Francesco Borja Born 1510
Location Gandia, Spain
Married Eleanor de Castro Melo e Menezes
Children Eight children
Position Superior General (1565–1572)
Died September 30, 1572
Source of Facts and Important Announcement
Status Under Article 64.6 of the Covenant of One-Heaven (Pactum De Singularis Caelum) by Special Qualification shall be known as a Saint, with all sins and evil acts they performed forgiven.
Date of formal Beatification Day of Redemption UCA[E1:Y1:A1:S1:M9:D1] also known as Fri, 21 Dec 2012.
Source of Facts Self Confession and Revelation of Sainthood by the Deceased Spirit as condition of their confirmation as a true Saint.
Francesco Borja (also known as Borga and Borgia) Born near Gandia, Valencia, the son of Juan de Borja, the 3rd Duke of Gandia and Joana of Aragon, daughter of Afonso de Aragon, Archbishop of Zaragoza, who, in turn, was the illegitimate son of Ferdinand the Catholic (Ferdinand II of Aragon) and his mistress Aldonza Ruiz de Iborra y Alemany. Francis was also the paternal great-grandson of Pope Alexander VI.
As a child he was sent to the court of Emperor Charles V. In September 1526 at the age of 16 he was married to Eleanor de Castro Melo e Menezes, of Portuguese nobility. Together they 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.
He was made Viceroy of Catalonia and then upon the death of his father the Duke of Gandia.
The Borja whilst wealthy and of position, had continued to lose face and influence within the Papal corridors of power, particularly since the infamous publishing of Dante Alighieri epic poem The Divine Comedy (1316) and the slandering of the Borja both as part of the eighth circle of Hell and notable members in it in serving Lucifer.
The use by Dante of the extremely esoteric and rare word Lucifer as the name of the supreme demon deity was intriguing and provocative, as the most common names at the time were The Devil, Satan and Beelzebub. Given, most of the target audience for reading copies of the Divine Comedy were wealthy merchants and bishops themselves, the word "Lucifer" was principally an inside joke on Venus and hence the Mother Goddess.
Borja first became acquainted with Loyola through the plot to kill Pope Clement VII and Emperor Charles V. In 1537, Borgia personally travelled with the Jesuits to Rome in 1537 - after Loyola and his band returned from Venice- to see Pope Paul III. Three years the Jesuits were officially recognized as a special "military Order" of the Catholic Church the bull Regimini militantis (September 27, 1540). They have remained a military organization true to this first Papal bull ever since.
After the death of his wife Eleanor in 1546, Borja became more involved in the structuring and operations of his new Order with Ignatius. Borja was instrumental in assisting with the Jesuit missions to the East and the establishment of the 1st Jesuit mission and slave plantation of São Paulo, in 1554 and later the slave port and plantation of Rio de Janeiro in 1565 by Emanuel Nóbrega S.J. and Joseph Anchieta, S.J with Jesuit militia.
As the health of Ignatius started to dramatically deteriorate, Francis Borja decided he wished to be the next Superior General of the Order he helped found.
In 1554, he announced he would also join the Jesuits and was promptly made a Cardinal by Pope Julius II. However, events did not favour Cardinal Francis Borja. Ignatius died in July 1556 during the reign of Giovanni Pietro Carafa as Pope Paul IV (1555-1559). Carafa had been one of the greatest enemies of Borja Pope Alexander VI and immediately nominated Diego Laynez (James Lainez) as Superior General.
Pope Paul IV died in August of 1559 and was replaced by Giovanni Angelo de' Medici (Pope Pius IV). In both cases, Superior General Diego Laynez aligned himself closely making him virtually untouchable.
However, after Pope Pius IV rounded up and tortured and murdered Benedetto Accolti and other members of Papal families in an alleged failed plot, Cardinal Borja made his move and Pius IV was poisoned to death on December 9, 1565. A few days later, Superior General Diego Laynez suffered the same fate and soon after Cardinal Francis Borja was unanimously elected the third Superior General.
Borja strengthened the already substantial powers of the Jesuit Superior General to be greater than any other Order in the history of the Catholic Church. In fact, it is these laws under the Constitution of the Jesuit Order that have rise to the Superior General being known as the Black Pope.
Similar to the Pope, the Superior General of the Jesuits could now absolve priests and new recruits of all their sins, even the sin of heresy and schism, the falsification of apostolic writings. Further, the Superior Generals from the time of Borja onwards had the "official" power by Papal Bull and its by-laws to reverse sentences of excommunication, suspension or interdict and even absolve Jesuit priests guilty of murder and bigamy.
But one of the most stunning victories of Superior General Borja was in securing under Pope Gregory XIII in 1572 the rights of the Jesuits to deal in commerce and banking - a right that had not been granted to any religious order of the Catholic Church since the Knights Templars four hundred years earlier.
Borja died in the same year 1572 and is regarded as a saint of the Catholic Church.