It's my Feast Day today! When I entered our community, I hadn't heard of feast days or name days and didn't even know I had one to celebrate. Sr. Pierre and I looked for a Carol--none to be found, there were already many folk celebrating versions of Jean, and she offered the monastic suggestion (ahem, that means gave) of St. Charles Borromeo.
It was only later that I started to look into the patron of my feast day. Charles was born in Italy in 1538 and from what I've read, he was a hard working student that did well in Civil and Canon Law not because of great intelligence, but because of his determined work. His uncle Pope Pius IV made him the Cardinal of Milan and Papal Secretary by age 22. So there were benefits to his family situation, but St. Charles used them to benefit others. He reconvened the Council of Trent to clarify Church teachings, established seminaries to improve priest formation, and then his real work began after he left Rome. His attention turned to the poor and their spiritual as well as physical needs. He rebuilt their churches as well as ministered to those dying from the Black Plague.
"If we wish to make any progress in the service of God we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves in the presence of God as much as possible and have no other view or end in all our actions but the divine honor". - Saint Charles Borromeo
While his patronage list doesn't include students, I like to think my feast day patron is on my side while here at school. I might not be the brightest in the class, but I do believe I too am determined in my studies and working hard to get there. I don't think anyone in my family has the political pull his uncle had, but I like the quote I found attributed to him and think it too can apply to my life at school while away from home.
There needs to be a joyful eagerness in the start of each new day or I might forget that each day is a gift from God. If I forget the gift of the day, then it could become just another day to "make it through"... and I've had enough of those. The gift aspect can bring a new perspective and new point of view to each day. So, I'm setting on my Feast Day! To enjoy the new challenges that are out there...including Dr. Lowe's history of education tonight : )
Oh! Here is the list St. Charles Borromeo is patron of....against abdominal pain, against colic, against intestinal disorders, against stomach ulcers, apple orchards, bishops, catechists, catechumens, Lombardy-Italy, seminarians, spiritual directors, spiritual leaders, and starch makers.
Anyone else wonder how things get on these lists? However, there are a few I wish I had known in my past...he really was well chosen for my patron!