Thursday, November 04, 2010

Today is the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo: Civil and Canon Lawyer!

A Man for Our Lady of Vilnius Parish! Who knew!

On April 29, 2007, when members of Council 12 were permitted to enter Our Lady of Vilnius Church to retrieve their property, I found a medal with the face of St. Charles Borromeo on it. The medal was apparently issued to honor the 50th anniversary in the priesthood of Father Charles Tallarico. None of the parishioners that I asked about Father Tallarico seemed to remember him, nor have any idea of how the medal made its way to our choir loft.

The November issue of Magnificat celebrates this day as the feast of St. Charles, stating the following about him:

"As both a civil and a canon lawyer, as well as a bishop, Saint Charles understood the pastoral work of law-giving according to the model of Christ. His unflagging efforts to promote Christian life and Church reform were prompted by a profoundly self-sacrificing love of Christ living in the Church."

Please ask for the intercession of St. Charles Borromeo and Father Charles Tallarico in restoring Our Lady of Vilnius' community of faith


Ellen Halloran said...

His was an interesting and inspiring life. In 1559 he was given the diocese of Milan to administer, as well as a cardinal's hat. Yet he was not ordained to the priesthood until 1563 and two months later was consecrated a bishop.
He held himself to high moral, ethical, and spiritual standards and expected the same from other clergy and religious teachers. His reforms incurred the wrath of members of a lay movement, the Humiliati (founded to serve the poor), which had grown lax and decadent. They hired someone to assassinate Charles Borromeo but he escaped with only minor wounds. He reformed liturgical books and music and died at the age of 46.
Pope John XXIII was deeply interested in Charles Borromeo and his teachings. As a scholar he edited a five volume collection of Borromeo's writings. When he was elected to the papacy in 1958 he chose Borromeo's feast day for his own coronation,even though November 4th fell on Wednesday that year and papal coronations were traditionally held on Sunday.

Nobody's Wife said...

I thought "who knew" was a rhetorical question, but apparently Ellen Halloran knew! Thanks, Ellen, for amplifying my post.

Ellen Halloran said...

And to amplify my own post -
I was originally going to write about Borromeo's efforts to aid the poor during Milan's famine of 1627-1628; but that was his cousin Frederigo Borromeo who appears as a character in Alessandro Manzoni's 'The Betrothed' ( I Promessi Sposi ). Frederigo was strongly influenced by the profound zeal of his cousin and sought to promote reform among the clergy.
Harold Bloom includes Manzoni's novel in 'The Western Canon' and has called it "the last great Catholic novel."