Distinguished prelate and cousin of a saint
Theology – Master Superior
History – Master
Son of the conte d’Arona and cousin of San Carlo Borromeo, Federico Borromeo was destined for a distinguished Chuch career like many of his relatives. At fifteen, while studying at the University of Bologna, Borromeo (b. 1564) considered joining the Jesuits, but he was dissuaded by his cousin and joined the diocesan priesthood instead, taking minor orders in 1585. He graduated from the University of Pavia with degress in theology and law, and onctinued further studies in Rome over the next decade, taking full orders in 1593.
In 1588, Borromeo received his cardinalate, and in short order participated in four conclaves between 1590 and 1592. An ardent reformer, he participated on the commission revising the Vulgatea and for the preparation of the Editio Romana documenting the Tridentine reforms.
In 1595, at the request of Pope Clement VIII, and with the urging of Fillipo Neri, Borromeo accepted the archbishopric of Milan. Like his cousin, Borromeo quickly earned a reputation for liberality, virtue, and dignity with the people of that great city. In 1609, he founded the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, named for the patron saint of Milan, a college of scholars and a library of books and artwork containing more than forty thousand volumes, mostly from the cardinal-archbishop’s private collection gathered during his years in Rome. In 1622, Borromeo founded the seminary of Pollegio, and he contributed to chapels and other building projects throughout the archdiocese. As cardinal he particpated in the conclaves of 1605, 1621, and 1623.
Since 1623, Borromeo also holds the secular title marquisate di’Anghera.