St. Charles was the son of Count Gilbert Borromeo and Margaret Medici, sister of Pope Pius IV. He was born at the family castle of Arona on Lake Maggiore, Italy, on 2 October 1538.
St. Charles was ordained a priest and eventually became a bishop and a cardinal. St. Charles founded an order of secular priests known as the Oblates of St. Ambrose; this order is now known as the Oblates of St. Charles.
St. Charles was one of the towering figures of the Catholic Reformation, a patron of learning and the arts, and though he achieved a position of great power, he used it with humility, personal sanctity, and unselfishness to reform the Church of the evils and abuses so prevalent among the clergy and the nobles of the times. St. Charles died at Milan on the night of 3-4 November 1584, and was canonized in 1610.
O Saintly Reformer, Animator of spiritual renewal of priests and religious, you organized true seminaries and wrote a standard catechism. Inspire all religious teachers and authors of catechetical books. Move them to love and transmit only that which can form true followers of the Teacher who was divine. Give me the ability to teach this faith to others without pride, without ostentation, and without personal gain. Let me realize that I am simply an instrument for bringing others to the knowledge of the wonderful things God has done for all His creatures. Help me to be faithful to this task that has been entrusted to me. Amen.