At St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the chair of St. Peter is kept in a large reliquary in the apse of the church. The reliquary is part of a colossal bronze statue by Bernini. In this statue, the reliquary of St. Peter’s chair is held aloft by four Fathers of the Church. The four Fathers depicted are St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, St. Athanasius, and St. John Chrysostom.
It has been part of the plan of God to see to the preservation of the religion of His Son by raising up zealous teachers in every age. The Fathers of the Church handed down the holy faith to us, preserving it from errors and confusion. They were men of great learning AND holiness. Christianity could not have survived without them.
In the sixteenth century, the Lord raised up four great saints to be the “Fathers” of the Church in the Modern Age. The four latter-day Fathers are Pope St. Pius V, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Philip Neri, and St. Charles Borromeo.
St. Charles’ feast day is Election Day. We can say that St. Charles voted.
He voted at the Council of Trent. This meeting of bishops clarified Catholic doctrine at a time of great confusion. The Council never would have happened if it weren’t for St. Charles. His clarity of mind and diplomatic skill fostered the successful completion of the Council’s work.
After the Council, St. Charles saw to the composition of the Roman Catechism.
The Baltimore Catechism is based on the Roman Catechism. So–for those of us who swear by the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism #2–today is a day of joy and profound gratitude.
You can read the entire Baltimore Catechism #3 online.
If you are among the unfortunate who do not have at least three copies of the St. Joseph Baltimre Catechism #2–one for upstairs, one for downstairs, one for the car–you can order copies from Amazon.
St. Charles was the baptismal patron of our dearly departed Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla.
St. Charles Borromeo, pray for us!