Saint Charles was born John Charles Marchioni in Sezze, Italy on October 19, 1613. His family was extremely pious. They lived in a rural area and as a child Saint Charles worked as a shepherd. Due to his lack of education, it is said he learned only the basics and could barely read and write. He joined the Franciscans as a lay brother in Naziano, where he served as a cook, porter, and gardener.
Saint Charles was known for his holiness, simplicity, and charity. He was generous to travelers and sought out spiritual advice. In 1656 he worked tirelessly with victims of the plague. He also wrote several mystical works including his autobiography entitled “The Grandeurs of the Mercies of God”. Tradition states he was called to the bedside of the dying Pope Clement IX for a blessing. St. Charles told the Pope that they would meet again on January 6.
Saint Charles died on January 6, 1670 in Rome of natural causes, fulfilling his promise to meet Pope Clement IX, and he is buried in Rome in the Church of Saint Francis. He was Canonized by Pope John XXIII on April 12, 1959.
REFLECTION FOR THE DAY
“Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they?” Mark 2:18-19
The people in today’s gospel didn’t trust Jesus. So they decided to lay a trap for him, thinking that they could put him in a no-win situation. But they didn’t grasp what Jesus was saying—that life here on earth is fleeting, that celebrating the moment is important, that they had someone amazing right in front of them. Beginning last March, millions of us unexpectantly could no longer spend time with Jesus in a very important way. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to receive Communion or visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In a very real way, we were without our bridegroom. We were forced to fast. Today, whether we are fasting or not, we can strive to appreciate that Jesus loves us dearly and enjoy the blessings that we have been given.