Lefevre (called also Favre, Faivre, and Faber), Pierre, the first associate in Paris of Ignatius Loyola, born at Villaret, Upper Savoy, April 13 or 14, 1506, died in Rome, Aug. 1, 1546. His parents were peasants, but he received a classical education, graduated at the university of Paris in 1530, and began to lecture on philosophy at the college Ste. Barbe, where Ignatius Loyola was his pupil. He was ordained priest in 1534, and in 1537 went to Rome and obtained for Loyola and his companions the pope's consent to their going to Palestine. In November he was appointed professor of theology in the Sapienza college at Rome, and was chosen in 1538 to visit and reform the diocese of Parma. He was the first Jesuit to enter Germany, where he labored with great success at Worms, Spire, Nuremberg, Mentz, and Cologne, disputing publicly with the reformers when necessary, but chiefly confining himself to persuade nobles, clergy, and people to lead edifying lives. He visited the Netherlands twice; went to Portugal at the request of King John III. in 1544, and regulated the college founded at Coimbra for the education of young Jesuits; founded in Spain the Jesuit colleges of Valladolid, Alcala, Madrid, Valencia, and Gandia; and visited and reformed several dioceses by order of the bishops.
He was recalled to Rome in February, 1546, set out on foot, and died of a violent fever soon after his arrival. He had stopped for a few days at Villaret while on his way to Spain in 1543, and did much to instruct and elevate the people who flocked from every direction to see him. Even then they called him "blessed" and " saint." After his death they canonized him spontaneously. A chapel was built in his memory near his father's house, with the sanction of the bishop. This cultus was approved by St. Francis of Sales, who visited and embellished the chapel. St. Francis Xavier placed his name in the litany of the saints; and this veneration was shared by St. Ignatius and St. Francis Borgia. In 1872, in response to a petition of the bishop and clergy of Annecy, the congregation of rites approved (Aug. 31) the honor paid in Savoy to the Blessed Pierre Lefevre, and this was confirmed by Pius IX., Sept. 5. His feast is celebrated on Aug. 1. - See Father Giuseppe Boero, "Life of the Blessed Peter Favre," containing a "memorial " or autobiography of the saint (translated from the Italian, London, 1873).