Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRAYERS on FAITH, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on VOCATIONS, The LAST THINGS

Quote/s of the Day – 30 October – Making our way to Life

Quote/s of the Day – 30 October – Making our way to Life

“A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple
must repudiate a human obligation,
however honourable it may appear,
if it slows us, ever so slightly,
in giving the wholehearted obedience
we owe to God.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)

O Lord,
You have given us Your word
for a light to shine upon our path,
grant us so to meditate on that word
and follow its teaching,
that we may find in it,
the light that shines more and more
until the perfect day.
Amen

St Jerome (343-420)
“The Man of the Bible”
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Rest is in Him alone.
Man knows no peace in the world
but he has no disturbance
when he is with God.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

“We must make our way towards eternity,
never regarding what men think of us,
or of our actions,
studying only to please God.”

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

“Christ first of all,
Christ in the centre of the heart,
in the centre of history
and of the cosmos.
Humanity needs Christ intensely
because, He is our “measure.”
There is no realm,
that cannot be touched
by His strength;
there is no evil,
that cannot find remedy in Him,
there is no problem,
that cannot be solved in Him.
Either Christ or nothing!”

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

“Only one thing is necessary:
Jesus Christ!
Think unceasingly of Him. ”

St John Gabriel Perboyre CM (1802-1840)
Martyr for Christ

“Our vocation, yours and mine,
is not to go harvesting in the fields of ripe corn,
Jesus does not say to us;
“Lower your eyes, look at the fields and go and reap them,”
our mission is still loftier.
Here are Jesus’ words: “Lift up your eyes and see….”
See how in My Heaven there are places empty,
it is for you to fill them! …
each one of you is my Moses praying on the mountain (Ex 17:8f),
ask Me for labourers and I shall send them,
I await only a prayer, a sigh from your heart!”

“Let us go forward in peace,
our eyes upon heaven.
the only one goal of our labours.”

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face (1873 – 1897)
Doctor of the Church

“We must always be ready.
Let our faith be lively and active
and our minds turned towards God,
Who is waiting for us.
There is no need to be afraid.
He is good and merciful.
He desires our salvation.
This is a wonderfully consoling thought.
God desires my salvation!
Let us surrender ourselves to Him, therefore,
as if we had to die this very moment!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 10 October – St Francis Borgia and St Daniel Comboni

Quote/s of the Day – 10 October – The Memorial of St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572) and St Daniel Comboni (1831-1881)

“We must perform all our works in God
and refer them to His glory,
so that they will be permanent and stable.
Everyone—whether kings, nobles, tradesmen or peasants—
must do all things for the glory of God
and under the inspiration of Christ’s example. . . . ”

“We must make our way towards eternity,
never regarding what men think of us,
or of our actions,
studying only to please God.”

“Who could ever soften this heart of mine
but YOU alone O Lord!”

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/10/quote-s-of-the-day-10-october-the-memorial-of-st-francis-borgia-sj-1510-1572-and-st-daniel-comboni-1831-1881/

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN QUOTES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 October – “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” Luke 11:28

One Minute Reflection – 10 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Saturday of the Twenty SeventhWeek in Ordinary Time, Readings:Galatians 3: 22-29Psalms 105: 2-34-56-7Luke 11: 27-28 and the Memorial of St Paulinus of York (c 584-644) and St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572)

“While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.’” – Luke 11:27

REFLECTION – “Mary was more blessed in accepting the faith of Christ than in conceiving the flesh of Christ. To someone who said, “Blessed is the womb that bore you,” he replied, “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”

Finally, for his brothers, his relatives according to the flesh who did not believe in him, of what advantage was that relationship? Even her maternal relationship would have done Mary no good, unless she had borne Christ more happily in her heart, than in her flesh.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace – Holy Virginity, 3/

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, you sent St Paulinus and St Francis Borgia to be Your witnesses and to bring Your Church to the pagans for the salvation of souls. Sustain us by their prayers that by our lives we may lead all to You through Holy Mother Church. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 10 October

St Daniel Comboni (1831-1881) (Optional Memorial)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/10/saint-of-the-day-st-daniel-comboni-1831-1881-vicar-apostolic-of-central-africa/

St Aldericus
Bl Angela Truszkowska (1825-1899)
Her Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/10/10/saint-of-the-day-blessed-maria-angela-truszkowska-1825-1899/

St Cassius
St Cerbonius of Populonia
St Cerbonius of Verona
St Clarus of Nantes
Bl Demestrius of Albania
Bl Edward Detkens
St Eulampia
St Eulampius
St Florentius the Martyr
St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572)
Biography here:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/10/saint-of-the-day-10-october-st-francis-borgia-s-j-1510-1572/

St Fulk of Fontenelle
St Gereon
St Gundisalvus
Bl Hugh of Macon
Bl Leon Wetmanski
St Maharsapor the Persian
St Malo the Martyr
St Patrician
St Paulinus of Capua
St Paulinus of York (c 584-644) First Bishop of York

Bl Pedro de Alcantara de Forton de Cascajares
St Pinytus of Crete
Bl Pontius de Barellis
St Tanca
St Teodechilde
St Victor of Xanten

Martyrs of Ceuta – 7 beati: A group of seven Franciscan Friars Minor missionaries to Muslims in the Ceuta area of modern Morocco. Initially treated as madmen, within three weeks they were ordered to convert to Islam and when they would not they were first abused in the streets, then arrested, tortured and executed.
• Angelo
• Daniele di Calabria
• Donnolo
• Hugolinus
• Leone
• Nicola
• Samuele
They were beheaded in 1227 in Mauritania Tingitana (Ceuta, Morocco). Local Christians secreted the bodies away and gave them proper burial in Ceuta. They were Beatified in 1516 by Pope Leo X.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 10 October

St Daniel Comboni (1831-1881) (Optional Memorial)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/10/saint-of-the-day-st-daniel-comboni-1831-1881-vicar-apostolic-of-central-africa/

St Aldericus
Bl Angela Truszkowska (1825-1899)

St Cassius
St Cerbonius of Populonia
St Cerbonius of Verona
St Clarus of Nantes
Bl Demestrius of Albania
Bl Edward Detkens
St Eulampia
St Eulampius
St Florentius the Martyr
St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572)
Biography here:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/10/saint-of-the-day-10-october-st-francis-borgia-s-j-1510-1572/

St Fulk of Fontenelle
St Gereon
St Gundisalvus
Bl Hugh of Macon
Bl Leon Wetmanski
St Maharsapor the Persian
St Malo the Martyr
St Patrician
St Paulinus of Capua
St Paulinus of York
Bl Pedro de Alcantara de Forton de Cascajares
St Pinytus of Crete
Bl Pontius de Barellis
St Tanca
St Teodechilde
St Victor of Xanten

Martyrs of Ceuta – 7 beati: A group of seven Franciscan Friars Minor missionaries to Muslims in the Ceuta area of modern Morocco. Initially treated as madmen, within three weeks they were ordered to convert to Islam and when they would not they were first abused in the streets, then arrested, tortured and executed.
• Angelo
• Daniele di Calabria
• Donnolo
• Hugolinus
• Leone
• Nicola
• Samuele
They were beheaded in 1227 in Mauritania Tingitana (Ceuta, Morocco). Local Christians secreted the bodies away and gave them proper burial in Ceuta. They were Beatified in 1516 by Pope Leo X.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 30 September

St Jerome (Memorial) (347-419) Father and Doctor
St Jerome, here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor-of-the-church-2/
AND:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor-of-the-church/

St Amatus of Nusco
St Antoninus of Piacenza
St Castus of Piacenza
St Colman of Clontibret
Bl Conrad of Urach
St Desiderius of Piacenza
St Enghenedl of Anglesey
St Eusebia of Marseilles
Saint Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572) – Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/10/10/saint-of-the-day-10-october-st-francis-borgia-s-j-1510-1572/
(This post made on 10 October 2017, is on the incorrect date.   His feast day was moved to today in 1969.  Today, 30 September is the day of his death.)

Bl Frederick Albert
Saint Gregory the Illuminator (c 257 – c 331)

St Honoratus of Canterbury
St Ismidone of Die
Bl Jean-Nicolas Cordier
St Laurus
St Leopardus the Slave
Bl Ludwik Gietyngier
St Midan of Anglesey
St Simon of Crépy
St Ursus the Theban
St Victor the Theban

Martyrs of Valsery Abbey: An unknown number of Premonstratensian monks at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Valsery, Picardie, France who were martyred by Calvinists. They were martyred in 1567 at Valsery, Pircardy, France

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 10 October – The Memorial of St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572) and St Daniel Comboni (1831-1881)

Quote/s of the Day – 10 October – The Memorial of St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572) and
St Daniel Comboni (1831-1881)

“I have great doubts about the salvation of those
who do not have special devotion to Mary.”i-have-great-doubts-st-francis-borgia-10-oct-2017

“When you pray, hear Mass, sit at table, engage in business
and when at bedtime you remove your clothes—
at all times crave that by the pain which He felt when He was stripped
just before His crucifixion, He may strip us of our evil habits of mind.
Thus, naked of earthly things, we may also embrace the cross.”

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)when-you-pray-st-francis-borgia-10-oct-2017

“For Africa,
I have dedicated my mind and my heart,
my blood and my life.”for africa i have dedicated - st daniel comboni - 10 oct 2018

“Our life is in God’s hands, 
He does what He wants, 
by an irrevocable gift,
we have sacrificed
our lives to Him.
Blessed be He.”our life is in god's hands - st daniel comboni - 10 oct 2018

“In Jesus crucified we are taken into the depths of God.   It is there that we come to understand most deeply the love God has for us and the absolute lengths to which God goes to give us life, even in our moments of darkness and defeat.

hat we see in the passion of Jesus is a love that gathers in all the scattered, shattered pieces of our life and heals them with a tenderness that can break our hearts.

What we see in the cross is a love that loses nothing that can be saved, whether that be our defeats, our brokenness, or our shame.   With God all these can be points of life for us and the reason is startling –

God can kiss us with a healing because God is wounded by our pain.”

St Daniel Comboni (1831-1881)

Vicar Apostolic of Central Africagod can kiss us - st daniel comboni - 10 oct 2018.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 November – St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

Saint of the Day – 4 November – St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal, Doctor of Theology, Civil and Canon Law, Reformer, Founder of Seminaries.  He is known as the “Father of the Clergy”.   Born Count Carlo Borromeo on the morning of Wednesday 2 October 1538 in the castle at Aron, diocese of Novara, Italy and he died at  8:30pm on 3 November 1584 of a fever at Milan, Italy.  His will named the Hospital Maggiore of Milan as his heir.  He is buried in the metropolitan cathedral of Milan – the famous “Duomo Milan”.   His relics were transferred to a chapel built by Count Renato Borromeo in piazza San Maria Podone, Milan on 21 September 1751.   St Charles was Beatified in 1602 by Pope Clement VIII and Canonised on 1 November 1610 by Pope Paul V.   Patronages – • against abdominal pain• against colic• against intestinal disorders• against stomach diseases• against ulcers• apple orchards• bishops• catechists• catechumens• seminarians• spiritual directors• spiritual leaders• starch makers• 3 dioceses• 3 Italian cities.   Attributes – • cardinal wearing a cord around his neck; it symbolizes the cord or halter worn around his neck during the plague of Milan, Italy in 1575
• bishop wearing a cord around his neck • cleric curing the sick
• Holy Communion  • one hand raised in blessing, thus recalling his work during the plague • coat of arms bearing the word Humilitas (Humility) his emblem.

HEADERfrugal-charles

Count Carlo/Charles was born into the highest echelons of Renaissance life.   The nephew of Pius IV, he was destined for great things in the Church.   His successful career demonstrates the positive possibilities of Renaissance political life.   Given every chance at success by his lineage and connections, he seized each opportunity and turned it to the service of God, the Church and his people.   While many with similar chances squandered their advantages, Charles showed that such assets should not be guiltily eschewed or be a cause of embarrassment, so long as they are put to the service of the Good, the True and the Beautiful.

st charles borromeo - as a child.

Charles was prepared for his later career by his aristocratic responsibilities, becoming a skilled administrator and diplomat at a very young age.   At the same time he tirelessly pursued his studies, becoming a Doctor utriusque Iuris (a Doctor of both Civil and Canon Law) at 21 years old.   With the accession of his uncle to the throne of Peter, he was called to Rome and immediately was created a cardinal-deacon.   Such a position was advantageous because he became one of the closest associates of the pope, with all the dignity of a cardinal but without the responsibility for care of souls.   He reformed the city of Rome and the Papal States thoroughly and was given increasing responsibilities. The papal curia was purified by his example of holiness and sobriety.   He cultivated the friendship of other saints, such as Philip Neri and together they provided the pattern for a renewed curia.   He gathered a circle of learned friends around him and sponsored literary, academic and musical activity, being in particular a patron of Palestrina.YOUNG st charles borromeo - my snip

For his handling of the delicate negotiations needed for keeping the Council of Trent from falling apart, Charles was awarded with the see of Milan.   He began to shift his focus as well, for he had experienced a deep spiritual conversion as the result of the untimely death of his elder brother and dedicated the rest of his life entirely to the good of his people and his Church.   Being one of the most famous and largest sees in Christendom, Milan was a microcosm that displayed both the grandeur and the corruption of Renaissance Catholicism.

Charles set about immediately implementing the reforming decrees of Trent.   Had other bishops swiftly implemented the decrees, as Charles had, the damage from the Reformation may have been mightily checked.   In any case, he found a diocese filled to the brim with time-servers, beneficed layabouts and outright corrupt and vile clergy.   He set out for a purification.  He set the tone with his mighty motto Humilitas and he began to demonstrate one of the most powerful roles in all of Church history:  that of a holy bishop.    Charles knew that the mission of the Church to convert the nations and to win back the Protestants must begin at home.   The Church must be reformed from within, before she could bear effective testimony without.

He was convinced that the heart of the problem was the abuses caused, intentionally or not, by ignorant clergy.   Corruption was comparatively easy to root up but the wholesale re-education of the clergy was a project for generations.   To this end he set up the massive seminary of San Pietro Martire on the site of that saint’s murder in Seveso.   It was to be the prototype of the professionalisation of the clergy that would set a pattern for the rest of the Catholic world, one of the most significant developments in the last 500 years of Catholicism.   He knew that care of priests was essential before the laity could be properly educated and cultivated.   Here is a link to Pope Francis’s visit to the St Charles Borromeo Seminary  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=495XzwybBS0

 

Doctrine was at the heart of his pastoral ministry.   Trent had codified dogma and made it the basis of its reforming decrees.    Charles carried this message that the truth itself was the best foundation of pastoral ministry.   He reformed recalcitrant monks and nuns, calling them back to fidelity to their oaths and vows, rather than tolerating their laxity. Indeed one decadent member of the order of the Humiliati even tried to assassinate him at prayer, firing a point blank shot that miraculously left him nearly unharmed.   He himself was one of the saints in charge of the Roman Catechism and the founder of the concept of Sunday school for lay children, educating them in the rudiments of the Catholic faith.   He brought to the streets of Milan, Truth incarnated as a person, both in the Blessed Sacrament and in his life of imitating Christ.   There was no divorce between his pastoral and doctrinal responsibilities, such a novel idea would have been treated by him as the worst form of heresy.   For Charles, Christ the Merciful was Incarnate Truth itself.

He retained a simple devotion to Our Lady of Loreto and ministered personally to the plague victims of the city, spending his personal fortune for their relief and walking barefoot in sackcloth and ashes in penance for them before God.   Yet at the same time he never forgot his office as a prince of the Church and the Successor of the Apostles.   He repeatedly challenged the secular authorities who sought to circumscribe the liberties of the Church.   He personally went to Santa Maria della Scala, to receive their obedience after they had appealed to the secular authority over him.   He came in full pontifical regalia, bearing the crucifix, and pronounced a public excommunication at their door.   A supporter of the disobedient church fired a shot at him, which was blocked only by the Cross of Christ he bore.   He tirelessly traveled to the rural areas of his diocese, especially the Alpine valleys that suffered under heresy.   To the peripheries he went—areas ignored by his noble predecessors—but Charles did not go there to confirm the people in their error, he came to bring the freedom of Truth.   He took his duty of visitation seriously, removing the corrupt, correcting the erring and ensuring the proper celebration of his beloved Ambrosian rite.St Charles Borromeo giving Communion to plague victims.2by caspar franz sambachSt Charles Borromeo giving Communion to plague victimsst charles Borromeo - Pierre Mignard - holy comm to plague victims

He was a friend and confrere to many of the saints of the Catholic Reform, St Francis Borgia, St Philip Neri, Bl Bartholomew of Braga and many others, having a special predilection for the English priests who would later be martyred.   His solicitude for the liturgy was exceptional, knowing it to be the key to the spirituality and doctrinal fidelity of the laity.   Indeed, once he wanted to bless a cemetery but abandoned the idea when he discovered he did not have the requisite pontifical vestments.   The service of God demanded the very best at all times.   On his deathbed, he forbade the saying of Holy Mass in his room, considering it unfit for the sacrifice of the Mass and insisted on being vested in Rochet and Stole for the reception of his Viaticum.   This was no violation of Humilitasbut rather its highest expression:  utter, complete and humble service to his position as the successor of St Ambrose.   He lived simply, devoutly and penitently but when he executed his office he bore the weight of tradition, history and doctrine.Meeting between Saint Charles Borromeo and Saint Philip Neri

Charles was beloved by his people of Milan and was respected by all throughout Europe, being rapidly canonised in the year 1610.   His life demonstrates the fallacy implied by the words of a contemporary cardinal, who declared that mercy and doctrine were equal parts of revelation.  Charles would have known that such a statement was nonsensical and opposed to the definitions of Trent (and Vatican II for that matter).   He would gently correct his colleague.   Mercy is part of the doctrine of the Church but, more to the point, the whole and complete doctrine of the Church is mercy for a fallen humanity. Truth is mercy; error is slavery.    St Charles demonstrates for us that the Church needs reform in every age but it must be a reform that results in a re-conformation to the Face of her Founder.    May the example of the holy bishop of the Counter Reform (who kept an image of Sts Thomas More and John Fisher on his person) animate those who would make novel arguments contrary to the faith of Christ.

St Charles Borromeo, Father of the Clergy, pray for us all!St-Charles-BorromeoSt Charels Borromeo2TheVisionOfSt.CharlesBorromeo

 

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 10 October – The Memorial of St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572) and St Daniel Comboni (1831-1881)

Quote/s of the Day – 10 October – The Memorial of St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572) and
St Daniel Comboni (1831-1881)

“I am very sorry to lose the company of a man of your merit,
a shining light of counsel, a model in the exercise of the highest offices of State and,
because of your virtue and piety, a factor of edification for all my court.
But I recognise that it would be unreasonable to dispute over you with the Master you have chosen to serve.
It is, therefore, with sorrow that I grant you the permission you are requesting.
I authorise you to renounce your fiefs and titles in favour of your firstborn son.
The number of those who will envy you, will be greater than those who will imitate you, since it is easy to admire beautiful examples but difficult to follow them.
I recommend myself to your prayers and I count upon you,
to attract divine blessings over me, my States, and all Christendom.”

(King Charles V of Spain when he granted permission to St Francis to enter the novitiate of the Jesuits.)

“When you pray, hear Mass, sit at table, engage in business
and when at bedtime you remove your clothes—
at all times crave that by the pain which He felt when He was stripped
just before His crucifixion, He may strip us of our evil habits of mind.
Thus, naked of earthly things, we may also embrace the cross.”when you pray - st francis borgia - 10 oct 2017

“I have great doubts about the salvation of those
who do not have special devotion to Mary.”

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)i have great doubts - st francis borgia - 19 oct 2917

“The same terrible crosses that oppress me
are also the greatest consolation
because Jesus suffered,
Jesus is a Victim
Jesus chose the Cross….
(therefore) I am happy with the Cross,
tbat borne willingly for the love of God,
generates triumph and eternal life.”

St Daniel Comboni (1831-1881)the same terrible crosses - st daniel comboni - 10 oct 2017

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 10 October – St Francis Borgia S.J. (1510-1572)

Saint of the Day – 10 October – St Francis Borgia S.J. (1510-1572) Priest, Advisor, Missionary, Evangelist, Administrator par excelleance.   Born – Francisco de Borja y Aragon was the 4th Duke of Gandía, was a Grandee of Spain, a Spanish Jesuit and third Superior General of the Society of Jesus –  (28 October 1510 at Gandia, Valencia, Spain – 30 September 1572 at Ferrara, Italy).   His relics were translated to the Jesuit church in Madrid, Spain in 1901.  He was Beatified on 23 November 1624 at Madrid by Pope Urban VIII and Canonised on 20 June 1670 by Pope Clement X in Rome, Italy.  Patronages – against earthquakes, Portugal, Rota, Marianas.   Attributes – Skull crowned with an emperor’s diadem.

HEADER - saint-francis-borgia-01 (1)

St Francis was born in Duchy of Gandía, Valencia, on 28 October 1510.   His father was Juan Borgia, 3rd Duke of Gandía, the son of Giovanni Borgia, the son 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.   His brother, Tomás de Borja y Castro, also became a clergyman, becoming the Bishop of Málaga and later the Archbishop of Zaragoza.

As a relative of Pope Alexander VI, King Ferdinand of Aragon and Emperor Charles V, joined Spain’s imperial court at age eighteen,  although as a child he was very pious and wished to become a monk, his family sent him instead to court.  He distinguished himself there, accompanying the Emperor on several campaigns.  The next year he married Eleanor de Castro, who bore him eight children.   In 1539, shortly after experiencing a religious conversion, Francis left the court but continued in public life as viceroy of Catalonia.   At this time under the influence of St Peter of Alcántara O.F.M. and St Peter Favre S.J, he progressed in prayer and the spiritual life.

In 1543, Francis succeeded his father as duke of Gandia.   He was much opposed to gaming and did not allow his servants to indulge in it.   He used to say: “Gaming is accompanied by great losses; loss of money, loss of time, loss of devotion and loss of conscience.”   The same aversion he had for the reading of frivolous books, even if they were not immoral.   He found his greatest delight in reading devout books and said:  “The reading of devout books is the first step towards a better life.”   At the period in which he lived the principal enjoyments of the higher classes were music and hawking;  and, as he could not abstain from them entirely, he took care, at such times, to raise his thoughts to the Almighty and to mortify himself.   Thus, when he went hawking, he closed his eyes at the very moment when the hawk swooped; the sight of which, they say, was the chief pleasure of this kind of hunting.

The Almighty, to draw His servant entirely away from the world, sent him several severe maladies, which made him recognise the instability of all that is earthly.   He became more fully aware of this after the death of the Empress, whose wondrous beauty was everywhere extolled.   By the order of the Emperor, it became the duty of Francis to escort the remains to the royal vault at Granada.   There the coffin was opened before the burial took place, and the sight that greeted the beholders was most awful.   Nothing was left of the beautiful Empress but a corpse, so disfigured, that all averted their eyes, whilst the odour it exhaled was so offensive that most of the spectators were driven away.   St. Francis Borgia 01

St Francis was most deeply touched, and when, after the burial, he went into his room, prostrated himself before the crucifix and having given vent to his feelings, he exclaimed: “No, no, my God! in future I will have no master whom death can take from me.”   He then made a vow that he would enter a religious order, should he survive his consort.   He often used to say afterwards:  “The death of the Empress awakened me to life.”   When Francis returned from Granada the Emperor created him Viceroy of Catalonia and in this new dignity the holy Duke continued to lead rather a religious than a worldly life.   He had a fatherly care for his subjects and every one had at all hours admittance to him.   Towards the poor he manifested great kindness.   He daily gave four or five hours to prayer.   He fasted almost daily and scourged himself to blood.   He assisted at Mass and received Holy Communion every day.   When he heard that disputes had arisen among the theologians at the universities, in regard to the frequent use of Holy Communion, he wrote to St. Ignatius, at Rome and asked his opinion on the subject. St. Ignatius wrote back to him, approving of the frequent use of Holy Communion and strengthening him in his thoughts about it.

Meanwhile, the death of his father brought upon him the administration of his vast estates, without, however, in the least changing his pious manner of living.   Soon after his pious consort, who was his equal in virtue, became sick.   Francis prayed most fervently to God for her recovery.   One day, while he was thus praying, he heard an interior voice, which said these words: “If thou desirest that thy consort should recover, thy wish shall be fulfilled but it will not benefit thee.”   Frightened at these words, he immediately conformed his own will in all things to the Divine will.   From that moment the condition of the Duchess grew worse and she died, as she had lived, piously and peacefully.   St Francis, remembering his vow, determined to execute it without delay. Taking counsel of God and of his confessor, he chose the Society of Jesus, which had recently been instituted.   Writing to St. Ignatius, he asked for admittance, which was cheerfully granted.   But, to settle his affairs satisfactorily, he was obliged to remain four years longer in his offices.  Having at length, by the permission of the Emperor, resigned his possessions to his eldest son, he took the religious habit and proceeded to Rome. Scarcely four months had elapsed since his arrival, when he was informed that the Pope wished to make him a cardinal;  and, to avoid this dignity, he returned to Spain.   Being ordained priest, he said his first Mass in the chapel of the Castle of Loyola, where St Ignatius had been born;  and then spent a few years in preaching and instructing the people.   It would take more space than is allowed to us to relate how many sinners he converted, and how much he laboured for the honour of God and the salvation of souls.Carlos V receives a visit from Saint Francis Borgia in Yuste

St. Francis Borgia saying goodbye to his family, GOYA
Saying goodbye to his family

While he preferred a quiet life of solitude, the Jesuits felt differently and promoted him so that he could use his great administrative talents for the church.   In 1554, St Ignatius appointed Francis commissary for Spain, where he founded twelve colleges and a novitiate.   The Jesuits chose Francis as their general in 1565.   His consolidation of the society and expansion of its ministry has caused him to be recognised as the second founder of the order.   He established disciplined novitiates in every Jesuit province, writing regulations and books of spiritual instruction for them.

Francis created a new Jesuit base in Poland and strengthened the community’s work in Germany and France.   Between 1566 and 1572 he launched the Jesuit mission to Spanish colonies in Florida, Mexico and Peru.   He maintained contact with the missioners by letter, advising them about their own spiritual lives and counseling them on strategy. Following is an excerpt from his correspondence:

“We must perform all our works in God and refer them to His glory so that they will be permanent and stable.   Everyone—whether kings, nobles, tradesmen or peasants—must do all things for the glory of God and under the inspiration of Christ’s example. . . . When you pray, hear Mass, sit at table, engage in business and when at bedtime you remove your clothes—at all times crave that by the pain which He felt when He was stripped just before His crucifixion, He may strip us of our evil habits of mind.   Thus, naked of earthly things, we may also embrace the cross.

Wherever our brethren may be, let their first care be for those already converted.   Their first aim must be to strengthen these in the faith and to help them save their souls.   After this they may convert others not yet baptised.   But let them proceed prudently and not undertake more than they can carry through.   It is not desirable for them to hurry here and there to convert heathen with whom they cannot afterwards keep in touch.   It is better to advance step by step and consolidate conquests already made. . . . They are not to risk their lives unnecessarily in excursions among unconquered people.   The swift loss of life in God’s service may be advantageous for them.   However, it is not for the greater good of the many for there are only a few labourers for the vineyard and it is difficult to replace them.”

His successes during the period 1565-1572 have caused historians to describe Francis as the greatest General after Saint Ignatius.   He founded the Collegium Romanum, which was to become the Gregorian University in Rome, advised kings and popes and closely supervised all the affairs of the rapidly expanding order.   Yet, despite the great power of his office, Francis led a humble life and was widely regarded in his own lifetime as a saint.

In 1571 the pope sent Francis to Spain and Portugal to help build an alliance against the Turks.   He grew increasingly ill on this ambassadorial trip and died after returning to Rome in 1572.

Francis_Borgia

ST FRANCIS BORGIA - GOYA

San_Francisco_de_BorjaSaint Francis Borgia