Saint Francis Borgia Historical Profile

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Francisco de Borja Historical Profile
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SAINT FRANCIS BORGIA STATS
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Name: Francisco de Borja
Born: 28 October 1510
Home town: Valencia, Spain
Died: 30 September 1572
Position: 4th Duke of Gandia
House of: Borgia. Great grandson of Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI) Grandson of murdered Juan Borgia
Nickname:
Personality type: Humility
Famous for:
Strength(s): Humility, piety
Weakness(es):
Quirks:


"Never again to serve a mortal master."

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SAINT FRANCIS BORGIA BIO
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Although he will probably not be seen in the series, it is notable that the infamous Borgia family produced a saint. Francisco de Borja was born in Spain in 1510, the great-grandson of Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI). His grandfather was Rodrigo's second son, Juan, who had been murdered, some said, on the orders of his elder brother, Cesare. His grandmother, the Castilian aristocrat Maria Enriquez, was very devout and entered a convent when her son was old enough to manage his estates. His aunt, Isabella, was a nun in the same convent.

On the maternal side, Francis was the great-grandson of King Ferdinand of Aragon and cousin to the Emperor Charles V. After his mother, Juana of Aragon died in 1520, Francis was sent to the household of his uncle, Juan, Archbishop of Saragossa, to be educated. He later served as a page to Princess Catalina who lived with her insane mother, Juana of Castile at Tordesillas. Francis entered the Emperor's household and became particularly close to the Empress Isabella. During his time there he witnessed Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, being taken to prison, an event that made a deep impression on Francis that would affect his later life.

He eventually married one the Empress' ladies in waiting, Eleanor di Castro, and fathered eight children.

Francis was devastated by Isabella's death in 1539 and became increasingly devout. He served as tutor to the young prince Felipe and as Governor of Catalonia. In 1543 he became Duke of Gandia upon the death of his father.

Following the death of his wife, Eleanor, Francis abdicated his title and lands in favour of his son. He subsequently joined the Society of Jesus and lived as a humble member of the order, working side by side with its founder, Ignatius of Loyola . Francis was eventually elected to the office of Superior General, the third to hold that office, and established missions in the New World. His feast day was celebrated on October 10th unitl the reorganization of the calendar of the saints when it was dropped because of the limited area of observance. It is still celebrated in parish churches that bear Francis name.



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CONTEMPORARY VOICES
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SAINT FRANCIS BORGIA QUOTES
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  • "Never again to serve a mortal master."
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SAINT FRANCIS BORGIA TRIVIA
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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND MATERIALS
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BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS WEBSITES & MEDIA
  • "The greatest of the Borgias," Margaret Yeo, 1936.
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