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St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo was born on October 2, 1538 near Milan, Italy. He came from a wealthy family. He is known for his work implementing the reforms of the Council of Trent and creating seminaries to educate priests.

When he was 12 years old, he decided to dedicate himself to service to the Church. His uncle gave him the family income from a Benedictine abbey. Charles said that any of the income which was not required to educate him to serve the people of God belonged to the poor.

Charles father passed away when he was sixteen years old. When his brother also passed away a few years later, his family wanted him to marry and have children, so that the family name would not be lost. But Charles remained steadfast in his desire to serve the Church.

His uncle was Pope Pius IV. In 1559, the newly elected pope asked Charles to come to Rome, which he did. Shortly after he arrived, the pope made him a cardinal. He had many responsibilities and he carried out his duties faithfully. He was ordained a priest in 1563. Just one year later, Charles became the Archbishop of Milan.

At this time, the Protestant Reformation was growing in Europe. Charles was determined to reform the Church. He felt that clergy needed to be better educated, so he founded seminaries.

He promoted the decrees of the Council of Trent in his archdiocese. He ended the sales of indulgences and pushed for simpler architecture in churches, in order that they not distract from the worship of God. Many clergy did not like his attempts to implement the reforms. At one point, a small corrupt religious order even tried to assassinate him.

When the plague hit Milan in 1576, he used much of his family’s wealth to feed and care for the victims. He also persuaded bishops and the leaders of religious communities to provide aid to the sick and dying.

He died on November 3, 1584. He was 46 years old.

Patron Saint of …

St. Charles Borromeo is the patron saint of those suffering from ulcers and intestinal issues, seminarians, bishops, spiritual directors, and apple orchards.

Daily Mass Readings for the Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop

In addition to the suggested readings below, the readings may also be taken from the weekday readings or the Common of Pastors.

  • First ReadingRomans 3:3-13: I urge humility and sober self-assessment according to the faith God has given. As one body in Christ, we use our diverse gifts to serve and love sincerely.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 89: I will always sing of the Lord’s favors and faithfulness, as He has made an everlasting covenant with David and confirmed his lineage and throne forever.
  • Gospel John 10:11-16: Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who would sacrifice his life for his sheep, unlike a hired hand who would flee at danger. He explains his intimate knowledge of his followers, likening it to his relationship with the Father, and mentions other sheep he must lead, signifying unity under one shepherd.

Quotes and Social Media Graphics

Preach by the way you live
Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise. – St. Charles Borromeo
Saint Charles Borromeo
Saint Charles Borromeo

Video

St. Charles Borromeo came from a wealthy family. He is known for his work implementing the reforms of the Council of Trent and creating seminaries to educate priests. He is also known for his care for the sick and dying during a plague.

Frequently Asked Questions

What date Is the Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo?

It is observed annually on November 4.

What are the Mass readings for the Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop?

First Reading – Romans 3:3-13: Unity in Diverse Gifts
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 89: Eternal Promise to David
Gospel – John 10:11-16: The Good Shepherd

Who was St. Charles Borromeo?

Saint Charles Borromeo was a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop of Milan in the 16th century. He is remembered for his role in the Counter-Reformation and for implementing the reforms of the Council of Trent.

When did Charles Borromeo live?

He was born on October 2, 1538, in Arona, Italy, and died on November 3, 1584, in Milan, Italy.

What is Saint Charles Borromeo known for?

He is known for his pastoral work and significant reforms in the Catholic Church during the Counter-Reformation. He founded seminaries for the education of priests, enforced the decrees of the Council of Trent, and worked tirelessly to improve the spiritual and moral life of the clergy and laity.

Why is Saint Charles Borromeo significant today?

His commitment to reform and the education of clergy is seen as a model for pastoral care and ecclesiastical governance. His life is an example for those in church leadership roles.

Who is St. Charles Borromeo the patron saint of?

St. Charles Borromeo is the patron saint of those suffering from ulcers and intestinal issues, seminarians, bishops, spiritual directors, and apple orchards.

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