Double (1955 Calendar): November 4
St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) was born in 1538 to a noble family; he was a nephew of Pope Pius IV. St. Charles was made a Cardinal at the young age of 23, and he assisted the Pope in governing the Church. Soon thereafter St. Charles was made Archbishop of Milan. He is remembered for his efforts on behalf of the 19th Ecumenical Council of Trent (1545-1564). He then proceeded to enforce its decrees in the Archdiocese of Milan. During a plague he even walked barefooted in the public streets carrying a cross with a rope around his neck, offering himself as a victim to God for the transgressions of his people. He prayed the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin daily.
He was a model bishop and is the patron saint of seminarians. St. Charles Borromeo died on November 3, 1584.
As We have already mentioned, We are of the opinion that the shining example of Christ's soldiers has far greater value in the winning and sanctifying of souls than the words of profound treatises. We therefore gladly take this present opportunity to teach some very useful lessons from the consideration of the life of another holy pastor whom God raised up in more recent times and in the midst of trials very similar to those We are experiencing today. We refer to Saint Charles Borromeo, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church and Archbishop of Milan, whom Paul V, of holy memory, raised to the altar of the saints less than thirty years after his death. The words of Our Predecessor are to the point: "The Lord alone performs great wonders and in recent times He has accomplished marvelous things among Us. In His wonderful dispensation He has set a great light on the Apostolic rock when He singled Charles out of the heart of the Roman Church as the faithful priest and good servant to be a model for the pastors and their flock. He enlightened the whole Church from the light diffused by his holy works.
Encyclical of Pope Pius X promulgated on May 26, 1910.
Ever keep Thy Church, O Lord, we beseech Thee, under the abiding protection of St. Charles, Thy Confessor and Bishop: that as his watchful care over his flock won him glory, so his intercession may always make us fervent in Thy love. Through our Lord.
Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal