Saint Francis Borgia

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

  • Francisco de Borja y Aragon



Born to the nobility, the 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, Spain. 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, 15391543. Duke of Gandia, 15431550. 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 at the expense of their spiritual growth, 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.








MLA Citation

  • “Saint Francis Borgia“. CatholicSaints.Info. 29 May 2021. Web. 26 September 2021. <>