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Pope urges Jesuits to 'change world'

Francis says Mass for co-founder St Peter Faber

03 January, 12:17
Pope urges Jesuits to 'change world'

(ANSA) - Rome, January 3 - Pope Francis on Friday urged his fellow Jesuits to help change the world at a Mass celebrating the recent canonisation of the Catholic order's co-founder, Saint Peter Faber.

"Authentic faith always entails a deep desire to change the world," said the Argentine pontiff, the first Latin American and first Jesuit to become pope.

"Only if we are centered on God can we go out into the peripheries of the world," Francis told 350 members of his order in their mother church in central Rome, the Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus).

Peter Faber (Pierre Lefevre or Favre in his native French, Pedro Fabro in Spanish and Pietro Favre in Italian) was the first Jesuit priest and theologian, helping Jesuit founder St.

Ignatius Loyola set up the order with St. Francis Xavier in 1534.

Francis told the Jesuits to spread the Christian faith "gently, not with sticks". Making Faber a saint on December 17 Francis said he looked on him as "a true role model".

The pontiff, elected in March after the shock abdication of Benedict XVI, has canonized seven individuals - three women and two men - as well as 813 inhabitants of the southern city of Otranto who were executed after refusing to convert to Islam in 1480.

Benedict canonized 45 people between 2005 and 2012.

His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, made a record 110 saints between 1978 and his death 2005.

Francis will canonise the charismatic Polish pope and the beloved early 1960s Italian pope, John XXIII, on April 27.