VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis, who is a Jesuit, Tuesday skipped the Vatican’s customary procedures and bestowed sainthood by decree on Father Pierre Favre, a 16th century priest who was one of the first Jesuits.
Francis, the first Jesuit Pope in history, applied a little-used procedure called “equivalent canonization.”
This meant Favre was proclaimed a saint by decree without a formal ceremony and without the need for a miracle to have been performed through his intercession.
Francis, who has often spoken of his devotion to Favre and his admiration for the early Jesuit’s spirituality, signed a decree that added Favre’s name to the universal calendar of Roman Catholic saints.
Favre, who was born in France in 1506 and died in Rome in 1546, was beatified, or declared a blessed of the Church, in 1872.
He spent much of his adult life preaching to Protestants in Germany during the Reformation.
The “equivalent canonization” procedure has been used by Popes to bestow sainthood on a person who died long ago and who the Church has revered as holy for centuries.
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