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 of Jesus.
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
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.
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
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
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]
March 14, 2019 - Fr. Robert J. Kaslyn, SJ, was called to eternal life on March 13, 2019. Fr. Kaslyn was born on April 19, 1956, in Hackensack, N.J., and entered the Society of Jesus on Feb. 20, 1975, and was ordained on June 8, 1985. He pronounced his final vows on July 31, 1997, at the College of the Holy Cross Jesuit Community Chapel, Worcester, Mass.
March 11, 2019 - Fr. Charles B. Connolly, SJ, was called to eternal life on March 9, 2019. He was born on Dec. 16, 1945 in Boston, Mass., entered the Society of Jesus on July 30, 1963, and was ordained on June 8, 1974. He pronounced his final vows on June 12, 1986 at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.
March 7, 2019 - In his most recent monthly prayer video, Pope Francis spoke on his March intention, Recognition of the Right of Christian Communities. "Let us pray that Christian communities, especially those who are persecuted, feel that they are close to Christ and have their rights respected."
Feb. 26, 2019 - The Ignatian Solidarity Network announced the first annual Ignite: A Celebration of Justice to be held on May 21, 2019, in New York City. During the evening, the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award will be given to Fr. James Martin, SJ, and Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ.
Feb. 22, 2019 - Fr. Richard J. Hoar, SJ, was called to eternal life on Feb. 22, 2019. Fr. Hoar was born on April 11, 1926, in Buffalo, N.Y., entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Aug. 14, 1943, and was ordained on June 16, 1956, at Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y. He pronounced his final vows on Aug. 15, 1959 in Koror, Palau.
Feb. 19, 2019 - Fr. George A. Gallarelli, SJ, was called to eternal life on Feb. 18, 2019. Fr. Gallarelli was born on Nov. 25, 1927, in Boston, Mass., entered the Society of Jesus on Aug. 14, 1950, and was ordained on June 16, 1962, at Weston College, Weston, Mass. He pronounced his final vows on Aug. 15, 1965, at the Fairfield Jesuit Community, Fairfield, Conn.