House of Borromeo
The Latin word "humilitas" in gothic writing, from the tomb of cardinal Federico Borromeo.
The aristocratic Borromeo family, said to date from before the twelfth century, were counts of Arona from the mid-fifteenth century and played important roles in the politics of the Duchy of Milan and in the Catholic Reformation. The best-known members of the family were the cardinals and Archbishops of Milan Carlo (1538–1584), who was canonized by Pope Paul V in 1610, and Federico (1564–1631), who founded the Ambrosian Library. The figure of the Borromean rings, which forms part of the family’s coat of arms, is well known in the diverse fields of topology, psychoanalysis and theology.
In 1300 this was one of a number of families to carry the name "de 'Buonromei'" or 'Borromei'.
The first member of the family to come to prominence was Filippo who, backed by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and Gian Galeazzo Visconti (later to become Duke of Milan), led the Ghibellines of San Miniato in their 1367 revolt against the Florentine Guelphs. In 1370 he was taken prisoner by the Florentines and decapitated. He left five children who had taken refuge in Milan at the time of the revolt.
The gratitude of a duke for the family's services overwhelmed them with rewards and honors, among which was the county of Peschiera in 1461. Milanese Duke Filippo Maria Visconti made Vitaliano I Borromeo Count of Arona in 1446.
Listed here are a few of the family members belonging to the Borromeo family.
His eldest son was Federico Borromeo, (not to be confused with a younger, distant cousin of the same name, Federico Borromeo, who was a cardinal and archbishop of Milan). His second son was Carlo Borromeo, who became a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, archbishop of Milan, and a canonized saint.
In 2004, one heiress of the family, Donna Lavinia Borromeo, married John Elkann, the son of Alain Elkann and Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen. John Elkann was subsequently chosen as heir to the Agnelli business dynasty, which has formerly represented 4.4% of Italy's GDP.
Countess Matilde Borromeo is the wife of Prince Antonius zu Fürstenberg.
- Vitaliano de’ Vitaliani, who acquired the name of Borromeo from his uncle Giovanni, was made first count of Arona by a decree of the Duke of Milan dated 26 May 1446. http://www.sardimpex.com/Borromeo/BORROMEO%202.htm
- LagoMaggiore, Rocca di Arona
- Borromean Rings: Family Crest
- www.borromeo.it: A Borromeo Family website. (Italian)
- www.peschieraborromeo.com, Il Castello di Peschiera Borromeo (Italian)
- Borromeo Genealogy at sardimpex.com
- Borromeo Turismo
- The Borromeo Family of Cebu
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