Saint Peter Faber, the Quiet Companion

Pope Francis and the Vatican have announced that Peter Faber, SJ, has been canonized. In celebration, Loyola Press is releasing The Quiet Companion, the authoritative biography about Peter Faber and his role in founding and shaping the Society of Jesus. Enjoy this excerpt. As Faber was now [in 1534] preparing for his ordination, Ignatius allowed him to do the Spiritual Exercises. Although that February and March were the coldest in living memory he withdrew from […]

Peter Faber Soon to Be Canonized

Earlier this month, Paul Campbell, SJ, wrote about a favorite Jesuit of his who may not be familiar to some readers: Bl. Pierre Favre. Now the Vatican Insider reports that Pope Francis will likely canonize Favre (also known as Peter Faber) in December, so it’s a good time to learn more about this companion of St. Ignatius, sometimes called the “second Jesuit.” Biographical Information Words of Faber Prayer for Detachment Doing Good and Praying Well […]

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, SJ

Today is the feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, SJ (1533-1617). He was a humble lay brother who served as the doorkeeper at a Jesuit school in Majorca for 45 years. He exerted great influence on Jesuits and lay people who came to know him, and was especially admired for his wisdom about finding joy in hardship. Here is an exercise he used in times of trouble: I put myself in spirit before our crucified Lord, looking […]

St. Robert Bellarmine

Today is the feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, SJ (1542-1621).  He was a formidable intellectual–a Doctor of the Church and one of the most important leaders of the Catholic Reformation.  He was one of the most powerful men in Rome, but he lived an austere life and gave most of his money to the poor.  He once gave the tapestries from his living quarters to the poor, saying that the walls wouldn’t catch cold.  He […]

Ricci Back on the Sainthood Track

The sainthood cause for Matteo Ricci, SJ, is back on track after a decades-long hiatus during which theologians debated his often controversial reputation. Ricci went to China in 1582 as a missionary. He learned the Chinese language, adopted Chinese customs, and worked to express the Christian faith in concepts and symbols drawn from Chinese culture. He introduced Western science, medicine, and learning to China, and is recognized today as major figure in Chinese history. Many […]

Walter Ciszek’s Commitment

Last spring, the Vatican opened the canonization process for Walter Ciszek, SJ, the American Jesuit who spent 23 years as a prisoner in the Soviet Union.  This month the Jesuits are highlighting Fr. Ciszek’s life and the theme “A Life in Service” for Vocation Month.  Here’s something a Jesuit said about him, and I don’t think it applies to just  priestly vocations: A life in service like Walter Ciszek’s means commitment; it means something that’s […]

A Big Weekend for Saints

It’s a weekend for old saints and new saints–especially Jesuit saints and one with a Jesuit connection. Today is the feast of the North American Martyrs–eight Jesuits who were martyred in the mid-17th century in Canada and upstate New York. I remember squirming  in religion class when I was a kid when the nuns described their exceptionally gruesome sufferings.  Later I came to admire them greatly.  One of my favorite novels is Black Robe by Brian Moore, […]

In Praise of Obscurity

In his well-known poem Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley observes something of the transience of all human effort.  Writing about a massive statue of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II, which appears in a stretch of desolate desert, he wonders what, in this vale of tears, really lasts. And on the pedestal these words appear: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of […]

Alberto Hurtado, SJ

The British Jesuits’ site remembers St. Alberto Hurtado, SJ, a Chilean who was one of the true Jesuit heroes of the 20th century. Alberto was years ahead of his time in his approach to social issues. ‘Injustice’, he insisted with enviable clarity, ‘causes far more evil than can be repaired by charity’. So he advocated and made his own the arduous tasks of reading, social analysis, planning action, establishing institutions and deepening that Ignatian […]

Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ

Today is the feast of Aloysius Gonzaga, a saint who made his mark even though he lived only 23 years. Aloysius was born in a grand Italian noble family in 1568.  His life at home was marked by conflict.  His father wanted him to be a soldier; Aloysius wanted to be a priest.  His family was horrified when he joined the Jesuits because he was required to give up his social position, honors, and wealth. […]

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