Saint Charles Borromeo
AKA: Apostle to the Council of Trent
Father of the Clergy
Born: October 2, 1538 in Castle of Aron, Diocese of Novara, Italy
Died: November 3, 1584 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: Roman 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 Intestinal Disorders
Against Stomach Diseases
Places: Diocese of Ancud, Chile
Diocesee of Joliette, Quebec
Diocese of Monterey, California
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
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.
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.
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