Retablo Series. Saint Francis Borgia
Depicted on a relief in hardwood, located on the first level, third frame from the left, Epistle altar of the church. A Jesuit memorial in the altars of Silang, the polychrome relief features the Jesuit saint in black robes, receding hairline and an open-arm gesture.
Born from nobility, He was the 4th Duke of Gandia, hence, his iconography will feature a fallen grandee’s hat by his foot a symbol of his relinquished royal privilege in favor of joining the religious order. He was the third Superior of the Society of Jesus. The crowned skull represents his death as a royal and his memorial as an evangelist and dedicated missionary. An angel on his left crowned his head to commemorate his triumph on divine fulfillment.
Francis Borgia had always greatly loved the foreign missions. He reformed those of India and the Far East and created those of America (Suau, 1909).
His feast day is on September 30 and, interestingly, some records show that he is considered as a patron against earthquakes.
This is part of the series deciphering the iconography of Silang Parish Retablo in Cavite.
Suau, Pierre. “St. Francis Borgia.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909.