New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Francis Borgia

detail of a portrait of San Francisco de Borja, Alonso Cano, 1624, oil on canvas; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Confessor, third general of the Society of Jesus, born Gandia, Spain, 1510; died Ferrara, Italy, 1572. Among his ancestors were Pope Alexander VI, King Ferdinand of Aragon, and his father Juan Borgia, third Duke of Gandia. Francis was educated at Saragossa, served as page to the Infanta Catarina, in 1528 was sent to the court of Emperor Charles V, and in 1529 married Eleanor de Castro. He accompanied Charles on his expedition to Africa, 1535, and to Provence, 1536, and was viceroy of Catalonia, 15391543, and Duke of Gandia, 15431550. After the death of his wife, 1546, he decided to join the Society of Jesus and in 1548 pronounced his religious vows. He was ordained priest, 1551, and began immediately to preach with great success. He visited Portugal, 1553, and 15541561 was commissary-general of the Society in Spain. He founded missions in Florida, New Spain, and Peru. In 1565 he was elected general of the Society, in which capacity he edited the rules, founded novitiates and scholasticates, created the Roman province, founded the Society in Poland, and established colleges in Piedmont and France. He worked with Pope Pius V and Saint Charles Borromeo to further the renaissance of Catholicism. Invoked against earthquakes. Canonized, 1671. Relics at Madrid. Feast, Roman Calendar, 10 October.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Francis Borgia”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 10 October 2016. Web. 21 January 2019. <>