St. Charles of Sezzi - Jan. 18

Added here because St. Charles of Sezze is an Italian Franciscan who does not appear in our local listings


St. Charles of Sezze was a Franciscan mystic and stigmatist of the 17th century. Feast Day January 18


Born John Charles Marchioni, the future saint belonged to a pious, but poor family, in rural Sezze, Italy. As a child—like many of the region—John worked as a shepherd and spent long hours in the fields with the family sheep. Due to his work, he had little time for education, and was barely able to read and write. In the fields, the love of the Lord, the Eucharist, and the Blessed Virgin grew deeper within him, and he felt certain that he was destined to become a priest. While his family encouraged his call to vocation, John’s poor academic abilities precluded the seminary as a viable option. Instead, he entered the Franciscan Order as a lay brother, joining a community in Naziano, and working in the most menial of positions. He served his brothers as cook, porter, and gardener, and never complained. While Charles wished to participate and assist in foreign missions, his poor health prevented this as well. Instead, he embraced his role at the monastery, serving with simplicity, humility, and love for all he encountered.


The canonization of St. Charles after his having remained unknown for several centuries should serve to indicate that his life and writings carry a message for modem man. His complete obedience rebukes the present-day lust for self-determination; his humility, its pride and boastfulness; his poverty, its precipitate rush after material pleasures. What he suffered at the hands of the demons also carries a lesson for modem times. It is that the devil is very much in existence, and deliberately to close our mind against the thought of him will only serve to give him greater power. St. Charles teaches us the way to oppose the devil and all the fallen angels in their incessant warfare against our souls. Very few will ever be asked to suffer bodily harm from the devil, but all must suffer, and overcome, his temptations to pride, lust and ambition.


He wrote an autobiography, published by Franciscan Herald Press circa 1963

See PDF file below.

Sezze -- Autobiography.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [3.1 MB]

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