Wednesday, October 09, 2002

10 October

. . .is the feast of St. Francis Borgia, S.J. in the traditional calendar. He was born on 30 September 1572 and canonize in 1671. A remarkably quick canonization. On his father's side he was the great-grandchild of the notorioius Pope Alexander VI. After the death of his wife, he became a Jesuit and eventually the third Father General of the Jesuits. There's more about him here. He doesn't seem to have made it into the reformed calendar.

This is also the day on which the second group of Franciscan martyrs, Ss. Daniel, Hugolinus, Samuel, Nicholas, Leo, Agnellus, and Donulus were martyred in 1227. The Franciscan keep (used to keep?) their feast on the 13th of October. They travelled to north Africa to convert the Mohammedans. According to Omer Englebert's hagiography "(i)n the presence of the Moors they soon began to vituperate Mohammed, asserting that he was burning in the pit of hell and that all his followers would certainly join him there. Like certian Christians of the primitive Church, they sought martyrdom as the supreme testimony of their love for Christ and as the best means of spreadng the true faith." The Catholic Encyclopaedia article asserts that the sultan first arrested them, not for blasphemy, but because he thought they were mad. In the end though, they were beheaded for refusing to acknowledge the Koran.