2020 Year with the Saints: St. Charles Borromeo
Feast • Nov. 4
Church • Bellows Falls
St. Charles Borromeo, whose feast day is celebrated on Nov. 4, probably is remembered best for the various reforms he helped institute in the Church during the Protestant Reformation. Though he worked behind the scenes, he was instrumental in seeing the Council of Trent through to its conclusion.
Ordained at 25 in 1563, he was made bishop of Milan soon after. His life’s work centered on reform; whether at Trent or in his Diocese, St. Charles always led by example, living a holy and simple life Worn out from hard and constant work, St. Charles died in 1584 at 46.
St. Charles Borromeo Church in Bellows Falls was completed in 1885 and still has many of its original features and adornments, such as the white reredos with plaster work and statues, late- Victorian stained-glass windows and plaster Stations of the Cross. A large pipe organ was added to the choir loft in 1937, gifted to the church from a private estate in Scarsdale, New York. The church has both a statue and a small stained-glass window featuring the patron saint, as well as a first-class relic.
—Originally published in the Fall 2020 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.