Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Ignatius and the Borjas

If I had tv, I'd be watching The Borgias (see trailer for it above :) As Wikipedia states, it's ... a 2011 historical-fiction television miniseries created by Neil Jordan ... based on the Borgia family (Borja in Valencian), an Italian dynasty of Spanish origin, and stars Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI [Rodrigo Lanzol Borja] ...

The Borja family seem so interesting - the most well known is probably Lucrezia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI. I once read an old (1947) but good novel that touched on the Borjas - Prince of Foxes - and I've been intrigued by them ever since

- Lucrezia

Even Ignatius of Loyola knew the Borjas. Not long ago I read na article by John Padberg SJ ..... "Ignatius, the Popes, and Realistic Reverence", Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits , 25 (May 1993) ... which mentioned Pope Alexander VI, and John O'Malley SJ, in his book, The First Jesuits, mentions Saint Francis Borgia ... 4th Duke of Gandia, 3rd General Father of the Jesuit Order, Grandee of Spain ... the paternal great-grandson of Pope Alexander VI ... including the apparent rumor that that Borja had briefly lived in concubinage with Joan of Austria, Princess of Portugal the only (and secret) woman Jesuit. O'Malley writes of Borja and Ignatius ....

While Ignatius was general he occasionally treated his closest collaborators, such as Polanco and Nadal, with surprising harshness, but never, despite aggravations, Francisco de Borja, the former Duke of Gandia, who shortly after the death of his wife in 1546 entered the order to Ignatius' great delight. In 1550, moreover, he greeted with enthusiasm Borja's never-executed project to enhance the church that eventually became the Gesù with the body of his great-grandfather, Pope Alexander VI. In Spain the Jesuits were accused of parading Borja around "like a trophy." (They were of course embarrassed when murder and other violent crimes were with seeming justification imputed to members of his family.) - p. 72


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