Saint Charles Borromeo is quite special to us as this was our parish when I was growing up in Donora, Pennsylvania. But at that time, I was unaware of his patronage.
Saint Charles was born in 1538 in the castle at Arona, Italy. The son of a rich Italian count and the sister of Pope Pius IV. When he was just 22, his uncle (the Pope) named him Secretary of State and made him a cardinal and administrator of the see of Milan. Three years later, he was ordained a priest, and consecrated as bishop of Milan.
Charles was amongst the kindest of men, setting a marvelous personal example and the Diocese of Milan became a model for the whole Church. He faithfully prayed and did penance, gave everything he owned to the poor, went into debt to feed the hungry, and set up altars in the streets to bring Mass to the ill.
He is recognized as the patron of those with stomach ailments because in 1571, the entire province suffered a terrible famine. Saint Charles worked with unceasingly to help the starving and those with stomach ills due to the food shortage.
The back reads,
PRAY FOR US
Two medals are shown to illustrate each side.