Society of Jesus Celebrates Feast of St. Francis Borgia, SJ

October 3, 2018 — Today the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast of St. Francis Borgia, SJ (1510-1572), the third Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Borgia gave up wealth, power and privilege as a Spanish nobleman to enter the Society.

The oldest son of the third duke of Gandia, Borgia was born in Valencia, Spain. His great grandfather on his father's side was Pope Alexander VI, and his mother's grandfather was King Ferdinand of Aragon. 

Borgia joined Spain’s imperial court at age 18, and the next year he married Eleanor de Castro. Together they had eight children. In 1539, after experiencing a religious conversion, he began to devote himself to prayer and penance. He left the court but continued in public life as viceroy of Catalonia. 

In 1543, Borgia succeeded his father as duke of Gandia, but when his wife died three years later, he decided to dedicate the rest of his life to serving God. He was familiar with the Jesuits, being a friend of Father Peter Faber, SJ, and he joined the Society of Jesus in 1550 after making provisions for his children. 

Reflection on Francis Borgia, SJ, by Fr. James Kubicki, SJ

He served for a few years as a parish priest until the Jesuits promoted him so that he could use his administrative talents for the church. In 1554, St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society, appointed Borgia commissary general in Spain, overseeing the provincials in Spain and Portugal. In this role, he founded Spain's first novitiate and set up over 20 schools.

The Jesuits elected Borgia as their third Superior General in 1565, succeeding Diego Laynez, SJ. Borgia served as the Jesuits’ leader for seven years and devoted himself to revising the Society's rules, expanding its missions in India and the Americas and shepherding the growth of the young Society. 

In 1571, the pope sent Borgia to Spain and Portugal to help build an alliance against the Turks. He grew ill on the trip and died after returning to Rome on September 30, 1572, at age 61. He was canonized in 1670 by Pope Clement X. [Sources: Jesuit Curia, IgnatianSpirituality.com]





Recent News

Brother Frechette died on 3 June in the palliative care unit at the Oshawa General Hospital. He was in his 87th year and had been a Jesuit for 63 years. From 1978 until a few weeks before his death he was devoted to the Jesuit school and parish in St. John’s, NL.

June 1, 2020 — Before our interview, I had beenwas told that Fr. Marc Rizzetto, SJ, was very funny, very deep, and also…very busy... Nothing I learned in the interview that I finally managed to have with him did anything to dispel these rumours.

May 27, 2020 — On Wednesday, 22 April 2020, Erik Oland, Provincial of the Jesuits of Canada, received notice that an outbreak of COVID-19 had been declared at our infirmary in Pickering, Ontario. By Monday, 27 April, five Jesuits had arrived to provide personal care and custodial support.

May 25, 2020 — What was Fr. Nicolás' impact on Canadian Jesuits and the Jesuit Province of Canada? What contributions did he offer to Jesuits around the world? We present here the testimonies of four Jesuits from Canada and an international one.

May 25, 2020 – In two of the more memorable and elegantly simple ceremonies in recent history, Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall, ordained 5 deacons and Kevin Kelly, SJ (CAN), to the priesthood.

Father Mike Murray died on 18 May, 2020 at the Ajax Pickering Hospital. He was in his 83rd year and had been a Jesuit for 63 years. He served as the first director of Anishinabe Spiritual Centre. In 2010, was appointed as President of Loyola High School in Montreal.

Father Charlie Sitter died peacefully on May 9 at René Goupil House in Pickering, ON. He was in his 94th years and was a Jesuit for 75 years. He had a passion for books and art and thus, he would serve his various communities as house librarian and artistic decorator.

view all news

Search news

Publications

CJI Mission News

CJI Mission News (Winter 2020)

Canadian Jesuits



Loyola House / Ignatius Jesuit Centre
Built in 1964, Loyola House in Guelph, ON has welcomed over 60,000 people of all faiths to deepen ...