FABER, fê'ber, FREDERICK WILLIAM: English Roman Catholic; b. of Huguenot ancestry at the vicarage of Calverley (5 m. w.n.w. of Leeds), Yorkshire, June 28, 1814; d. at the Brompton oratory, London, Sept. 26, 1863. He studied at Balliol College, Oxford, and won the Newdigate prize in 1836 for his poem The Knights of St. John. He was made fellow of University College in 1837 and was ordained priest in the English Church in 1839. In 1842 he accepted the rectory of Elton, Huntingdonshire. In Oxford he became an ardent admirer of John Henry Newman and an earnest advocate of the Tractarian movement (see TRACTARIANISM). The greater part of the years from 1840 to 1844 he spent with a pupil on the Continent, and during this time his feelings changed with reference to the Roman Catholic Church; his impressions are recorded in Sights and Thoughts in Foreign Churches and among Foreign Peoples (London, 1842). He visited the Continent in 1843 with the distinct purpose of observing Roman Catholicism and furnished with letters from Cardinal Wiseman. His Life of St. Wilfrid (London, 1844) showed clearly his Roman tendencies, and in 1845 he abjured Protestantism and was reordained in 1847. He formed a religious society at Birmingham with the name Brothers of the Will of God, and again visited the Continent, being received at Rome by Gregory XVI. In 1848 he joined the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in London (see PHILIP NERI, SAINT) and in 1849 became head of the congregation, remaining in this position till his death. He was created D.D. by Pius IX. in 1854.Faber and Keble were the chief religious poets of the Oxford movement and the former's permanent fame rests upon his hymns, which are marked by fervid piety and grace of language. The most beautiful, perhaps, are "O gift of gifts, O grace of faith" (from a longer poem, Conversion), "Workman of God, O lose not heart" (from The Right Must Win), and "Paradise, O Paradise." He was a prolific author of religious and devotional works, including An Essay on Beatification, Canonization, and the Processes of the Congregation of Rites (London, 1848); The Spirit and Genius of St. Philip Neri (1850); The Blessed Sacrament (1855); Lives of the Canonized Saints and Servants of God (42 vols., 1847-56, continued by the brothers of the Oratory); Devotional Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects, ed. J. E. Bowden (2 vols., 1866). His hymns were first published in a small collection in 1848, enlarged editions appeared in 1849 and 1852, and the final edition (150 hymns) in 1862.
D. S. SCHAFF.