Charles Borromeo: Selected Orations, Homilies and Writings

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-02-09
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark

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Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) became the driving force of reform within the Catholic Church in the wake of the Council of Trent following the Protestant Reformation and the primary reason Trent's dramatic reforms were successful. His remarkable accomplishments in Milan as Archbishop became the model of reform for the rest of Western Europe. Change is never easy, but St. Charles' approach – deeply biblical, personal, practical and centered on Christ – offers a road map of reform, even for today. Now for the first time in over 400 years a significant selection of his works appears in the English language.

Chapter 1 offers three orations that St Charles gave as Archbishop of Milan to the other Bishops. These texts were among those that Pope Paul VI sent out to the Bishops of the world in 1963 during Vatican II. Chapter 2 contains a selection of homilies on the Eucharist and is followed by a collection of texts that treat the reform of the clergy. The final chapter presents Borromeo's efforts at mobilizing the laity in their own reform.

This translation is intended to be faithful to Borromeo's Latin or Italian texts rendered into contemporary English.

Author Biography

John R. Cihak, S.T.D., is an Official of the Congregation for Bishops and a Papal Master of Ceremonies. A priest of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, USA, he studied philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and obtained his Licentiate and Doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Italy, where he also teaches.

Ansgar Santogrossi, O.S.B., is a Benedictine monk of Mount Angel Abbey and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon and at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Nebraska, USA.

Charles Borromeo was a Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan, Italy from 1564-1584. he was also a leader within the Counter-Reformation and was responsible for significant reforms in the Catholic Church.

Table of Contents

Introduction: “Reform from Within” (John R. Cihak)
Editor and Translator's Note
Chapter 1: Defining Reform from its Center

A. “Pursuing God's Interests, Not Ours” (Oration at the First Provincial Council, October 15, 1565)
B. “Cultivating the Field Persistently” (Oration at the Second Provincial Council, April 24, 1569)
C. “Reforming Together” (Oration at the Fifth Provincial Council, May 7, 1579)

Chapter 2: Being Transformed by Christ in the Eucharist

A. “Washing Feet as Christ Did” (Homily for the Washing of the Feet of the Cathedral Chapter, March 27, 1567)
B. “God's Overwhelming Love in the Eucharist” (Homily during the Mass of Corpus Christi, Cathedral of Milan, June 9, 1583)
C. “Taste the Sweetness of the Lord” (Homily after Compline, Corpus Christi, Cathedral of Milan, June 9, 1583)
D. “Receive this Sacrament Frequently, Worthily and Zealously” (Homily for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, Given in the Cathedral of Milan, June 12, 1583)
E. “Uniting Heaven and Earth at the Altar” (Homily on the Occasion of the Consecration of Altars, Parish Church of Galbiati, Diocese of Milan, Thursday of the Fourth Week after Pentecost, June 30, 1583)

Chapter 3: Imitating the Good Shepherd

A. “Preaching the Word of God” (Instructions to Preachers of the Word of God, Oration to All Those Having the Charge of Preaching Sermons in the Diocese and Province Of Milan, According To the Decree of the Third Provincial Council, 1573)
B. “Will You Risk Your Life for the Flock?” (Sermon to Superiors of Monasteries and Other Religious Priests During the Time of the Plague, 1576)
C. “A Face Humble and Free of Vanity” (Letter on Shaving the Beard, November 30, 1576)
D. “Come with the Right Intention” (Homily to the Ordinands, Saturday after Pentecost, June 1, 1577)
E. “Be Holy or Be Struck Down” (Homily to the Ordinands, Saturday of Ember Days, February 22, 1578)
F. “Spiritual Deformity or Integrity?” (Homily to the Ordinands, Saturday after Pentecost, May 24, 1578)
G. “My Portion is You, O Lord” (Homily to the Ordinands, Given in the Evening at the Archbishop's House Chapel, Ember Friday of Pentecost)
H. “Priestly Anointing Reflected in a Virtuous Life” (Homily to the Ordinands During the Celebration of Mass, Cathedral of Milan, Ember Saturday of Pentecost, June 4, 1583)
I. “Seeking Greater Holiness” (Homily to the Canons of the Major Churches and of the Ecclesiastical Colleges of the Archdiocese, Given in the Archbishop's House Chapel, January 2, 1584)
J. “Vigilant Shepherds” (Homily to Pastors of Parishes, Confessors and Secular Preachers of the City of Milan, Given in the Archbishop's House Chapel, January 3, 1584)
K. “You Are the Pattern of the Flock” (Third Oration to the Clergy at the Eleventh Diocesan Synod, April 20, 1584)

Chapter 4: Making the World Holy

A. “Daily Christian Living” (A Booklet of Reminders for the People of the City and the Diocese of Milan for Living as a Christian, in What is Common to Every State in Life, and in Particular to Fathers and Mothers of Families, Masters and Heads of Workshops, and for Workers, December 20, 1577)
B. “Open Your Heart to the Holy Spirit” (Homily to Confirmands, given in the Basilica of St. Simplician, May 30, 1583)
C. “Imitating the Holy Family” (Homily for the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany, Cathedral of Milan, January 8, 1584)

Works Translated

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