December 5, 2010.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of Jesuit Saint, Francis Borgia. The life of the high-ranking Jesuit was lived between Spain and Italy. He was the son of the Duke of Gandia and the grandson of Pope Alexander VI. At 18, he was sent to the court of his cousin, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles V, also known as King Charles I of Spain. One year later he married a Portuguese noblewoman named Eleanor de Castro and had eight children.
When he was 29 years old he was made Viceroy of Catalonia. In 1543, he inherited the title Duke of Gandia from his father, after he died. Antonio Durá
Mayor of Gandía (Spain)“He inherited the Duchy of Gandia very early, because his father was Duke Juan. The third duke died very young and then he had to take care of the duchy of Gandia.”
He fortified Gandia, constructed Dominican convent and restored the city's hospital.
When his wife died in 1543, his life took an interesting twist. He began to practice the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius and took his vows in secret in order to join the Society of Jesus.
In 1550 and when all of his children were independent, he moved to Rome. There he met Saint Ignatius of Loyola and he later worked on forming the Jesuit order. That year he became a priest and renounced absolutely everything. Antonio Durá
Mayor of Gandía (Spain)“He gave up everything. He even passed up offers from the papacy to be a cardinal, and also to be considered for Pope. He is a very interesting figure in history and is very important.”
In 1556 they elected him superior general of the Society of Jesus. From this moment, until his death 16 years later, he succeeded in the construction of two Roman churches and founded the Jesuit's first university, the Roman College.
It was a life that began in the opulence of the royal court and ended humbly by renouncing power and wealth.