Ignatius of Loyola and his “friends in the Lord” began to dream of serving God together in what became the Society of Jesus. Two of his most trusted companions were Peter Faber and Francis Xavier. While Francis Xavier is widely known for his world travels and missionary zeal, Peter Faber worked quietly toward internal reform of the Church and became a pioneer of ecumenism. As a companion of Ignatius and founding member of the Jesuits, he helped create an order of priests that would ultimately change the world, though his story is often forgotten.
In The Quiet Companion, by the noted Irish historian Mary Purcell, Peter Faber, the importance of his works, and the upheaval of the times in which he lived are brought to life. Faber came from a modest background, but arrived at the Sorbonne in Paris where he became friends with Francis Xavier and Ignatius. Known for being extremely hard on himself but gentle with others, he spent his life working for the renewal of the Church one person at a time. Nominated to be a Papal Theologian to the Council of Trent, he died at the age of forty on his way there.
Canonized in 2013 by Pope Francis, who echoes this early Jesuit’s example of compassion and generosity, Peter Faber’s life as presented in The Quiet Companion inspires us to lives of service.
Mary Purcell is a published author with Loyola Press.
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