In her book, My Best Teachers Were Saints, author Susan H. Swetnam writes about St. Charles Borromeo, the patron saint of catechists, whose feast day we celebrate today. She explains that he supervised the writing of an accurate catechism, rewrote liturgical texts and music, and began enforcing clerical reform in Rome after the Council of Trent. She writes that he was, “an energetic reformer who took ‘always the most austere and stringent interpretation’ of the dictates of the Council of Trent,” and was, “instrumental in helping reinvigorate the church during the Counter-Reformation. His work, it is said, ‘gave new confidence to a shaken church.’”
New confidence to a shaken Church.
Sound like something needed today? I’d say; perhaps more than ever!
As we celebrate this day, let us ask Charles Borromeo to intercede for us catechists so that we may receive the grace needed to effectively and powerfully proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and bring new confidence to a shaken Church and a wounded world.
St. Charles Borromeo, pray for us!
“If we wish to make any progress in the service of God we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves in the presence of God as much as possible and have no other view or end in all our actions but the divine honor.”
—Saint Charles Borromeo
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 Spirit. 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 with them. 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 to me. Amen.
Image: Giovanni Ambrogio Figino, “Portrait of Charles Borromeo,” public domain via Wikimedia Commons.