fbpx
Life of SaintsArticles

Saint of the Day (November 4, 2022): St. Charles Borromeo

Advertisement

Today, we celebrate Saint of the Day (November 4, 2022): St. Charles Borromeo. Patron Saint of Seminaries,Catechists and Catechumens.

Life of St. Charles Borromeo. Bishop (1538-1610).

The name of Charles Borromeo is associated with reform. He lived during the time of the Protestant Reformation, and had a hand in the reform of the whole Church during the final years of the Council of Trent.

Although he belonged to the Milanese nobility and was related to the powerful Medici family, Charles desired to devote himself to the Church. In 1559, when his uncle, Cardinal de Medici was elected Pope Pius IV, he made Charles cardinal-deacon and administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan.

At the time Charles was still a layman and a young student. Because of his intellectual qualities Charles was entrusted with several important offices connected with the Vatican, and later appointed secretary of state with responsibility for the papal states. The untimely death of his elder brother brought Charles to a definite decision to be ordained a priest, despite his relatives’ insistence that he marry. Soon after being ordained a priest at age 25, Borromeo was consecrated bishop of Milan.

Working behind the scenes, Saint Charles deserves the credit for keeping the Council of Trent in session when at several points it was on the verge of breaking up. Borromeo encouraged the pope to renew the Council in 1562, after it had been suspended for 10 years. He took upon himself the task of the entire correspondence during the final phase. Because of his work at the Council, Borromeo was unable to take up residence in Milan until the Council concluded.

Eventually, Borromeo was allowed to devote his time to the Archdiocese of Milan, where the religious and moral picture was far from bright. The reform needed in every phase of Catholic life among both clergy and laity was initiated at a provincial council of all the bishops under him. Specific regulations were drawn up for bishops and other clergy: If the people were to be converted to a better life, Borromeo had to be the first to give a good example and renew their apostolic spirit.

Charles took the initiative in giving a good example. He allotted most of his income to charity, forbade himself all luxury, and imposed severe penances upon himself. He sacrificed wealth, high honors, esteem, and influence to become poor. During the plague and famine of 1576, Borromeo tried to feed 60,000 to 70,000 people daily. To do this he borrowed large sums of money that required years to repay. Whereas the civil authorities fled at the height of the plague, he stayed in the city, where he ministered to the sick and the dying, helping those in want.

Work and the heavy burdens of his high office began to affect Archbishop Borromeo’s health, leading to his death at the age of 46. His death was on November 3, 1584. He is the saint of the day for november 4 and is remembered for his staunch defense of the Catholic Faith and his tireless work to bring unity and healing to the Church in the early years of the Protestant Reformation. He was canonized in 1610 and is honored as the patron saint of seminaries.

For prayer and reflection

St. Charles Borromeo made his own the words of Christ: “…I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:35-36). Borromeo saw Christ in his neighbor, and knew that charity done for the least of his flock was charity done for Christ.

“I admit that we are all weak, but if we want help, the Lord God has given us the means to find it easily.”—St. Charles Borromeo

Advertisement

Spiritual bonus

On this day we also remember Blessed Joan Antoni Burró Mas. A member of the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God, he was martyred in Madrid, Spain, at the age 22 on November 4, 1936, during the anti-Catholic violence of the Spanish Civil War.

Prayer

Preserve in the midst of your people,
we ask, O Lord, the spirit with which you filled
the Bishop Saint Charles Borromeo,
that your Church may be constantly renewed
and, by conforming herself to the likeness of Christ,
may show his face to the world.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Read More

Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement

Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Advertisment
Back to top button