Charles Borromeo: The Only Sainted Cardinal in Church History?

Many priests, deacons, bishops, archbishops, and popes have been canonized by the Church. However, when it comes to the cardinalate only Charles Borromeo comes to mind. How many more sainted cardinals are there? Surely there have got to be more.(?)

St. Bonaventure was also a Cardinal. Technically, Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II was also a Cardinal prior to becoming Pope. If memory serves me correctly, there have been a number of Eastern Catholic hierarchs that accepted the Cardinals hat and were eventually elevated to sainthood.

Bear in mind, the title of Cardinal is really simply an honorary title, like Monsignor. Technically, the highest “level” of the priesthood is that of bishop.

OK, so that’s 2 canonized cardinals. I also came across Robert Bellarmine, which makes it 3.

I’m also aware that the bishopric is the highest office in the Church. Technically speaking, the Pope is simply the Bishop of Rome.

I think one can add St John Henry Newman to the list.

Pope John XXIII . The Pope is also a Cardinal before he is elected Pope and the Bishop of Rome. St John Neuman and I’m sure there must be more. God Bless, Memaw

St. Robert Bellarmino, archbishop of Padua, Jesuit. He was the author of a catechism which left out the eight beatitudes. When somebody asked him why, he is said to have replied, “Because nobody can remember more than seven of anything.”

OK, so I’m not trying to nitpick here, but…

St. JP II the Great and St. John XXIII are generally considered Popes and not cardinals, and John Henry Newman needs his second miracle before they can proceed with his canonization. By my count, so far we have only 3 canonized cardinals in the Catholic Church, not counting the cardinals who were elevated to the Papacy.

:nerd: While it has been the case that a new Pope is typically a Cardinal immediately prior to his election, it is my understanding that the man elected Pope by the Conclave need not be a Cardinal, Bishop or even ordained at that time. If not he would be immediately ordained a Bishop upon acceptance of the office, but I’m not sure he needs to be made a Cardinal as well… Is the Pope still considered a member of the College of Cardinals?

Sorry, somehow I skipped over this one. :o Thanks for your post, though many of these names I’m not familiar with.

If this list is accurate

then the count should be 15…

Saint Bernardo degli Uberti
Saint Bonaventure of Bagnoregio
Saint Charles Borromeo
Saint Galdinus of Milan
Saint Gregory Barbarigo
Saint Gregory of Ostia
Saint Guarinus of Palestrina
Saint John Fisher
Saint Joseph Mary Tomasi
Saint Oderisius de Marsi
Saint Peter Damian
Saint Peter of Metz
Saint Raymond Nonnatus
Saint Robert Bellarmine
Saint Stephen of Palestrina

And, just for fun, art history can 16th the list:

When developed the idea of ‘‘Doctors of the Church,’’ the four Western doctors were Sts. Gregory, Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome. That’s a goodly list with one problem: in a portrait - whether painting or mural - of these four worthies, the monkish St. Jerome looks capriciously underdressed next to a Pope and two bishops. The solution was simple: make St. Jerome a cardinal. Itaque, Jerome started to be identified by a red cape and the fasion crisis was solved.

And so, three cheers for St. Jerome, cardinal before ever cardinals existed!

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