Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lumen Caritatis: Part III

Giovanni Battista Crespi (known as Il Cerano) (1575 - 1632)
San Carlos Borromeo ante Cristo muerto / St Carlo Borromeo Before the Dead Christ
Also known as Carlo Borromeo adora di notte il Cristo morto di Varallo / Charles Borromeo at night adoring the dead Christ at Varallo
Oil on canvas
209 x 156 cm
Colección Real, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Cerano was in large part responsible for the iconography of St Carlo Borromeo after his canonization in 1610

In 1620 he was appointed head of the Accademia Ambrosiana founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo.

With other artists Cerano completed the Taloni or Quadroni for Milan Cathedral, the cycle of paintings depicting the Life and Miracles of St Charles Borromeo which are still exhiibited today.

The Wikipedia article in Italian Quadroni di San Carlo is an excellent article on the Quadroni and in the Commons section shows many of the paintings

Pope Benedict XVI is not the first and will not be the last Pope to extol the life and virtues of Saint Charles Borromeo. Nor, in time of crisis, to put him forward as model of sanctity who should be emulated, followed. A beacon of light in a sea of sarkness.

In Lumen Caritatis,  Pope Benedict wrote that St. Charles "was aware that serious and credible reform had to begin with pastors".

To this end the Saint focused on "the centrality of the Eucharist, ... the spirituality of the cross, ... assiduous participation in the Sacraments, ... the Word of God, ... and love and devotion for the Supreme Pontiff, readily and filially obedient to his directives as a guarantee of true and complete ecclesial communion".

Pope John Paul I took as his motto "Humllitas", the same motto as that of Saint Charles Borromeo.

Pope John Paul II looked on St Charles as his Patron Saint. At the beginning of his Pontificate (4th November 1978)he said to the assembled College of Cardinals who had just elected him:

"My beloved parents gave me the name Karol (Charles), which was also my father's name. Certainly, they could never have foreseen (they both died young) that this name would open up for their child the way among the great events of the Church of today.

St Charles! How often I have knelt before his relics in Milan Cathedral; how often I have thought about his life, contemplating in my mind the gigantic figure of this man of God and servant of the Church, Charles Borromeo, Cardinal, Bishop of Milan, and a man of the Council.

He is one of the great protagonists of the deep reform of the 16th century church, carried out by the Council of Trent, which will always remain linked with his name. He is also one of the creators of the institution of ecclesiastical seminaries, which has been reconfirmed in all its substance by the Second Vatican Council. Moreover, he was a servant of souls, who never let himself be intimidated; a servant of the suffering, of the sick, of those condemned to death.

My Patron Saint!

In his name my parents, my parish, my country intended to prepare me right from the beginning for an extraordinary service of the Church, in the context of today's Council, with the many tasks united with its implementation, and also in all the experiences and sufferings of modern man.

May God reward you, revered Brothers, Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for having, on this day, together with me, wished to venerate St Charles in my unworthy person. May God reward all those who do so together with you.

If only I could imitate him, at least partly! "