Miniature Lives of the Saints – Blessed Peter Favre

Saint Peter FaberArticle

Born a.d. 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 Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint 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 struggle 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 Blessed Favre 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 turned his thoughts at once away from all other cares to get his soul ready for its departure. He died, though hardly forty, as one would wish to die, in the very arms of his best friend and spiritual father, Saint Ignatius.

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. “Your first duty is to your soul, and then other things may come; always remembering that the good of the soul is to be the final object of everything.” – Blessed Peter Favre

One day when the Saint was going to hear the Lenten sermon in the court chapel at Valladolid, “the porter, not knowing me,” he tells us, “did not admit me, and so, remaining outside the door, I called to mind how often I had given free entrance into my soul to vain thoughts and bad spirits, and had refused it to Jesus, who was knocking at the door, and how badly Jesus Christ was received everywhere by the world. I prayed for myself and for the porter, that the Lord might not make us wait very long in purgatory before entering heaven. Many other good thoughts then came into my mind; and therefore I felt great affection for that porter, who had occasioned me so much devotion.”

Thy power, O Lord, is not in a multitude; but the prayer of the humble and the meek hath always pleased Thee. – Judith 9:16

MLA Citation

  • Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Blessed Peter Favre”. Miniature Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year, 1877. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 March 2015. Web. 24 March 2019. <>