He was from a noble family, and was destined for a military career. In the years 1577-1579 he was a page at the court of Francesco de'Medici. Suffering from a kidney disease, he had time to pray and read Lives of saints. In 1581 he joined the suite of Mary of Austria and followed her to Spain. In 1584 he returned to Italy, where he, to his father the Marquess of Castiglione's great indignation, joined the Jesuit noviciate the following year. He made his vows in 1587.
At the age of 23, in 1591, he died after contracting the plague while tending to its victims. He recovered partially, but his health had been irreversably damaged and he died on 21 June 1591. He was interred in Sant'Ignazio in Campo Marzio.