San Carlo Borromeo

In the ancient year of the Lord 1618, the Confraternity of San Carlo Borromeo was established in Lugano, generated by a splitting of the Confraternity of Santa Marta that resided at that time in the church of Santa Maria dell'Ospedale.
You can find more details about the history of the Brotherhood on this page of the Lugano Parish website.
In the current year of Lord 2018, November 3 begins the 400th year of life of the Brotherhood that joyfully and humbly awareness celebrates its own Jubilee, approved by the Holy See, from which it received the Apostolic Blessing of His Holiness Pope Bergoglio.

Within our Catholic tradition the “Jubilee” is a grand religious event: a year of repentance and conversion, of penance and prayer, of the remission of sins and punishment through sacramental confession and the use of indulgences.

Thus a year of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord _for great is his love toward us ¹, and his love endures forever ²_ and a time when many great blessings and graces are bestowed to his joyful flock through the Holy Church.
In such sense we are today using this term to celebrate the fourth centennial since the founding of the “Confraternity of Saint Charles Borromeo” in Lugano (1618): precious gift of Divine Providence and holy endowment of the confreres who preceded us.
A Jubilee also blessed by Pope Francis, who, in his enlightened generosity, granted to anyone participating in the celebrations with a contrite heart: «
that cherished and priceless gift –in the words of St. Charles– as is the Plenary Indulgence.
A concession that honours our humble Church of St. Charles and the community which here gathers in pleading, praise, prayer and celebration of the Eucharist: participants will now benefit of the plenary indulgences –as per decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary here attached in Latin Language– at the usual canonical conditions and following an invocation to the Virgin Mary and to St. Charles. Such grace will be awarded to members of the Confraternity as well as other Luganese and visiting faithful who participate in the religious functions; including those who cannot be phisically present –due to health, old age or serious cause– yet united in prayer, while offering their afflictions to the Lord.
In order to fully comprehend the richness, the substance and the norms relative to the indulgences, we have included a short, but exhaustive and explicative essay on the subject, written by Mons. Raffaello Martinelli –a leading expert, spiritual friend and current bishop of Frascati.
Alongside such precise explanation, we would like to recall that of our Patron Saint, who during the course of the extraordinary Jubilee for the city of Milan, which he had obtained from Pope Gregorius XIII in 1576, amply utilized the «
admirable and inexhaustible treasure of the Indulgences… since they are a distribution, by the hand of Christ the Redeemer’s Vicar, of His infinite and ineffable merits, together with those of His glorious Apostles, of His indomitable Martyrs, and of all blessed and saints of God, who _their deeds having by far exceeded their debts_ have gained and stored spiritual treasures for us.»

These are words that warm our hearts and inspire us to render thanks to the merciful God, and to correspond his love with all our heart, being, strength, and mind , in the saintly living of our Jubilee.

Living in holiness our Jubilee also through the celebration events that will take place during this Jubilee Year and which include moments of prayer, spiritual retreats, pilgrimages to historical sites of the ecclesiastical mandate of San Carlo Borromeo and the intervention in some of these events, of high priests of the Catholic Church.
At this link you can download the Jubilee program which is open to all the confreres, sympathizers and all observant Christians and non-Christians.
The Jubilee began with the inaugural Mass of November 3, 2018 celebrated in the church of San Carlo Borromeo in Lugano, by Bishop Emeritus Mons. Grampa, many of the faithful present at the ceremony expressed the desire to read and reflect on the Monsignor's homily and we think to do a favor by making it available with this link.



  1. Ps. 117,2

  2. Ps. 136,1

  3. Mons. Martinelli has been Prior of the Venerable Arch-Confraternity of Saint Charles in Rome for 22 years; Consultor of Card. Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1980-2003), especially as coordinator of the drafting of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” and of its “Compendium”.

  4. Luke 10,27