October 10 - Saint Francis Borgia

Quick Facts

  • Born to the nobility, great-grandson of Pope Alexander VI; grandson of King Ferdinand of Aragon; son of Duke Juan Borgia.
  • Raised in the court of King Charles V and educated at Saragossa.
  • Married Eleanor de Castro in 1529, and the father of eight children.
  • Accompanied Charles on his expedition to Africa, 1535, and to Provence, 1536.
  • Viceroy of Catalonia, 1539-1543.
  • Duke of Gandia, 1543-1550.
  • Widower in 1546.
  • Friend and advisor of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
  • Joined the Jesuits in 1548.
  • Ordained in 1551.
  • Notable preacher.
  • Given charge of the Jesuit missions in the East and West Indies.
  • Commissary-general of the Jesuits in Spain in 1560.
  • General of the Jesuits in 1565.
  • Under his generalship the Society established its missions in Florida, New Spain and Peru, and greatly developed its internal structures.
  • Concerned that Jesuits were in danger of getting too involved in their work, he introduced their daily hour-long meditation.
  • His changes and revitalization of the Society led to him being sometimes called the "Second Founder of the Society of Jesus".
  • He worked with Pope Saint Pius V and Saint Charles Borromeo in the Counter-Reformation.