Not ready to lead?
So most people thought.
In fact, he was twelve! Much too young to be abbot of a large monastery.
But young Charles belonged to a very rich and very powerful family that had an inordinate amount of influence in Church affairs.
Sad to say, this kind of thing was the cause of scandal more than once in the history of the Church.
But not in this case, for Charles was more than just a scion of money and power: he was also tremendously brilliant, extraordinarily capable, and deeply pious.
He used all of his gifts to bring about reform throughout the Church, beginning with the monastery "left" to him by one uncle and extending all the way to an ecumenical council that reformed the Church at every level (with the help of yet another uncle, Pope Pius IV).
And he did all this - and much, much more - before dying at the age of 46, on November 3, 1584.
The memory of St. Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan (among other jobs), who was known as the "Apostle to the Council of Trent," is celebrated on this day.
(adapted from an earlier post)