VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is to declare the 16th century Jesuit Pierre Favre a saint, bypassing the Vatican's typical procedures to honor the first recruit of Jesuit founder St. Ignatius Loyola.
The announcement is expected Tuesday, Francis' 77th birthday, two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.
Favre, who lived from 1506-1546, met Ignatius while the two were college roommates in Paris along with another prominent Jesuit, Francis Xavier. Favre later was ordained and spent most of his ministry preaching Catholicism in Germany and elsewhere during the Protestant Reformation.
The Jesuit pope recently spoke about the importance Favre had in his life, in particular his message of dialogue with anyone, including opponents.
It's the second time Francis has bypassed Vatican procedures to declare a saint, after John XXIII.