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Saint Life: Charles Borromeo ~ True Restorer of the Faith

Sensus Fidelium
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Published on 19 Nov 2021 / In Spiritual

St. Charles Borromeo was born on October 2, 1538. He was tonsured at twelve years of age, and when his uncle was elected Pope, Pius IV, he was called to Rome to oversee the Papal States in the name of his uncle. After ordination to the priesthood, Charles was consecrated bishop and assigned to the archdiocese of Milan. Certainly, one of the most influential elements of Charles’ position in the Church was his foundational work at the Council of Trent, both by his wisdom during the Council and his implementation of reform after in his own diocese. Charles knew that the first reform needed was in his own household, and in his own soul. He thus set an example of virtue for his priests, and knowing that pastors set a standard of holiness for the flock, Charles tightened the discipline of his clergy. In his reform among the laity, important to Charles was to polish their behavior observed in church, and ensure that fasting was observed during Lent. The best reform is that which came directly by God Himself in the form of the plague that struck Milan in 1575, during which Charles assisted the sick by giving them the sacraments, and providing for their material needs. He died wearing sackcloth after receiving Viaticum and Extreme Unction on November 4, in the year 1584.

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