This bronze medal of two Milanese cardinals, Saints Ambrose and Charles Borromeo, predecessors of Giovanni Montini in the Diocese of Milan, Italy, was issued in 1958. Giovanni Montini, the Archbishop of Milan, was created Cardinal by Pope (Saint) John XXIII on December 15, 1958.
As early as November 17th, 1958, just a few weeks after his election, Pope John named Montini. He was the first pick for the new Pope who had been elected on October 28 of that year. A pope’s naming of his first cardinal is usually an indication of the direction he wants his papacy to proceed. Pope John XXIII and Cardinal Montini had been friends for most of their episcopal careers.
Milan was seen as exile for Montini during the final years of Pope Pius XII’s reign.
The new Pope left him in Milan so he could draw the Italian bishops into the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.
The reverse side of the medal has the coat of arms of Blessed Paul VI, and his name, and the inscription, In Nomine Domini: in the Name of the Lord.
The medal measures 36 mm in diameter, is in excellent condition, and is from 1958.
Any item belonging to or associated with (now) Pope St. Paul VI has become even more valued as a result of his October 2018 canonization.
The five Milanese cardinals connected to this Collection are as follows:
St. Charles Borromeo: 1564 – 1584
Blessed Andrea Ferrari: 1894 – 1921
Achille Ratti (Pope Pius XI): 1921 – 1922
Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, OSB: 1929 – 1954
Giovanni Montini: 1954 – 1963 (Pope St. Paul VI)
These five men include two canonized saints (Charles Borromeo & Paul VI), two beatified men (Andrea Ferrari & Ildefonso Schuster) and Pope Pius XI. The gifts of their lives to our Church make the artifacts connected to them invaluable.
We are honored to remember them today.