Magnet pictures a c1611 oil painting by Orazio Borgianni (1574-1616) of Saint Charles Borromeo (1538–1584). Cardinal and archbishop Borromeo is best known for resisting the Protestant Reformation. As part of that effort he rebuilt the Milan diocese and brought about important changes in the Catholic church such as higher education for priests.
Borromeo came from a wealthy Lombardy family; his father was a count and his mother of the House of Medici in Milan. At the death of his father in 1554, Charles temporarily interrupted his education to manage his families financial affairs. Four years later he earned a doctorate in canon and civil law.
When his uncle, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Medici, became Pope Pius IV, Charles was made a cardinal and assigned to govern the Papal states as well as the Franciscans, Carmelites and and Knights of Malta. He was ordained as a priest in 1563 and appointed archbishop the following year.
Charles chose the life of a bishop, disappointing his family who wanted him to marry and continue the family name. He became highly influential throughout Europe and is remembered for his contributions to art and education as well as Catholicism. He was canonized by Pope Paul V in 1610.
|Italian-born, Orazio Borgianni worked in Rome and in Spain. Among his patrons was Philip II of Spain.|