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Saint Charles Borromeo

A.K.A.: Apostle to the Council of Trent; Carlo Borromeo; Father of the Clergy

Born: October 2, 1538 in Castle of Aron, diocese of Novara, Italy

Died: November 3, 1584 (8:30 p.m.) in Milan, of a fever; his will named the Hospital Maggiore of Milan as his heir; Buried in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Milan; Relics transferred to a chapel built by Count Renato Borromeo in piazza San Maria Podone, Milan on September 21, 1751

Venerated: Catholic Church

Beatified: May 12, 1602 by Pope Clement VIII

Canonized: November 1, 1610 by Pope Paul V

Feast Day: November 4

Patronages: Against Abdominal Pain; Against Colic; Against Intestinal Disorders; Against Stomach Diseases; Against Ulcers; Apple Orchards; Bishops; Catechists; Catechumens; Seminarians; Spiritual Directors; Spiritual Leaders; Starch Makers
Places: Diocese of Ancud, Chile; Diocesee of Joliette, Quebec, Diocese of Monterey, California; Italy

Representation: Cardinal wearing a cord around his neck; it symbolizes the cord or halter worn around his neck during the plague of Milan, Italy in 1575; Bishop wearing a cord around his neck;  Cleric curing the sick; Holy Communion; Coat of Arms bearing the word Humilitas

Saint Charles, of the noble family of Borromeo, was born in 1538 on the banks of Lake Maggiore, Italy.  He studied at Milan and afterward at the University of Pavia, where he received his doctorate in civil and canon law in 1559.  His uncle, the Cardinal de Medici, having in the same year been elected Pope under the title of Pius IV, sent for him and created him Cardinal, and a short time afterward nominated him Archbishop of Milan, though he was only 22 years of age.

At the same time, he was detained at Rome by the Pope and he began to labor diligently in the interests of the Church.  There he founded the Vatican Academy for literary work.  As Papal Secretary of State, he was instrumental in reassembling the Council of Trent in 1562.  He was active in enforcing its reforms and in composing the Roman Catechism, containing the teachings of the Council.

After receiving priestly ordination, he also accepted the office of grand penitentiary.  For merely honorary or lucrative positions he had no ambition.  He assisted at the deathbed of the Pope in 1564, and on the election of Pius V he went to reside in Milan.

In 1572, he concurred in the election of Gregory XIII.  In the great plague at Milan, in 1575, he showed himself the true shepherd by his self-sacrificing charity and heroism.  This great light in the firmament of the Church was extinguished in 1584.  

For Further Information About Saint Charles Borromeo, See CatholicSaints.Info Website

Prayer:  God, maintain in Your people that spirit with which You inspired Your Bishop, Saint Charles, so that Your Church may be constantly renewed, conforming itself to Christ and manifesting Christ to the world.  Amen.