Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Francis Borgia (1510–1572)

Saint Francis Borgia (1510–1572)

Patron saint of Portugal and against earthquakes

Feast day: October 10

Saint Francis Borgia was born into a noble family in Spain. He became a duke and lived happily with his wife and their eight children. Unlike many nobles in Spain at the time, Francis was a true man of God, practicing his faith. He gave up his dukedom when his wife died and became a Jesuit priest.

Francis’s superior tested him, making him cook, carry firewood, and clean the kitchen. It was also his job to serve meals to his fellow priests, and his superior made him kneel down in front of everyone and beseech them to forgive him for his clumsy ways. He never complained about this treatment, but he did complain if anyone treated him with the respect that was once given to him as a duke.

Francis helped to spread the Society of Jesus in Spain and Portugal. He was given the opportunity to become the superior general of the Jesuits and sent missionaries around the world to spread the Good News. Francis remained extremely humble, even though he accomplished so much. 

(Image Alonso Cano, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)