Saint of the Day: St Peter Faber
Born in 1506 of poor Savoyard shepherds, Peter, at his earnest request, was sent to school, and in after years to the University of Paris. His college friends were St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier. Ignatius found the young man’s heart ready for his thoughts of apostolic zeal; Peter became his first companion, and in the year of England’s revolt, was ordained the first priest of the new Society of Jesus.
From that day to the close of his life he was ever in the van of the Church’s struggles with falsehood and sin. Boldly facing heresy in Germany, he laboured not less diligently to rouse up the dormant faith and charity of Catholic courts and Catholic lands. The odour of Blessed Peter’s virtues drew after him into religion the Duke of Gandia, Francis Borgia, and a young student of Nimeguen, Peter Canisius, both to become Saints like their master. The Pope, Paul III., had chosen Peter Fabre to be his theologian at the Council of Trent, and King John III., of Portugal, wished to send him as patriarch and apostle into Abyssinia.
Sick and worn with labour, but obedient unto death, the father hastened back to Rome, where his last illness came upon him. He died, in his fortieth year, as one would wish to die, in the very arms of his best friend and spiritual father, St. Ignatius.
Reflection.—As the body sinks under fatigue unless supported by food, so external works, however holy, wear out the soul which is not regularly nourished by prayer. In the most crowded day we can make time briefly and secretly to lift our soul to God and draw new strength from Him.