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Catholic Activity: Nameday Ideas for the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo

Feast is November 4. This is the nameday saint of Pope John Paul II. Karol is the Polish form of Charles. November 4 is considered a holiday in the Vatican offices, celebrating this feast.

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St. Charles Borromeo was a cardinal of the Church and one of the four outstanding public figures of the counter-Reformation. It was he who instituted the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

Father: O God, keep Your Church under the protection of Your holy confessor-bishop Charles, who was distinguished by his vigilant care of his flock. Enkindle in us a burning love of You through his intercession. Through Christ, our Lord. All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Desserts and decorations. Boys and girls named after St. Charles Borromeo — Carl, Karl, Carlos, Carlo, Carla, Carol, Cheryl, Carlotta, Caroline, Carolyn, and Lottie — have a bishop's symbol for their nameday. Other symbols of this saint include a rope, an altar, a cardinal's hat, or a chalice and host.

Other Saints Named Charles: St. Charles Garnier, Jesuit missionary from France, was martyred by the Iroquois; his feast is a fine opportunity to have Indian-style parties to commemorate his heroism. See Shari Lewis' Fun with the Kids for ideas on an Indian party.

Blessed Charles Spinola, also a Jesuit, was burned to death in the great Japanese martyrdom at Nagasaki. "Charles Spinola" was the name of a white mouse bought by our Pete on Blessed Charles' feastday to be fed to a snake known as "Satan." All of our children's pets are named for the saint on whose day they arrive. Thus our black cocker spaniel is called Kiara for an Irish abbess who, we discovered, lived at a place called Kilkeary near my husband's home in Tipperary.

The girl's name is Carol or Carole and its diminutives Caroline, Carey, Carolyn, Cheryl, and Carolina — are all feminine forms of Charles. Donald Attwater also lists an Irish bishop Carroll as a patron saint's name. Carol, as a boy's name, is Slavonic for Charles. Another patron for children of the name Carol — Our Lady of the Carol, whose feast is kept in Paris.

Activity Source: My Nameday — Come for Dessert by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1962

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