Scripture at the Sapienza.
In 1540 Faber was sent by paul iii to attend the Diet at Worms and that at Regensburg the following year. At these conferences Faber saw the futility of the hopes of charles v to solve differences between Catholics and Protestants in Germany by discussion and negotiation. He was among the first to respond to the challenge of Lutheranism
by promoting a genuine reform in the life and discipline of Catholics, both clerical and lay. By preaching and direction, especially by the use of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius, he brought about many conversions and instilled a new spirit in the Church in the Rhineland, thereby enabling that area to resist the further spread of Protestantism. He founded the first Jesuit residence in Cologne, and received Peter canisius into the Society of Jesus. His labors also took him to Belgium, France, Portugal, and Spain. After being called by Paul III to attend the Council of Trent, he died in Rome.
Because of his profound knowledge and gentle sanctity, Faber was sought out for his counsel, and highly esteemed by Xavier and the early Jesuits. His spiritual diary, the Memoriale, is a daily account over a long period of the action of God in his soul. It reveals a deep spiritual refinement, and also the strength and charm of his character that were so important in the success of his work. He was beatified Sept. 5, 1872.
Feast: Aug. 2 (Jesuits).
Bibliography: petrus faber, Spiritual Writings of Pierre Favre, "The Memoriale," tr. e. c. murphy, "Selected Letters and Instructions," tr. m. e. palmer (Saint Louis, MO 1996). w. v. bangert, To the Other Towns (Westminster, Md. 1959), with bibliography. p. faber, Mémorial, tr. m. de certeau (Collection Christus 4; Paris 1960). c. sommervogel, Bibliotèque de la Compagnie de Jésus (Brussels-Paris 1890–1932) 4:1657–58; 9:583. Fabri monumenta: Beati P. F. epistolae, memoriale et processus (Monumenta historica Societatis Jesu 15; 1914). j. b. kettenmeyer, "Aufzeichnungen des Kölner Kartäuserpriors Kalckbrenner über den sel. Peter Faber," Archivum historicum Societatis Jesu 8 (1939) 86–102. j. n. tylenda, Jesuit Saints & Martyrs (2d ed. Chicago 1998) 241–45.
[w. v. bangert]