Saint Charles of Sezze

photograph of the incorrupt body of Saint Charles of SezzeAlso known as

  • Carlo of Sezze
  • Giancarlo Marchioni
  • John Charles Marchioni
  • Karl av Sezze
  • Karl von Sezze



Born to a poor but pious rural family, he worked as a shepherd as a child. His family encouraged his vocation to the priesthood, but Charles was a terrible student, barely able to read or write, and had no hope of success in seminary. Franciscan lay brother at age 22 at Naziano, Italy. Poor health prevented his going on foreign missions, and he served in assorted menial positions, such as cook, porter, and gardener at friaries near Rome, Italy.

Once a friary superior ordered Charles, as porter, to give food only to traveling friars. When Charles strictly adhered to the rule, alms to the friary decreased. He convinced the superior the two things were related, and Charles was allowed to be more opened handed to travellers; alms to the friars increased.

He worked among plague victims in 1656. Charles wrote several mystical works, and at the direction of his confessor, his autobiography, The Grandeurs of the Mercies of God. He had a strong devotion to the Eucharist and the Passion. The simple lay brother was sought out for spiritual advice, and the dying Pope Clement IX called Charles to his bedside for a blessing.

Stigmatist, with a visibly open wound in his side; said to have been opened by a piercing ray of light that came from an elevated host during Mass at the Church of Saint Joseph a Capo le Case. The area of the wound was marked with a cross after his death.






Additional Information


  • Birth of Holy Mary’s Novena
  • Christmas Novena
  • Holy Settenario
  • Invalid Path of the Soul
  • Jesus Christ’s Talk About Life
  • The Grandeurs of the Mercies of God
  • The Three Ways


God does not command us to live in hair shirts and chains, or to chastise our flesh with scourges, but to love Him above all things and our neighbor as ourselves. Saint Charles of Sezze

The autobiography of Charles stands as a very strong refutation of the opinion, quite common among religious people, that saints are born saints, that they are privileged right from their first appearance on this earth. This is not so. Saints become saints in the usual way, due to the generous fidelity of their correspondence to divine grace. They had to fight just as we do, and more so, against their passions, the world and the devil. Father Serverino Gori

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Charles of Sezze“. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 December 2020. Web. 28 July 2021. <>