Vocation Story: St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo was born with all the advantages in life.  He had everything, came from nobility and was given a good education and even his vocation seemed to have been handed to him in a manner of speaking. He was made a Cardinal before he was ordained (at the age of 22) then ordained a priest at 24 and made a bishop a couple of months later. St. Charles held high positions in the Catholic Church and was the Archbishop of Milan.  He could have taken full advantage of the privilege and position which had been handed to him, but instead he chose to be holy and to allow God to guide Him along the path of life and he is not remembered for the great wealth or power or influence he had in this world, that which he had been given by his bloodline.  St. Charles is remembered for what he did to make the Church better to the Glory of God!

He worked hard to build better seminaries, holier places for new priests to be trained. He worked hard to help keep people on the right path and was a major player with St. Ignatius Loyola and others in what was known as the Counter-Reformation.  I can well imagine his life was an important part of this.  The Reformation saw many wanting to leave the Church and form another community, often because they saw the corruption of its members, especially its leaders.  We see that in our time too, because many people have given up on the Church because all they can see is the smudge that entitled clergy and the mistakes and bad example on the part of Christians.  But St. Charles showed the people, as we have to be open to see past all of that, to the Church Jesus founded and used frail, weak human beings to lead.  God chooses weak humanity to help each other find the salvation Jesus offered, and we have to see past that.  St. Charles among other people have helped us in great ways.

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