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St. Francis Borgia


October 10

Francis, fourth duke of Gandia, was first famed for the holiness of his life at the court of Emperor Charles V. But when he was sent to Granada to the burial of Queen Isabella and read in her face, changed by decay, the fate of all things mortal, he bound himself by vow to leave everything and serve only the King of Heaven.

Accordingly, after the death of his wife, Eleanor of Castile, he entered the Society of Jesus. St. Ignatius made him commissary-general in Spain and a little later he was chosen, although against his will, to be the third general of the whole Society. St. Pius V appointed him as an aide to his legate, Cardinal Allessandrino, in a mission to unite the Christian princes against the Turks. Out of obedience, he undertook the difficult journey; but it was at Rome, as he had wished, that he happily completed the course of his life in the year of salvation 1572. Clement X numbered him among the Saints.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. III: August to Advent (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1645-1646.