Thursday, November 3, 2011



Happy Feast Day, Happy Feast Day, Alleluia! May the Giver of gifts give unto you that which is holy and that which is true...

Charles was the son of Count Gilbert Borromeo and Margaret Medici, sister of Pope Pius IV. He was born at the family castle of Arona on Lake Maggiore, Italy on October 2. He received the clerical tonsure when he was twelve and was sent to the Benedictine abbey of SS. Gratian and Felinus at Arona for his education.

In 1559 his uncle was elected Pope Pius IV and the
following year, named him his Secretary of State and created him a cardinal and administrator of the see of Milan...was ordained a priest in 1563, and was consecrated bishop of Milan the same year. Before being allowed to take possession of his see, he oversaw the catechism, missal, and breviary called for by the Council of Trent.

When he finally did arrive at Trent (which had been without a resident bishop for eighty years) in 1556, he instituted radical reforms despite great opposition, with such effectiveness that it became a model see. He put into effect, measures to improve the morals and manners of the clergy and laity, raised the effectiveness of the diocesan operation, established seminaries for the education of the clergy, founded a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for the religious instruction of children and encouraged the Jesuits in his see. He increased the systems to the poor and the needy...He encountered opposition from many sources in his efforts to reform people and institutions.

He died at Milan on the night of November 3-4, and was canonized in 1610. He was one of the towering figures of the Catholic Reformation, a patron of learning and the arts, and though he achieved a position of great power, he used it with humility, personal sanctity, and unselfishness to reform the Church, of the evils and abuses so prevalent among the clergy and the nobles of the times
Borrowed from

Over my time in the monastery, I've been learning more about my patron St. Charles Borromeo. At first, I was a bit uncertain about receiving a patron I'd never heard of (some Italian guy). After some time, I was amazed as I learned of his work in caring for the poor. Later I needed his prayerful help through illness. Today, I've been relying on his support and inspiriation more and more now that I'm teaching high school Theology.

Saint Charles of Borromeo keep up the prayer for your little namesake!


1 comment:

Jim said...

Happy Feast Day of St. Charles Borromeo! I live in the Philadelphia area, and the seminary here is St. Charles Borromeo seminary. I am familiar with him somewhat, but your history lesson certainly fleshed out this fine saint! I have been enjoying all of your blogs, by the thank you for them!
Pax, Jim Mearns