SAINT FRANCIS BORGIA
Feast Day: October 10
Patron against: Earthquakes
Francis was a young nobleman at the court of the King of Spain. When he was only thirty-three, he became a Duke and lived a happy, peaceful life with his wife Eleanor and their eight children. But unlike so many powerful nobles, Francis was a perfect Christian gentleman, a true man of God, and his great joy was receiving Holy Communion often. This happy life ended when his beloved wife died. Francis did something that astonished all the nobles of Spain; he gave up his Dukedom to his son Charles and became a Jesuit priest. So many people came to his first Mass that they had to set up an altar outdoors, but his Superior tested him by treating him in precisely the opposite way he had been used to all his forty-one years of life. He, who had once been a Duke, had to help the cook, carrying wood for the fire and sweeping the kitchen. When he served the priests and brothers food, he had to kneel in front of them all and beg them to forgive him for being so clumsy! Still, he never once complained or grumbled. He only became angry when anyone treated him respectfully as if he was still a Duke.
Once, a doctor who had to care for a painful wound Francis had gotten said to him: “I am afraid, my lord, that I have to hurt your grace.” The saint said he would not hurt him more than he was right then by calling him “my lord” and “your grace.” Not long before, the humble priest accomplished wonderful works for God’s glory as he preached everywhere and advised many important people. He spread the Society of Jesus all over Spain and Portugal. When he was made Superior General of the Jesuits, he sent missionaries worldwide. Under his guidance, the Jesuits grew to help the Church significantly in many lands. Through all such success, St. Francis Borgia remained utterly humble.
St. Francis Borgia, pray for us!