He also paid tribute to him at the end of his 2020 encyclical Fratelli tutti, in which he described the Frenchman as a “person of deep faith who, drawing upon his intense experience of God, made a journey of transformation towards feeling a brother to all.”
He said that the saint “directed his ideal of total surrender to God towards an identification with the poor, abandoned in the depths of the African desert.”
“In that setting, he expressed his desire to feel himself a brother to every human being, and asked a friend to ‘pray to God that I truly be the brother of all.’ He wanted to be, in the end, ‘the universal brother.’ Yet only by identifying with the least did he come at last to be the brother of all. May God inspire that dream in each one of us,” the pope wrote.
St. Peter Faber was born in 1506 and studied at the University of Paris, where he met St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Francis Xavier. The three men went on to become the founders of the Society of Jesus.
Pope Francis recognized Faber as a saint on his 77th birthday in 2013, using a rare process known as equipollent canonization.
The 85-year-old pope, who is making public appearances in a wheelchair due to knee pain, spoke at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy to 36 priests from 22 countries, reported Vatican News.
Also present was Archbishop Joseph Marino, who has served as the college’s president since 2019. The 69-year-old archbishop was born in Birmingham, Alabama.
This report was updated at 09:40 MDT with information from Vatican News.