Oil Dedicated to St Charles of Sezze
The St Charles of Sezze is dedicated to John Charles Marchioni. Charles was born at Sezze, Italy, on October 19, 1613, of humble parents. He became a shepherd and wanted to become a priest. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so because of his poor scholarship. Charles barely learned to read and write. As a result, he became a lay brother at Naziano He served in various menial positions – cook, porter, gardener.
Charles served at different monasteries near Rome and became known for his holiness, simplicity, and charity. Furthermore, he wrote several mystical works, lived a life of great mortifications, and worked heroically to help the stricken in the plague of 1656.
St Charles and Pope Clement IX
In the first week of December 1669 the Pope Clement IX summoned him to his deathbed. Due to Charles being ill he was taken to the pope on a chair. He greeted the pope: “Holy Father, how are you?” and the pope responded: “As well as God wants me to be”. Also present in the room was Cardinal Giacomo Rospigliosi. The friar asked him to bless the pope with a special relic he carried. However, the pope wanted the frail friar to bless him and so he did.
Clement IX asked when the two would meet again and the friar told him it would be on the feast of the Epiphany. Consequently, those present thought the pope would get well and the two would meet in a month. But the pope died on 9 December and people questioned how the friar was wrong. But after the friar died on the Epiphany itself it was realized the pope would greet him as a friend in Heaven. Thus the two met again.
He died in Rome on January 6th 1670. Also, his family name may have been Melchior. He is also known as Charles of Sezze. Charles was canonized by Pope St John 23rd in 1959. His feast day is January 5th.