An Extremely Rare Work of St. Charles Borromeo

by Alan Krieger, Theology and Philosophy Librarian

Hesburgh Libraries has recently acquired an extremely rare work, St. Charles Borromeo’s Decreta Edita, et Promulgata n Synodo Diocesana, Mediolanensi Quarta (Mediolani, 1575).

Borromeo (1538-1584) is well known as one of the administrative leaders of the Catholic Reformation. Following his appointment as archbishop of the diocese of Milan (Italy) in 1564, he worked tirelessly to implement in his archdiocese the decrees of the Council of Trent, which had concluded the year before the beginning of his episcopal tenure. His reforms largely centered on the revitalization of education for both clergy and laity. He convened a series of synods beginning in 1568, and by the time of his death in 1584 it appears that 11 such meetings were held. 

Apparently, not all of the synods’ decrees were published, and we have identified printed collections for only the first and fourth; the present work represents the work of the latter gathering, held in Milan in November 1574.

We have identified no other copies held by any other institution worldwide.

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