St. Paul of the Cross
Feast Day: October 20
Born: 1694 :: Died: 1775
Paolo Francesco Danei or Paul Daneo was born at Ovada, in northern Italy, into a family of merchants. He was a good and pious Christian who practiced his faith.
When he was nineteen years old, Paul decided to become a soldier, but after one year he left the army.
During the summer of 1720 Paul had three visions (in his dreams) about starting a new religious order. He couldn't understand what was happening, so he went to his bishop for guidance.
The bishop studied his case and believed that the visions were real. He told Paul to go ahead and do what he was being told to do in this special call from God.
Paul spent forty days in prayer and penance. He then started the order called the Barefoot Clerks of the Cross and the Passion (Passionists).
Paul was joined by his brother John and two other young men. Paul and John were ordained priests by the Pope. Ten years later, they started the first Passionist monastery.
The Pope approved the new order. He also agreed to the new rule St. Paul added, a short time later. Besides the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, Paul of the Cross added a fourth vow: devotion to the passion of Christ.
By 1747, the Passionists had three monasteries. They were preaching parish retreats everywhere in Italy. Paul was a preacher of such power that even tough soldiers and bandits cried when they heard his sermons.
St. Paul asked people to imitate the patience of our dear Jesus because this is the height of pure love and to practice heroic goodness through patience that has been strengthened by courage.
He wanted people to live in such a way that others may see in them Jesus crucified, the model of all gentleness and mercy.
Before he died in 1775, Paul of the Cross also started a congregation of Passionist nuns.
E-mail this page to a friend