Book of Saints – Saint Charles Borromeo

detail of a painting of Saint Charles Borromeo by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, c.1768; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

November 4

Charles, of the noble family of Borromeo, was born in 1538 in a castle of Aron, in Italy. When Charles was only twenty-two, Pope Pius made him a cardinal and the archbishop of Milan.

Charles was a great teacher and writer. He helped the Church at the time Martin Luther fell away from the Church during the so-called Reformation. His great work was in the Council of Trent. He founded schools for the poor, seminaries for clerics, and through his community of Oblates trained his priests to holiness of life.

Charles also built hospitals where he himself served the sick. He was often seen taking part in public processions with a rope around his neck as a sign of penance. He gave away all he had and wore an old patched cloak. During a great plague, he was ever with the sick and dying. He tried to feed 60,000 poor people everyday.

Charles died at the age of 46 in 1584. He is the patron of seminaries and of those who teach catechism.

MLA Citation

  • Father Lawrence George Lovasik, S.V.D.. “Saint Charles Borromeo”. Book of Saints. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 January 2019. Web. 14 November 2019. <>