St. Charles Borromeo – Nov. 4

Today, Nov 4, is the feast day of St. Charles Borromeo, a Protestant Reformation-era saint who became bishop of Milan at the age of 25.  In a time when the clergy were not especially known for asceticism, he himself gave all of his income to the poor and fed many who were dying of hunger during the plague year 1576.  During this plague and famine, he is said to have walked around the streets of Milan barefoot, with a rope around his neck, offering himself to God as a scapegoat on behalf of the sins of the people in order that they might be spared.  A patron of learning and the arts, he is invoked against stomach disorders and is the patron saint of seminarians and spiritual leaders.

Probably because of the rope iconography, he is associated in some Vodou houses and temples with Bossou, the bull loa.

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