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Jan 18 - St. Charles of Sezze


Born in Sezze (Latina) on 22nd October 1613, Giancarlo (this was his Baptism name) was forced to leave public schooling early in order to tend to and safeguard the herds, still maintaining and cultivating the deep Christian spirit instilled in him by his devout parents. The Love of the Cross and the Virgin Mary illuminated his spiritual way; Carlo entered the Franciscan convent in Nazzano on 18th May 1635, wearing the cloth of the Poor One from Assisi.

Loyal to the disposition of his superiors, he practiced his religious functions in the convents at Morlupo, Ponticelli, Palestrina, Carpineto, Saint Peter in Montorio, and Saint Francis in Ripa, always living by Franciscan humility and discipline. Brother Carlo always performed duties happily while collecting goods for the poor and giving assistance to the sick and needy. The Lord wanted to show recognition for Brother Carlo's extraordinary faith. One morning, while he was participating in the Mass in the Church of Saint Joseph in Capo le Case, at the moment of the elevation of the Holy Eucharist, a bright ray of light coming from the Sacred Host struck and wounded Carlo in the heart, leaving him with a deep wound. Such was the sign of love received that the same brother described it this way: "It was between two extremes, that is between pain and sweet bliss, and it seemed as if the spirit wanted to leave the body. I would have sustained whatever great torment or any hardship because of the sweetness".

Brother Carlo performed many miracles, such as curing the sick and multiplication of food. Stricken himself by disease, he died in the convent of Saint Francis in Ripa on 6th January 1670. On the spot where the Lord inflicted his love wound, a sign in the form of a cross began to appear after his death; this phenomenon is one of the miracles recognized by the Holy Congregation of Rites. Recognizing the miracles proposed for Beatification by Pope Pius IX, the same pope who put forth the decree for Beatification on 21st November 1875. Brother Carlo of Sezze was recognised a Saint of the Church on 12th April 1959.