• Italian: charcoal-burners


A political and revolutionary secret society active in the early 19th century in Naples and in the Papal States. It had two degrees, those of apprentice and master. The initiation ceremony for mastership involved a blasphemous imitation of Christ’s Passion. The avowed aims of the Carbonari were to drive all foreign powers out of Italy and to free the people from absolutism. They were, however, closely connected with the Freemasons. The society was condemned by the Church in 1814 and again in 1821, and soon after lost its influence, most of the members finally joining Young Italy and similar organizations.

MLA Citation

  • “Carbonari”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 10 April 2010. Web. 27 November 2021. <>