St Charles Borromeo Healing Oil 4 (Patron for Bishops)
St Charles Borromeo born on October 2, 1538 near Milan.
At the age of 12, the young Charles dedicated himself to a life of service to the Church. His uncle gave to him the family income from the Benedictine abbey. Even as a youth, his integrity was obvious. Also, he was explicit in telling his father that he could only keep the money required for his education. All other funds belonged to the poor of the Church.
Borromeo was hardworking and thorough
The young count suffered from a speech impediment that made him appear slow. However, this challenge did not stop him from performing well. Also, he impressed his teachers. Borromeo attended the University of Pavia and learned Latin. He praised because he hardworking and thorough.
In 1554 his father passed away when Charles was a teenager. Responsibility for his household fell to him. However, Charles continued in his studies and earned a doctorate in canon and civil law.
His responsibility for his household resulted in financial difficulties. Subsequently, Charles earned a reputation for being short of funds.
Life sped up for the young count after his uncle, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Medici became Pope Pius IV. The new pope asked his nephew to come to Rome and appointed him as a cardinal-deacon. Also, with the rank came the job of assisting and advising his uncle full-time. A month later, Pope Pius IV made his nephew a cardinal.
He is made a cardinal
With the new rank came even more duties including the government of the Papal States. Also, he had supervision of the Knights of Malta, the Franciscans, and the Carmelites. He was only 23 years old.
The young Borromeo used his leadership role in the Vatican to promote learning. He established a literary academy. He wrote of some of the lessons and lectures in the book, Noctes Vaticanae.
Borromeo was appointed administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan in 1560. He decided that the Lord was calling him to the priesthood.
In 1561, he founded a college at Pavia dedicated to St. Justina of Padua.
In 1562 his brother died. His family urged him to leave the service of the church to preserve the family name. However, Borromeo refused. He wanted to be a good bishop. He compelled others to lead exemplary lives of clerical service.
Borromeo becomes a priest
Borromeo ordained first to the order of deacon. Then, he was ordained to the holy priesthood on September 4, 1563. Then, he was ordained as a bishop on December 7, 1563. He became Archbishop of Milan in May 12, 1564.
In 1566, Pope Pius IV died. Borromeo had already developed a reputation as a young, idealistic reformer in Rome. He continued that mission in Milan. Milan was the largest diocese in the Catholic Church at the time and corruption was rampant.
The driving out of corruption was a critical matter during Borromeo’s time. The Protestant Reformation was spreading throughout northern Europe and constantly threatened to move south. The greatest defense against Protestant doctrinal errors and claims against the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was reform. The restoration of integrity to the Catholic Church. became his mission.
His strategy was to provide education to many clergy he saw as ignorant. He founded schools and seminaries and colleges for clergy.
Catholic and Protestant conflict
He also ended the selling of indulgences. Borromeo ordered monasteries to reform themselves. He made a lot of visits to various locations to inspect for himself. Also, he ordered the simplification of church interiors. This was a major point of contention between some Catholics and Protestants. The complex and busy interiors were claimed to be a distraction from the worship of God. This danger was acknowledged during the Council of Trent which Archbishop Borromeo enforced. Even tombs belonging to his own relatives were cleared of inappropriate ornaments and embellishments.
His work of cleaning up the Church also made him enemies. On one occasion a member of a small, decrepit order known as the “Humiliati” attempted to assassinate him with a pistol, but missed.
Many of his subordinates and secular officials complained about the Archbishop throughout his career. However, the existence of these enemies only emboldened Borromeo. They served as confirmation that his efforts to eradicate corruption were working.
Famine hits Milan/St Charles Borromeo healing oil
In 1576 a famine struck Milan followed by the plague. Many of the wealthy and powerful fled the city. Archbishop Borromeo remained. He used his own fortune to feed the starving people. When that money spent, he took loans and went deep into debt. He may have fed 70,000 people per day. Eventually, the Archbishop convinced the local governor to return to his post and care for the people.
In 1583, Archbishop Borromeo traveled to Switzerland. He began work suppressing heresy there. Protestant heresies, along with witchcraft and sorcery had been widely reported. Borromeo founded the Collegium Helveticum to serve and educate Swiss Catholics.
Eventually, the Archbishop’s life of work and toil began to take its toll. In 1584, he became ill with a fever. He returned to Milan where his conditioned worsened. When it obvious he would die, he given his last Sacraments. He died on November 3, at the age of 46.
Charles Borromeo beatified on May 12, 1602 by Pope Paul V. Subsequently, canonized by Pope Paul V on November 1, 1610.
Exclusive gift set 65 – St Charles Borromeo/Tradition of oils
The tradition of anointing with sacred oil is very old indeed. It is used in sacraments and also as a devotional practice. The sick person applies the oil and blesses themselves. As they do so, they are asked to pray to whomever the oil is dedicated to. The Irish blessings oils do not have miraculous power. It is God who has the power to heal. Applying the oil while praying are important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. Moreover, by doing so we place our trust in God.
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