Thoughts on the Day: Feast of St. Charles Borromeo

cborromeoToday the Church celebrates the heroic sanctity of St. Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan (d. 1584). St. Borromeo is one of the patron saints of catechists, owing in large part to his role in the writing of the Roman Catechism during the Council of Trent. This was the first universal catechism of the Church and held a place of preeminence within catechesis that only ended with the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992.

It may be tempting to characterize the time of the Counter-Reformation by an austere and humorless defense against Protestantism (and St. Borromeo was certainly known for those qualities!) but even in the Roman Catechism we see a focus on the encounter with Jesus Christ as the ultimate end of evangelization and catechesis:

The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love. (Roman Catechism, no. 10)

As we remember St. Charles Borromeo we ask for his intercession as catechists and for the strength, wisdom, patience, and love to bring those in our care to a full and lasting encounter with our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.