Who Is Saint Charles

St. Charles Borromeo

Home PhilosophyReligion Personages associated with religion Scholars Saints Popes Cardinal and archbishop of the Italian church Alternative titles include: Charles Cardinal Borromeo, also known as San Carlo Borromeo, was a saint who lived in the 13th century. St. Charles Borromeo is an Italian saint. St. Carlo Borromeo, (born October 2, 1538, Arona, Duchy of Milan—died November 3, 1584, Milan; canonized 1610; feast day November 4) was an Italian cardinal and archbishop who was considered to be one of the most prominent actors in the Counter-Reformation.

It was in 1559 that Borromeo got his PhD in civil and canon law from the University of Pavia.

The Consulta, which he presided over, was the most important of his curial responsibilities, and it elevated him to the post of secretary of state to Pius.

When the council adjourned, Borromeo assisted in the implementation of its decisions, and he was a major contributor to the publication of the Romancatechismin in 1566.

  1. Borromeo participated in the conclave that elected Pope Pius V following the death of his uncle (1566).
  2. He made regular visits to his more than 1,000 parishes, which were under the jurisdiction of King Philip II of Spain, as well as the jurisdictions of Venice, Genoa, and Novara, among other places.
  3. With a view to countering the threat of Protestantism, the pope promoted clerical education, establishing seminaries and colleges in locations such as Milan, as well as the Italian cities of Inverigo and Celano.
  4. At 1584, he completed his final project, which was the establishment of a college in Ascona, Switzerland.
  5. Luis de Requesens y Ziga, the viceroy of Milan, and the rebellious canons of Santa Maria della Scala (the “Humble Ones”) all became involved in his affairs, as did the Milanese Senate and the viceroy, Luis de Requesens y Ziga.
  6. Ambrose, which he founded.
  7. Contrary to the archbishop’s pleadings for mercy, Farina and his associates were tortured and eventually killed.

Pope Paul VI declared him to be a saint in 1610. Melissa Petruzzello was the author of the most recent revision and update to this article.

Saint Charles Borromeo

The Life and Times of Saint Charles Borromeo The name Charles Borromeo is related with reformation and reformation. The Protestant Reformation was taking place at the time of his birth, and he played a role in the reformation of the whole Church during the closing years of the Council of Trent. The fact that Charles was born into Milanese aristocracy and was linked to the powerful Medici family did not deter him from his goal of becoming a missionary for Christendom. When Charles’ uncle, Cardinal de Medici, was elected Pope Pius IV in 1559, he elevated Charles to the rank of cardinal-deacon and appointed him administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan.

  1. On the basis of his intellectual abilities, Charles was appointed to a number of significant positions associated with the Vatican and eventually made Secretary of State with authority for the papal states.
  2. Borromeo was consecrated bishop of Milan not long after he was ordained as a priest at the age of 25.
  3. Borromeo persuaded the Pope to call for the reconvening of the Council in 1562, after it had been halted for a period of ten years.
  4. Because of his involvement with the Council, Borromeo was unable to establish a permanent abode in Milan until the Council’s work was completed.
  5. All of the bishops under his leadership came together in a regional council to begin the change that was needed in every part of Catholic life, among both clergy and laity.
  6. Charles took the initiative and set a positive example for others to follow.
  7. He gave up money, high honors, prestige, and power in order to become impoverished.
  8. In order to do this, he borrowed vast quantities of money that would take years to return.
  9. Archbishop Borromeo’s health began to deteriorate as a result of his demanding job and the heavy responsibilities of his high office, and he died at the age of 46.

Borromeo recognized Christ in his neighbor and understood that charity performed for the least of his flock was charity performed for Christ. Saint Charles Borromeo is the patron saint of: Catechists, among other things. Catechumens Seminarians

Who was St. Charles Borromeo? — St. Charles Borromeo

Who was Saint Charles Borromeo, our patron saint? Charles Borromeo was born on October 2, 1538, among the Alps in the Italian city of Lake Maggiore. He was the son of a noble family. In addition to being the second son of renowned and rich parents, he was brought up in an intensely devout environment. When he was twelve years old, he was subjected to tonsure, which is the shaving of the hair on the top of his head. This designated him as a candidate for the priesthood, and he went to school with the aim of becoming a priest in mind.

  • Three weeks after he obtained his degree, his mother’s brother was elected Pope and summoned his brilliant young nephew to the Vatican City.
  • In recognition of Charles Borromeo’s organizational abilities and interpersonal qualities, the Pope elevated him to the position of Secretary of State, appointed him Cardinal Protector of several nations and six religious orders, and appointed him Archbishop of Milan.
  • During the Council of Trent in 1562, Charles was selected by Pope Pius V to assist him with the planning of the meeting.
  • He made the decision to be holy and, if possible, to make the Church a more holy place as well.
  • Many of these changes, as well as others for which Charles is recognized, arose as a result of the Trent Conference.
  • The plague invaded Milan and he maintained his job with the poor, caring for them on the streets as the disease spread.
  • When Charles, the Archbishop of Milan, was out and about, he was generally dressed in rags.

He lived a life of prayer, slept little, and ate even less than other people.

On the way back to Milan, he became unwell with a high temperature and had to be carried back on a stretcher to the city’s hospital.

In 1610, the Church, which he had fought so hard to make more human, declared him a saint, and he was canonized.

Charles Borromeo, sometimes known as the “kind reformer,” was concerned about people and wanted them to know that the Church of God was concerned about them as well.

Father Charles Borromeo spent the better part of his life to assisting God’s people in becoming more like Jesus, and therefore more like the Kingdom of the Father.

Because we are Christians, we have the ability to reach out in unique ways to aid individuals in our immediate vicinity and to make the face of God more visible in the world.

In a way, it is fitting that St.


This is reflected in our mission statement, which states that we “share faith in Jesus, live the Gospel, and care for one another.” Protective patronage for: ulcers; apple orchard owners; bishops; catechists; catechumens; colic and intestinal ailments; Lombardy (Italy); Monterey County (California); seminarians; spiritual directors; spiritual leaders; starch manufacturers; stomach illnesses; So Carlos (Brazil).

Based on the Franciscan Communications pamphlet published in 1932.

St. Charles Borromeo – Saints & Angels

He was born on October 2, 1538, in the castle of Arona, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, not far from Milan, and is known as Saint Charles Borromeo. It was his father who was the Count of Arona, and his mother who belonged to the House of Medici, who raised him. He was the third of the couple’s six children, and he was the third to die. The youthful Count Charles Borromeo made the decision to devote his life to the service of the Church when he was only twelve years old. His uncle granted him the inheritance from the Benedictine abbey of Saints Gratinian and Felinus, which he used to supplement his income.

  • The money needed for his studies and to prepare him for service to the Church were the only things he could conceal from his father, and he was quite clear about this in informing him.
  • The young count had a speech problem that caused him to look sluggish to people who were unfamiliar with him.
  • He studied Latin at the University of Pavia, where he met his wife.
  • After his father’s death in 1554, Charles was left in charge of his home, despite the fact that he was still an adolescent at the time.
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Charles’s financial issues arose from his household’s financial responsibilities, and he developed a reputation as someone who was perpetually short of money.

The new Pope invited his nephew to Rome, where he was appointed as a cardinal-deacon by the Holy See.

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Pope Pius IV elevated his nephew to the rank of cardinal a month later.

He was only 23 years old at the time.

In his book, Noctes Vaticanae, he describes some of the classes and lectures he attended.

Because he would be appointed as the ecclesiastical administrator of Milan, he came to the conclusion that the Lord was calling him to the ministry.

Justina of Padua was established by him at Pavia in 1561.

He did so.

He grew more determined to become a worthy bishop and to persuade others to live exemplary lives of clerical service as a result of his efforts.

His ordination to the holy priesthood took place on September 4, 1563, in the presence of the entire congregation.

On May 12, 1564, he was appointed Archbishop of Milan.

Borromeo had already established a reputation as a youthful, idealistic reformer in Rome, and he carried on that objective in his new home of Milan.

During Borromeo’s reign, removing corruption from society was a key issue to address.

Reform and the restoration of integrity to the Catholic Church were the most effective means of defending the Catholic Church against Protestant theological errors and allegations against the leadership of the Catholic Church.

His aim was to educate as many clergy as he could who he perceived to be uneducated.

He also prohibited the sale of indulgences, which he considered to be a type of simony (Catholic Catechism 2120), and ordered monasteries to undergo reform.

It was he who ordered the simplicity of church interiors, which was a major source of disagreement between certain Catholics and Protestants at the time.

During the Council of Trent, which Archbishop Borromeo oversaw and enforced, this risk was recognised.

His efforts to clean up the Church resulted in him making enemies.

Throughout his tenure, several of his subordinates and secular officials expressed their dissatisfaction with the Archbishop.

In 1576, a famine devastated Milan, which was quickly followed by a pestilence, forcing many of the city’s affluent and influential to flee.

He utilized his own resources to provide food for the starving folks.

He may have provided food for up to 70,000 people every day.

During his visit to Switzerland in 1583, Archbishop Borromeo began working to eliminate heresy in the country.

In order to assist and educate Swiss Catholics, he established the Collegium Helveticum.

In 1584, he fell ill with a high fever and died the next year.

When it became clear that he was about to die, he was administered his final Sacraments.

Pope Paul V canonized him on May 12, 1602, and declared him a saint.

The feast day of St.

He is the patron saint of bishops, catechists, the Lombardy region of Italy, the Monterey region of California, cardinals, seminarians, spiritual leaders, and the Brazilian city of Sao Carlos.

He is venerated at the Milan Cathedral, where he has a beautiful shrine dedicated to him. He is frequently shown in art wearing his robes and walking barefoot while carrying the cross, which he carries with a rope around his neck and his arm raised in benediction.

St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584), an Italian bishop, was a key reformer in the Roman Catholic Church during his lifetime. On October 2, 1538, in the northern Italian town of Rocca d’Arona, Charles Borromeo was born into a wealthy family. He was the son of a wealthy family. The ceremony of tonsure, the official introduction into the ranks of the clergy, took place when he was 12 years old and a bright and likable young kid. The University of Padua awarded him the degree of doctor of laws in 1559 after he studied with tutors for a year before enrolling.

  • Within a few months, the new Pope had summoned Charles, then 21 years old, to Rome to assist him in the administration of the Church’s affairs.
  • Pius IV appointed his talented and dedicated nephew as secretary of state, and he drew heavily on his energy in directing the third session of the Council of Trent (1562-1563), as well as in dealing with the practical and political affairs of the city of Rome.
  • However, even after receiving the blessing of his uncle and being elevated to archbishop of Milan in 1563, Charles maintained his residence and worked in Rome.
  • As a result of his uncle’s death in 1565, Charles was no longer able to govern the Church in Rome, and he began directing the Church in Milan in 1566.
  • In addition, the diocese of Milan was divided into five diplomatic fronts, all of which he had to manage at the same time.
  • At one point, an assassin was hired to take his life, but he was unsuccessful.
  • When the plague ravaged Milan in 1576-1578, Charles devoted a significant amount of time caring for the ill.
  • He died on November 3, 1584, and was canonized in 1610, making him the oldest living saint.

Further Reading on St. Charles Borromeo

An intimate companion and follower of the saint, G. P. Giussano wrote the first and most full biography of St.

Charles Borromeo in 1610 (translated into English in two volumes in 1884), which is the oldest and most thorough biography of the saint. The 1938 film, Reformer: St. Charles Borromeo, directed by Margaret Yeo, is a contemporary and informative biographical portrait of the saint.

Related Articles

  • Known as Pius IV (1499-1565) for his support of the Council of Trent during its last and exceedingly tumultuous time, he established himself as a major figure in the Catholic Reformation era. Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) was elected Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in 1963, breaking with the austere rule of his predecessor, Paul IV, by his moderate and tractable manner. During his pontificate, the Church was through a time of considerable transformation and ferment as a result of the Second Vatican Council.

St. Charles Borromeo

There has never been a period in the history of the Catholic Church that has been without its share of uncertainty and corruption. Nonetheless, even in the midst of chaos, individuals and movements ultimately emerge to articulate the faith in a clear and compelling manner and to exhibit it in action. On November 4, the feast of St. Charles Borromeo, a prominent figure at the Council of Trent, is commemorated as a model of such leadership amid difficult circumstances. The circumstances of Charles’ birth, in 1538, may have easily resulted in his joining the ranks of the corrupt clergy of the Renaissance era, but they did not.

  1. The young guy, on the other hand, made it clear from the beginning that he intended to go against the grain of society.
  2. Charles could not avoid a certain level of money and status, which were to be anticipated given his social standing; yet, he insisted on utilizing these resources to help the Church rather than himself.
  3. Soon after, Charles was entrusted with a slew of new tasks, including those of papal ambassador and superintendent of major religious organizations.
  4. He pondered giving up even this moderate way of life in order to adhere to the stringent observances of a monastery, but he found himself more urgently required in the job of bringing the Council of Trent to a close.
  5. This commission had a two-fold mission: to explain Catholic teaching in the face of Protestant challenges, and to reform the Church internally in the face of several long-standing issues.
  6. He also played a key part in the compilation of the Roman Catechism, which is a detailed explanation of its teachings (or Catechism of the Council of Trent).
  7. After being ordained as a priest during the Council, he was elevated to the positions of archbishop and cardinal only a few months later.
  8. The new bishop started to work right once, creating schools, seminaries, and centers for religious life across the diocese.
  9. His survival was referred to as “miraculous.” The new archbishop’s efforts in the areas of catechesis and youth education were particularly beneficial, as evidenced by the establishment of the Confraternity for Christian Doctrine and the establishment of the first “Sunday School” sessions.
  10. The extraordinary diligence, frequent travel, and austere lifestyle of St.

On November 3, 1584, at the age of 46, the once-prodigious prodigy of the Papal Court met the same fate as his predecessor. In 1610, he was canonized, which was 26 years after his death. He is the patron saint of catechists and catechumens, among other things.

Saint Charles Borromeo

Also referred to as

  • Carlo Borromeo, the Apostle to the Council of Trent, and the Father of the Clergy
  • 4 November (formerly 5 November)
  • 3 November (Milan, Italy)
  • 4 November (previously 5 November)

Profile Born into a wealthy, noble family, CountGiberto II Borromeo was the third of six children and the son of Count Margherita de’ Medici. Pope Pius IV’s nephew and heir. A speech impediment was a problem for him. Studied in Milan and at the University of Pavia, where he was a student under the future Pope Gregory XIII at one time. At the age of 21, I am a civil and canon lawyer. ClericatMilan, taking into residence on the 13th of October, 1547. On the 20th of November, 1547, the Abbot Commendatarioof San Felino e San GrazianoabbeyinArona, Italy, issued a directive.

  1. On the 8th of December, 1558, the Prior Commendatario of San Maria di Calvenzano monastery was appointed.
  2. On the 22nd of January, 1560, he became a member of the Consulta for the administration of the Papal States.
  3. Cardinal was born on the 31st of January, 1560, at the age of 22.
  4. Beginning on April 26, 1560, Pope Paul III was appointed papal legate to Bologna and Romandiola for a period of two years.
  5. Secretary of State for the Holy See.
  6. The Governor of Ancona was appointed on June 1, 1561.
  7. The Academia Vaticana was founded in 1562, and the Governor of Spoleto, Italy, was appointed on December 1, 1562.
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Participated in the Council of Trent’s sessions in 1562 and 1563, and assisted in its re-opening in 1562.

A member of the Congregation of the Holy Office (Congregation of the Holy Office).

President of the commission of theologians appointed by the pope to develop the Catechismus Romanus (Romish Catechism).

I’m a member of a commission tasked with reforming church music.

On the 3rd of June in the year 1564, the Governor of Terracina, Italy, was elected.

In 1564, the Count of the Palatine was crowned.

On the 17th of August, 1565, Pope Paul III appointed papal legates in Bologna and Rome, as well as legatea latere and vicar general in spiritualibus of all of Italy.

Participated in the conclave of cardinals in 1565 to 1566 that elected Pope Pius V; he requested that the new pope assume his name as his own.

On the evening of October 26, 1569, several unhappy monks in the Order of the Humiliatihired alay brother to murder him because he enforced rigorous religious discipline.

As a delegate to the conclave in 1572 that selected Pope Gregory XIII, In May of 1572, he became a member of the Apostolic Penitentiary.

On April 26, 1578, the Oblates of Saint Ambrose were established.

She established the Collegium Helveticum in order to assist the Swiss Catholics.

His administration of the Council of Trent, as well as his zealous enforcement of its decrees, helped to restore peace in the wake of the storm caused by Martin Luther.

He established schools for the poor, seminaries for clergy, and hospitals for the sick, presided over synods, established children’s Sunday school, performed extensive public and private penance, and worked among the sick and dying, setting an example for his people. Born

  • On the morning of Wednesday, October 2, 1538, at the fortress of Aron, in the diocese of Novara, Italy
  • He died at 8:30 p.m. on November 3, 1584, in Milan, Italy, of a fever
  • In his will, he named the Hospital Maggiore of Milan as his heir
  • He was buried in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Milan
  • Relics were transferred to a chapel built by Count Renato Borromeo in piazza San Maria Podone, Milan, on September 21, 1751
  • And he was canonized on September 21, 1751.
  • The use of apple orchards, bishops, catechists, catechumens, seminarians, spiritual directors, spiritual leaders, and starch manufacturers are all recommended. —
  • Ancud, Chile,dioceseof
  • Joliette, Quebec,dioceseof
  • Monterey, California,dioceseof
  • Acquarica del Capo, Italy
  • Lombardy (Italy)
  • Rocca di Papa (Italy)

Anti-abdominal pain, anti-colic, anti-intestinal disorders, anti-stomach diseases, anti-ulcers, apple orchards, bishops, catechists, catechumens, seminarians, spiritual directors, spiritual leaders, starch manufacturers; —; Ancud,Chile,dioceseof; Joliette,Québec,dioceseof; Monterey,California,dioceseof; —; Acquarica

  • Bishop wearing acordaround his neck
  • Priest healing the ill
  • Holy Communion
  • Coat of arms with the motto Humilitas
  • Cardinal wearing acordaround his neck
  • It symbolizes thecordorhalter wore around his neck during theplagueofMilan,Italyin1575

Information Supplementary to the above

  • Father Lawrence’s Book of Saints, which contains the Benedictine Liturgical Year and the Book of Saints Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
  • Catholic Encyclopedia, by William French Keogh
  • Editae Saepe, encyclicalofPopePius X
  • George Lovasik, S.V.D. Life of the Saints by Father Alban Butler
  • Life of the Saints by Father Francis Xavier Weninger
  • New Catholic Dictionary
  • Life of the Saints by FatherAlban Butler Lives of the Saints shown in pictures
  • Blessed Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier, O.P., Saints and Saintly Dominicans, by Katherine Rabenstein, Short Lives of the Saints, by Eleanor Cecilia Donnelly, and Stories of the Saints for Children, by Mary Seymour are examples of works about the saints.
  • 1001 Patron Saints and Their Feast Days, Australian Catholic Truth Society, Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Catholic Cuisine, Catholic Culture, Catholic Fire, Catholic Hierarchy, Catholic Ireland, Catholic Information Network, Catholic News Agency, Catholic Online, Cradio, Franciscan Media, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Catholic News, Independent Spirituality of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Saint Peter’s Basilica Information
  • Saints for Sinners
  • Saints Stories for All Ages
  • UCatholic
  • Wikipedia
  • Office of the Divine
  • Louise M Stacpoole-Saint Kenny’s Charles Borromeo: A Sketch of the Reforming Cardinal is a biography of the reforming Cardinal.
  • Author: John Peter Giussano
  • Life of Saint Charles Borromeo, volume 1, by John Peter Giussano
  • And Life of Saint Charles Borromeo, volume 2, by John Peter Giussano. Saint Charles Borromeo: Sketch of the Reforming Cardinal, by Louise Mary Stacpoole-Kenny
  • Saint Charles Borromeo: Sketch of the Reforming Cardinal, by Louise Mary Stacpoole-Kenny
  • Christian-Philippe Chanut
  • The Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
  • The Fête des prénoms
  • Wikipedia
  • Abbé Christian-Philippe Chanut
  • A calendar of events for the French scholastic year
  • Cathopedia
  • Dizionario storico della Svizzera
  • Encyclopedia Italia
  • A route around the Orme of Saint Carlo
  • Santi e Beati
  • Sainte-Marie-du-Grand-Duc de France
  • Wikipedia

Readings If we want to make any progress in the service of God, we must begin each and every day of our lives with a fresh sense of anticipation. We must strive to spend as much time as possible in God’s presence, and we must have no other goal or aim in mind for all of our efforts except to bring God praise. –St.Charles Borromeo, the patron saint of travelers He who wishes to develop in his understanding of God should begin each day of his life with renewed enthusiasm; he should try to keep himself as much as possible in the presence of God, and should seek no other aim in all his deeds but the glory of God.

  • Would you like me to show you how to progress from virtue to virtue, and how, if you are already recollected at prayer, you might be even more attentive the following time, and therefore give God more pleasant worship, if you are already recollected?
  • If you already have a little ember of God’s love burning within you, do not expose it to the wind for fear of it being extinguished.
  • To put it another way, try to stay as far away from distractions as possible.
  • Do not waste your time engaging in pointless conversation.
  • Make certain that you preach first and live second by the example you set.
  • Before, during, and after anything we do, we must take time to meditate.
  • Meditation provides us with the strength to bring Christ into the world, both inside ourselves and in other men.
  • “St. Charles Borromeo” is an Italian saint. CatholicSaints. The deadline for information is December 20, 2021. 8th of January, 2022
  • Web.

Our Patron Saint

The life and times of St. Charles Borromeo St. Charles Borromeo, of the aristocratic family Borromeo, was born on October 2, 1538, in the castle of Arona, on the shores of Lake Majiore in Italy, to the noble family Borromeo.

He obtained his clerical tonsure when he was 12 years old, as soon as his age permitted. He got his doctorate in civil and canon law from the University of Pavia in 1559, after studying at the University of Milan and then at the University of Pavia.

In the same year, his uncle, the Cardinal de Medici, was elected Pope under the title of Pius IV.In 1560, Pope Pius IV appointed St. Charles, then 22, cardinal and archbishop of Milan.

A Novena to St. Charles Borromeo, the Most Glorious of the Saints St. Charles, please! Father of the priesthood, and the ideal example for saintly prelates everywhere you look! You are that noble pastor who, like thy heavenly Master, gave up thy life for thy sheep, if not by death, then at the very least by the innumerable sacrifices of thy torturous ministry. Thy cleansed life on earth was a source of inspiration for the most zealous, thy outstanding penance was a source of embarrassment for the slothful, and thy unwavering fervor was a source of strength for the whole Church.

  • Fill in the blanks with your requests.) O glorious St.
  • There is one Saint in particular in whose intercession I should place my greatest trust, for thou hast been selected by God to advance the interests of religion by advancing the Christian education of children and young people.
  • So it is to thee that I turn in faith, imploring thee to acquire for me the grace to reap the benefits of the blessings that I possess and for which I am so greatly thankful to thy devotion.
  • The Litany of St.
  • Charles Borromeo (Can be said as part of the Novena or as a Separate Litany) Please have compassion on us, Lord.
  • Please have compassion on us, Lord.
  • Thank you, Christ for generously hearing us.

Please, God the Son, the Redeemer of the world, have pity on us and forgive us.

Please have compassion on us, O Holy Trinity, One God.

*Queen of Apostles, *St.

Charles, imitator of Christ, *St.

Charles, replenished with the spirit of the Apostles, *St.

Charles, Father and Guide of the Clergy, *St.

Charles, a Please, O Lord, hear us as we pray for the forgiveness of our sins through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.



In order for us to be worthy of the promises of Christ, we must first humble ourselves.

Charles, that, as he was distinguished for the fulfillment of his pastoral responsibilities, so may his prayers inspire us to be fervent in the love of Thy holy name: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Saint Charles Borromeo, 1538-1584

Born in 1538 in northern Italy to a well-established and rich family, Charles Borromeo became known as “Charles the Bold.” He was educated in civil and canon law at Pavia before being summoned to Rome by his uncle, Pope Pius IV, to serve as secretary of state at the Vatican when he was a young man. Described as “always clear and precise in his viewpoints, firm and consistent in his demeanor, and consistent in the execution of his projects” by one biographer, he was instrumental in persuading Pope Pius to reconvene the Council of Trent, which sought to address corruption in a sixteenth-century church beleaguered by Protestantism.

  1. Pope Pius IV appointed Borromeo archbishop of Milan, but he remained in Rome to carry out a slew of formal duties for the Vatican.
  2. During that time period, Milan was the largest archdiocese in Italy, with more than 3,000 clergy and a population of more than 800 thousand people.
  3. Extortionate indulgences and ecclesiastical posts were widely available; monasteries were described as “full of chaos”; many religious were described as “lazy, stupid, and debauched,” and others did not even know how to deliver the sacraments correctly.
  4. Borromeo convened a synod of his bishops immediately upon the announcement of the new regulations.
  5. Borromeo was setting an example of personal economy and order.
  6. He also addressed the backsliding of laypeople by prohibiting Sunday entertainments and ordering all instructors to confess their religion in the face of opposition.
  7. The organization expanded to encompass 740 schools, three thousand catechists, and forty thousand pupils in Sunday schools, and it is still growing today.
  8. While Borromeo was in Rome monitoring reform, a nobleman stated that the latter city was no longer a place to amuse oneself or make a fortune.
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In his words, “Carlo Borromeo has taken on the task of remaking the city from top to bottom,” predicting dryly that the reformer’s zeal “would lead him to fix the rest of the globe after he has completed his work in Rome.” Borromeo was obliged to excommunicate and arrest numerous Milanese nobility, including some civil authorities, once he arrived in his own diocese as a result of their refusal to comply with his new policies.

  1. However, the archbishop was found to be correct after a number of Milanese complained to the Pope about what they saw to be excessive harshness.
  2. Borromeo, on the other hand, had a kinder side, and many of his followers admired him for it.
  3. During a famine, he was forced to incur large loans in order to feed more than 60,000 people.
  4. He founded hospitals, colleges, orphanages, and a variety of other humanitarian institutions during his lifetime.
  5. During the Counter-Reformation, Borromeo was essential in reviving the church and restoring its vitality.

His work, it is reported, “restored trust to a church that had been rocked.” He died at the age of forty-six, exhausted from his labors, in 1584. The Catholic Church canonized him in 1610 and he is now known as the patron saint of catechists.

Blending Tough Love and Personal Integrity

“An austere, serious, humorless, and uncompromising personality,” says Charles Borromeo, according to his biographer, who happens to be an appreciative biographer. Borromeo had to be tough in order to carry out the changes mandated by the Council of Trent, and his tenacity brought him into confrontation with secular authorities, priests, and even the pope himself at times. Teachers and school administrators who have had the experience of enacting difficult reforms, on the other hand, are more inclined to be sympathetic to their students’ situations.

  1. Our administrators or religious leaders may have recognized the need to revitalize our organization and may have selected us to be the conduit through which the changes are communicated to others.
  2. It’s possible that curriculum requirements may be dropped altogether.
  3. However, there are situations when this is not enough.
  4. Even when it is essential, being stern can be detrimental to the individual who is attempting reform.
  5. He was well aware that he would have to give up his personal popularity in order to serve the greater good of the church at a time when it was under attack.
  6. In the end, it will be the catechists and students we serve who will be grateful to us.
  7. He was even-handed in his expectations, and he expected everyone to adhere to the changes instituted by the Council of Trent.
  8. Borromeo tells us that the rules must be the same for everyone, and that we will not be successful if we create exceptions or favor certain people over others.
  9. If we want to revitalize our company, we must first model that revitalization in our own lives.
  10. Others may be dissatisfied with us at first, and we may hear harsh remarks, but we must remain optimistic.

excerpted from Susan H. Swetnam’s book, My Best Teachers Were Saints Image courtesy of Giovanni Ambrogio Figino, who painted a portrait of Carlo Borromeo in the 16th century. The image is in the public domain thanks to Wikimedia.

Saint Charles Borromeo

The feast day of Saint Charles Borromeo is celebrated on November 4. Despite the fact that the feast of St Charles is celebrated on November 4th and that he was the Cardinal Protector of the Friars Minor, the Franciscan breviary does not note that he was also a Franciscan Tertiary, as he was in the Catholic Church. However, the reality remains that he was a loyal disciple of the Poverello and a prelate true to the heart of St Francis, and he deserves to be acknowledged as one of the most important saints of the Third Order, to be respected and to be emulated by others.

In the year 1538, the castle of Arona was the site of Saint Charles Borromeo’s birth.

If you are under the age of 12, you may find it strange to learn that he received the tonsure and was appointed titular abbot of an important monastery, which provided him with a substantial income; and that 10 years later, prior to his priestly ordination, his uncle invited him to Rome, where he was appointed administrator of the Papal States and archdiocese of Milan, as well as cardinal of the Catholic Church.

However, Cardinal Borromeo, who was just 22 years old at the time, was a remarkable young man, blessed with outstanding mental and emotional skills, highly spiritual, and who was completely committed to the health of the Church.

He was ordained as a priest and consecrated as a bishop in the same calendar year.

During the remainder of his life, Saint Charles Borromeo stayed in Milan, where he dedicated his life’s work to the reformation of the archdiocese of Milan.

In 1569, an assassination attempt was launched against him.

Far from deterring him from completing his program, the hurdles he experienced rather strengthened his will to succeed.

However, it was his personal example of a holy life that left the most lasting influence on his flock and had the finest benefits.

He refused to wear any personal adornment, and his clothing was so ragged that it was considered unacceptable to be worn even by begging children.

He would wash dishes, enter the dirtiest hovels of the destitute, and sit down with a poor guy on the side of the road to train him in anything he needed to know.

He helped the destitute until his money were spent, at which point he sold his stuff, including his bed, in order to raise cash to continue to assist them.

He died in 1584 at the age of 46, despite the fact that he was a man of great accomplishments and widespread popularity.

His grave, which is located in the crypt of the magnificent cathedral of Milan, is given special prominence on the altar of the chapel.

The outer coffin had rusted, and the lid of the second coffin was decaying as well as the inside coffin.

Saint Charles is particularly revered as a patron saint of those who suffer from pestilences.

adapted from: The Franciscan Book Of Saints, edited by Marion Habig, OFM. Page Dedicated to the Traditional Franciscan Calendar may be found here. To return to the Incorruptible Saints page, click here. To return to the Saints Page, click here. Return to the Saints of the Roman Catholic Church page.

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