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

Oct. 3, 2017 — 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 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

May 23, 2018 - Pope Francis believes that media can be used for the good of humanity as well as a way to connect people and foster dialogue. Read an article from our magazine highlighting some of the Jesuits and ministries throughout our provinces using media to minister on the frontiers of the Church, at the service of an authentic culture of encounter.

May 21, 2018 — Jesuit Superior General Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, capped off the second day of his trip to Canada with a visit to Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ontario, which honors six Jesuits and two lay martyrs from the 17th-century missions.

May 19, 2018 — On day one of his first official visit to Canada since being elected Superior General of the Jesuits in late 2016, Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., started his agenda-packed day at Regis College in Toronto doing something he loves: meeting Jesuits in formation.

May 18, 2018 - Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, SJ, the 31st Superior General of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) will be visiting Canada from May 18 – 30. Watch a video greeting, released ahead of his visit.

May 16, 2018 - In our most recent issue of JESUITS magazine, we wrote about some of the new leaders working at our Jesuit apostolates in the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces. Read more about these Ignatian leaders.

May 16, 2018 - Fr. William B. Foley, SJ, MD, was called to eternal life at the age of 72 on May 15, 2018, at Campion Center, Weston, Mass. Fr. Foley was born on Feb. 2, 1946, in Boston and entered the Society of Jesus on July 30, 1963. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1977. He pronounced his Final Vows on June 12, 1986.

May 14, 2018 - On June 9, six East Coast province Jesuits will be ordained priests at the Fordham University Church. Their ordinations come after extensive formation experiences that are deeply rooted to the traditions and the vision of our Jesuit founder, St. Ignatius Loyola. Their ordination symbolizes life and hope for the Church, the ongoing proclamation of the Gospel, and humble and loving service of God’s people.

view all news

Search news







Loyola House of Retreats
Loyola House of Retreats is located on 30 acres of beautiful lawns, gardens and woodland in a quiet section of Morristown, N.J.