Saint Charles was canonized a saint in 1610. He was
a leader of the Catholic Reformation, the founder of
colleges of higher learning, a powerful figure in the
Catholic Church, yet humble of heart.
He devoted his life to the sick and the poor, doing
charitable works of mercy. Saint Charles was influential
in reforming the clergy's luxurious ways to a simpler,
Christian like existence.
The reforms that Saint Charles advocated made him unpopular
with many of the clergy and Church fathers but he continues
in his efforts, following the new Council of Trent changes
in spite of assassination attempts upon his life.
Prayer of St. Charles Borromeo
Almighty God, you have generously made known to human
beings the mysteries of your life through Jesus
Christ your Son in the Holy
Enlighten my mind to know these mysteries which your
Church treasures and teaches.
Move my heart to love them and my will to live in accord
Give me the ability to teach this Faith to others without
pride, without ostentation, and without personal gain.
Let me realize that I am simply your instrument for
bringing others to the knowledge of the wonderful things
you have done for all your creatures.
Help me to be faithful to this task that you have entrusted
Saint Charles is the patron saint of catechists and
seminarians. Many men entering the seminary are given
a Saint Charles medal, a Saint Charles medallion, or
a Saint Charles pendant as a gift from loved ones. The
medal inspires the seminarians to live a life of devotion
to Jesus Christ, as well as to live a life of charity
and mercy for others.
St. Charles Borromeo Quote
Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If
you do not, people will notice that you say one thing,
but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical
laughter and a derisive shake of the head.
Many Catholics today live their lives according to this
quote by Saint Charles. It has many versions today,
for instance, "Practice what you preach".
Wearing a Saint Charles necklace reminds Christians
to put this quote into practice, giving an example of
way of life to others.