By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
12/22/2013 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Pope Francis has named his favorite Jesuit a saint, bypassing traditional rules for sainthood. On his birthday last Tuesday, Pope Francis recognized 16th century Jesuit Pierre Favre as a saint.
Pierre Favre was the first Jesuit after Ignatius of Loyola. Icon of Pierre Favre by Fr. William McNichols
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Saint Pierre Favre is a favorite of Pope Francis, who is himself a Jesuit. The recognition is also a tip to the Jesuit order, which has long admired and honored the work of Favre.
Pierre Favre lived from 1506-1546 and met Ignatius of Loyola in college and was his first recruit into the new Jesuit order. Favre spent most of his time preaching to return people who had fallen away from the Church into Protestantism.
Pope Francis praised the simplicity and piety of Favre as key points of inspiration.
Normally, procedures within the Church require that an individual have two verifiable miracles attributed to their name before they can be considered for sainthood. However, Church law also allows for people who enjoy widespread veneration within the Church for an extended period of time to be acknowledged as saints. Pope Francis used this loophole to facilitate his declaration.
It should be noted that despite popular convention, the Catholic Church does not make people "saints" after death, per se. Instead, people earn sainthood through living meritorious lives and being accepted into communion with God. It is God who makes saints, and anyone who arrives in heaven is a saint.
The Church works hard, with great integrity and skepticism, to verify earthly signs of saintly intervention. When enough convincing evidence is presented, the Church publicly recognizes the sainthood of the individual.
Faithful Catholics are then justified in petitioning these saints for their prayers before God and asking for their intercession.
Next year two more popular individuals will be recognized. Popes John XXIII and John Paul II are due to be recognized in a unique ceremony that will be attended by both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
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