EWTN News

Saint Charles Borromeo
October 29, 2018
by staff
Saint Charles Borromeo

 

Saint Charles Borromeo was born in the castle of Arona on Lake Maggiore, in 1538, the second of six children of Count Gilbert Borromeo and Margaret Medici. At the age of twelve he was given the revenues of a rich Benedictine Abbey but asked his father to spend on him only the necessary for his education and to use the remainder for the good of the Church. He had a speech impediment and a lack of brilliance in his studies and was thought to be slow. He accomplished much, however, by being tireless and methodical in his approach to any task presented to him. In 1560, at the age of 22, he was created cardinal-deacon by his uncle, Pope Pius IV. In 1563, he was ordained a priest. Saint Charles Borromeo was fundamental for the success of the Council of Trent. He brought about its reopening and was the tireless force that kept it going and brought it to a successful close. After this work, he dedicated himself to the Archdiocese of Milan. In his dealings with the clergy and laity of Milan, he gave the example to be followed: he donated most of his income to charity, shunned luxury, and did severe penances. During the plague and famine of 1576, he borrowed money to feed the people, a loan which required years to pay back, and while the civil authorities fled, he remained in the city and ministered to the sick and the dying. Saint Charles Borromeo was born into eternal life at the age of 46, after spending himself in this world in the service of others.