- 5.30pm Pontifical presided over by His Excellency Monsignor Giuseppe Merisi, Bishop Emieritus of Lodi and former Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Diocese of Milan, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination.
It is possible to follow the service live on television on the digital terrestrial channel 195 and in streaming on the Diocese of Milan website (www.chiesadimilano.it).
Charles was born in Arona on 2 October 1538 to the noble Borromeo family. Having received thorough judicial training, at the age of 22 he was nominated Cardinal and then Archbishop of Milan shortly after; he played a large part in the last development and then conclusion of the Council of Trent (1562-1563).
Having reached his Episcopal See in 1565, he devoted himself entirely to the pastoral mission. With extraordinary energy he took on the task of reforming the Church, visiting his immense Dioceses with assiduity and establishing Seminaries for the formation of the clergy.
A man of admirable charity, he organised assistance for the ill during the plague, administering the Sacraments to them.
He died on 3 November 1584.
As every year, on the occasion of the Solemnity, the 52 large canvases (Quadroni) of Saint Charles are exhibited along the Duomo’s Central Nave and in the two transepts.
The first cycle, dedicated to the life and works of the Saint Archbishop, was commissioned by the Veneranda Fabbrica on the precise indications of cardinal Federico Borromeo, between 1602 and 1610. Entrusted to some of the greatest Lombard artists – including Cerano – and to other minor ones, the cycle was made for the Beatification and Canonisation of Charles Borromeo. The original project, made up of 20 canvases, was subsequently integrated and completed with the addition of a further eight paintings in the years between 1660 and 1740. Amongst these works, the two canvases depicting The Birth and The Glory of Saint Charles were included, now permanently placed on the wooden casings of the Organs.
The second pictorial cycle, composed of 26 canvases smaller than those of the previous cycle, is dedicated to The Miracles of Saint Charles and was instead made starting from 1609.