Born in Santa Lucia del Piave near Venice, Claudio was the youngest of nine children and was accustomed to hard work in the fields. At the age of nine he lost his father. Six years later he was drafted into the Italian army, where he served more than three years.
His artistic abilities, especially in sculpture, led to studies at Venice’s Academy of Fine Arts, which in 1929, awarded him a diploma with the highest marks. Even then he was especially interested in religious art. When Claudio entered the Friars Minor four years later, his parish priest wrote, "The order is receiving not only an artist but a saint." Prayer, charity to the poor and artistic work characterized his life, which was cut short by a brain tumor. He died on the feast of the Assumption, and was beatified in 1994.