Friday, November 4, 2016
Feast of St. Charles Borromeo
Today is the great feast of St. Charles Borromeo (+1584AD), Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan.
Many were skeptical of his appointment to the see of Milan -- his uncle, Pope Pius IV, made the selection, and he was 21 when made Cardinal-Administrator of the diocese, and 25 when finally ordained a bishop (cf., Catholic Hierarchy: St. Charles Borromeo). Surely this was yet another example of the kind of nepotism that plagued the Church in that era.
Not so. St. Charles, who led the Archdiocese of Milan, the See of St. Ambrose, from 1561-1584, proved a saintly model bishop. His initiatives touched every part of his administration, form the implementation of the decrees of the Council of Trent, to the care of the poor, to the visitation of his parishes, to the establishment of seminary training for men studying for the priesthood.
He was also the papal-appointed protector of the Catholic Swiss Cantons, doing a great deal to see to their reform and health.
His motto: Humilitas.
Duomo of Milan, where St. Charles reigned as Archbishop, and where he is now buried.
When he died in 1584AD, his was buried in that Cathedral of Milan, the famous Duomo (cf., Official Site), while his heart would be reserved in the Milanese parish in Rome, Sant'Ambrogio e Carlo on Via del Corso (cf., Official Site). He was canonized by Pope Paul V in 1610AD.
The interior of the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio e Carlo in Rome -- the heart of St. Charles is reserved behind the altar. ["San Carlo al Corso September 2015-11" by Alvesgaspar - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons]
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Charles Borromeo
Catholic Saints Info: St. Charles Borromeo
Let us pray that St. Charles Borromeo intercedes for our bishops!