Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Feast of St. Paul of the Cross

"When you feel the assaults of passion and anger, then is the time to be silent as Jesus was silent in the midst of His ignominies and sufferings" (St. Paul of the Cross)

Double (1955 Calendar): April 28

St. Paul of the Cross is the renowned Founder of the Passionists.  Born in 1694 to a merchant in Italy, Paul spent his youth in the spirit of Christian piety.  His parents were devout and holy parents. At the age of 15, St. Paul began to engage in severe penitential practices in reparation for sin.

While still a layman, he received a vision and founded the Congregation of Discalced Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion (called the Passionists) in 1721 to preach about Jesus Crucified.  Their mission: Preach Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.  Beforehand, he had intended to fight in the army for Venice against the Turks. But after his vision, he refused the honor as well as a large inheritance and honorable marriage to devote himself to Jesus Crucified. He began to preach of the Passion of Our Lord even before he became a cleric. In 1727, he was ordained a priest by Pope Benedict XIII.

St. Paul is remembered for preaching with such power that hardened sinners and murderous robbers wept at his preaching.  At one point in his life, in a true example for us to persevere in our good works, all of his brothers in the order abandoned him.  Yet, by the will of God, his rule was approved by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741 and the order began to grow anew. He surmounted incredible difficulties due to his humility and dedication.

St. Paul died on October 18, 1775, at a time when his order had over 180 fathers and brothers.  Before his death, he had also founded a monastery of contemplative sisters in Corneto. He was beatified and canonized by Pope Pius IX.

Taken from a letter written by St. Paul of the Cross: "It is an excellent and holy practice to call to mind and meditate on our Lord's Passion since it is by this path that we shall arrive at union with God. In this, the holiest of all schools, true wisdom is learned, for it was there that all the saints became wise"


O Lord Jesus Christ, You endowed blessed Paul with a special love to preach the mystery of Your cross and raised up a new community in the Church through him. May his intercession make us always mindful of Your passion so that we may share in its reward in heaven; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

"Christ Triumphed Over the Devil on the Cross"
(St. Paul of the Cross)

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