Thursday, November 4, 2010

St. Charles Borromeo

Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, St. Charles was the neighboring Catholic Parish. So  "St. Charles" was just a name to me, like the property on the monopoly board. But the patron of that Parish was an amazing man who packed more into 46 years of life than many other who live twice as long.

He was a lawyer at age 21, cardinal-deacon and administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan at 22 and ordained to the priesthood at 25, (it didn't hurt that his uncle was Pope Pius IV.) He was instrumental in the Council of Trent (the Catholic Church's response to the protestant reformation) and establishing the seminary system for training young men to become priests.

From "Saint of the Day":
Charles took the initiative in giving 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 he tried to feed 60,000 to 70,000 people daily. To do this he borrowed large sums of money that required years to repay. When 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 his health. He died at the age of 46, in 1584.

I marvel not only at his accomplishments, but at his "yes" to God in service to the Divine Will.
St. Charles Borromeo, Pray For Us!

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