St. Charles Borromeo – Bishop (1538–1584)
Charles Borromeo was the cardinal archbishop of Milan from 1564 to 1584. Among the great reformers of the troubled sixteenth century, Borromeo, with St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Philip Neri, and others, led the movement to combat the inroads of the Protestant Reformation. He was a leading figure during the Counter-Reformation and was responsible for significant reforms in the Catholic Church, including the founding of seminaries for the education of priests.
On December 25, 1559, his uncle, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Medici, was raised to the pontificate as Pope Pius IV. The new elected pope required his nephew Charles Borromeo to come to Rome, and on January 13, 1560 appointed him promontory apostolic. Shortly thereafter, on January 31, 1560, the Pope created him Cardinal, and thus Charles Borromeo as Cardinal-nephew was entrusted with both the public and the privy seal of the ecclesiastical state. He was also entrusted in the government of the Papal States and appointed supervisor of the Franciscans, Carmelites and Knights of Malta.
During his four years in Rome Charles Borromeo lived in austerity, compelled the personnel in the Roman Curia to wear black and established an academy of learned persons, the Academy of the Vatican Nights, publishing their memoirs as the Noctes Vaticanae.
Charles committed to organize the third and last section of the Council of Trent, in 1562-63. He took a large share in the creation of the Tridentine Catechism (Catechismus Romanus). In 1561, Borromeo founded and endowed a college at Pavia, today known as Almo Collegio Borromeo, which he dedicated to Saint Justina of Padua.
Saints Vitalis and Agricola, Martyrs
Saints Vitalis and Agricola, martyrs, who are considered to have died at Bologna about 304, during the persecution ordered by Roman Emperor Diocletian.
Agricola was a Christian citizen of Bologna who converted his slave, Vitalis, to Christianity; they became deeply attached to each other. Vitalis was first to suffer martyrdom, being executed in the amphitheatre. The authorities then tortured Agricola, but failed to make him give up his religion. He was finally crucified.
St. Charles Borromeo, Confessor and Bishop
Twenty-Third Week after Pentecost/Within the Octave of All Saints
Missa – ‘Statuit’
INTROIT Eccles. 45: 30; Ps. 131: 1
Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in æternum.
Ps. Memento Domine, David: et omnis mansuetudinus ejus.
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of priesthood should be to him for ever.
Ps. O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness.
Glory be to the Father.
Keep safe Thy Church, O, Lord, with the continual protection of St. Charles, Thy Confessor and Bishop, that, as pastoral solicitude rendered him glorious, so his intercession may ever make us fervent in Thy love. Through our Lord.
Second Collect of the Octave of All Saints
Almighty and everlasting God, who hast granted us to venerate the merits of all thy Saints in one solemnity, vouchsafe to us, we beseech thee, through the multitude of our intercessors, that abundance of thy mercy for which we ever have hoped.
Third Collect Commemoration of Sts. Vitalis and Agricola, Martyrs
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who venerate the solemnity of Thy holy Martyrs, Vitalis and Agricola, may be assisted by their intercession with Thee. Through our Lord.
EPISTLE – Ecclesiasticus 44: 16-27
Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him who kept the law of the most High. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him to increase among his people He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood: and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praised in His name, and to offer him a worthy incense for an odor of sweetness.
GRADUAL – Ecclus 44: 16, 20
Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High.
ALLELUIA – Psalm 109: 4
Alleluia, alleluia. Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia
GOSPEL – Matthew 25: 14-23
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going into a far country called his servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to every one according to his proper ability: and immediately he took his journey. And he that had received the five talents went his way, and traded with the same, and gained another five. And in like manner he that had received the two gained other two. But he that had received the one, going his way, digged into the earth and hid his lord’s money. But after a long time the lord of those servants came and reckoned with them. And he that had received the five talents coming, brought other five talents, saying: Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents, behold I have gained other five over and above. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou has been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. And he also that had received the two talents came and said: Lord, thou deliverest two talents to me, behold I have gained other two. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
OFFERTORY – Psalm 88: 21-22
I have found David My servant, with My holy oil I have anointed him: for My hand shall help him, and My arm shall strengthen him.
May Thy Saints, we beseech Thee, O Lord, in all places bring us joy; that while we recall their merits, we may experience their patronage. Through our Lord.
Second Secret Prayer of the Octave of All Saints
We offer to thee, O Lord, the Gifts of our devotion: may they be well-pleasing to thee in honor of all the just, and likewise through thy mercy, avail us unto salvation.
Third Secret the Commemoration of Sts. Vitalis and Agricola
Be appeased, O Lord, with the gifts we offer, and, by the intercession of Thy holy Martyrs, Vitalis and Agricola, defend us from all dangers. Through our Lord.
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominations worship, Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini.Hosánna in excélsis.
COMMUNION – Luke 12: 42
This is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord setteth over his family: to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God that, we who give thanks for the gifts we have received, may through the intercession of blessed Charles, Thy Confessor and Bishop, obtain still greater blessings. Through our Lord.
Second Postcommunion of the Octave of All Saints
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that thy faithful people may ever rejoice in honoring all thy Saints, and may be defended by their unceasing prayers.
Third Postcommunion for Commemoration of Sts. Vitalis and Agricola
May this Communion, O Lord, cleanse us from guilt; and through the intercession of Thy holy Martyrs Vitalis and Agricola, make us share in the heavenly healing. Through our Lord.