Saint Francis Borgia, 4th Duke of Gandía

Saint Francis Borgia, 4th Duke Of GandíA

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Saint Francis Borgia, 4th Duke of Gandía

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Saint Francis Borgia, 4th duke of Gandía, 3rd Father General of the Jesuit Order, Grandee of Spain, (, ) (Gandía, 28 October 1510 – 30 September 1572, Rome) was a Spanish Jesuit and third Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He was canonized on 20 June 1670.

Biography

He was born Francesco Borgia de Candia d'Aragon within the Duchy of Gandía, Valencia on 28 October 1510. His father was Juan Borgia, 3rd Duke of Gandía, and great grandson of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia). His mother was Juana, daughter of Alonso de Aragón, Archbishop of Zaragoza, who, in turn, was the illegitimate son of King Ferdinand II of Aragon.

Although as a child he was very pious and wished to become a monk, his family sent him instead to the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He distinguished himself there, accompanying the Emperor on several campaigns and marrying, in Madrid in September 1526, aged 16, a Portuguese noblewoman, Eleanor de Castro Melo e Menezes, by whom he had eight children: Carlos in 1530, Isabel in 1532, Juan in 1533, Álvaro circa 1535, Juana also circa 1535, Fernando in 1537, Dorotea in 1538, and Alfonso in 1539.

In 1539, he convoyed the corpse of Isabella of Portugal, Philip II of Spain's mother, to her burial place in Granada. It is said that, when he saw the effect of death on the beautiful empress, he decided to "never again serve a mortal master."

Nonetheless, while still a young man, year 1539, aged around 29, he was made viceroy of...
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