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Saint Francis Borgia
Feast Day: October 10th
Patronage: Against earthquakes; Portugal; Rota; Marianas.
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Francis Borgia, a descendant of the notorious Alexander VI. He spent a part of his life in collecting titles and offices of importance. Certain reverses of fortune caused him to reflect on his life. He was already a Franciscan tertiary, but this was not enough for him; he became a Jesuit, at first secretly and then publicly in 1550 having made provision for his eight children. In 1565 he became General of the Society of Jesus. He was a man of wide experience, a clever diplomat and ranks as the second founder of his Order
Saint Francis Borgia, viscount of Catalonia and third general of the Jesuits, was born in 1510. On his father's side he was a great-grandchild of Pope Alexander VI; on his mother's side he was the great-grandchild of a son of Ferdinand the Catholic. His holy life atoned for the sins of his ancestors.
As viscount and duke at the palace of Emperor Charles V, Francis stood in high honor. The sudden death of the beautiful Empress Isabella (May 1, 1539) and the sight of her disfigured face as her body was taken to Granada made him resolve to leave the world and serve the King of kings alone.
After the death of his wife (1546), he entered the Society of Jesus with the holy resolve of leading a hidden life and of closing the door forever to all earthly honors. His example of humility exercised an influence upon Charles V when he considered renouncing the throne. Devoted to labor and severe mortification, Francis held himself in such little esteem that he called himself the "poor sinner." In 1565 he became General of the Order. He died at Rome.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch