St Paul of the Cross

Saint Paul of the Cross
Founder of the Passionist Congregation

Feastday Memorial: Oct 19 in the Universal Church and Oct. 20 in the USA (more info here)

"When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. " (Holy Bible, 1 Corinthians 2, 1-2)

"...but we preach Jesus crucified..."
-St Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1, 23)

Welcome to this website which is devoted to St Paul of the Cross. St Vincent Strambi, Paul's first biographer writing only 11 years after his death, stated that the Holy Spirit raised up Paul of the Cross to help people find God in their heart. Paul was convinced that God is most easily found by us in the Passion of Jesus Christ. He saw the Passion as being the most overwhelming sign of God's love for us, and at the same time our best means for union with Him.

St Paul is most notable for his fervent love for God and his special devotion to the Passion of Jesus. Inspired and led by God, Paul travelled throughout Italy, preaching missions with a particular emphasis on the passion of Jesus. Along with his preaching vocation he was also inspired by God to found a order of Priests and Nuns devoted specifically to the Passion of Jesus. Thus, by the express will of God and through Paul's continual prayers and sacrifices, he eventually became the founder and was elected the first Superior General of the "Congregation of Discalced Clerks of the Holy Cross and Passion of Our Lord", more commonly known as the Passionists.

The devil, knowing in advance all the glory that the members of the Passionist Congregation would give to God, and of all the souls that would be snatched from him through their continual acts of sacrifice and penance, sought in earnest to inspire as much opposition as possible, in a hellish effort to block its foundation. And so it was that through many years of toil, sacrifices and sufferings that Paul, with the help of God, eventually founded the Passionist Congregation of Priests, and a few years later the Passionist Nuns.

Paul often spent many hours in prayer and adoration before Jesus crucified. Throughout his many travels while preaching missions and making foundations of his Passionist Order, he always carried with him a large wooden crucifix in honor of our Lord's Passion, thus he became known by the popular name of "Paul of the Cross". Undoubtedly the two greatest characteristics of St Paul were his fervent devotion to the Passion of Jesus and also his extraordinary sacrifices and penances that he made for the conversion of sinners.

Throughout his religious life, Paul continuously sacrificed and made special penances and mortification's for the success of his preaching missions, that many souls may be converted. An example of his many penances was that he went barefoot in all his travels throughout Italy, regardless of the harsh seasons and climates. And God, Who was pleased with the heroic sacrifices and devotion of His servant, chose to perform countless extraordinary miracles through Paul's intercession and prayers. As he went about doing good, the frequent extraordinary signs from heaven that accompanied him were a sign to all that God was with him in a most remarkable way. Like his holy predecessors the Apostles, immense crowds gathered and followed him as he went about preaching from town to town. His great love for God and his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary radiated to the crowds with remarkable unction through both his words and his actions, thereby causing countless conversions everywhere he went. His austere manner of life, full of sacrifices and penances, encouraged the people to make reparation to God for their own sins.
~St Paul of the Cross, pray for us!

Most recent articles: The extraordinary supernatural gifts given to St Paul of the Cross and also St Paul of the Cross and his miracles with the crucifix and also Venerable Father John Baptist -Brother of St Paul of the Cross and 2nd foundation stone of the Passionist Congregation and also The practice of holiness in the words of St Paul of the Cross and St Paul of the Cross on Sickness and suffering and also Words and Quotes of St Paul of the Cross
Words and sayings of Saint Paul of the Cross:
"I want to set myself on fire with love...I want to be entirely on fire with love...and I want to know how to sing in the fire of love."

"Look upon the face of the Crucified, who invites you to follow Him. He will be a Father, Mother--everything to you."

"Oh Love, oh fire of charity; how powerful You are!"

"I enjoy remaining on the Cross. How beautiful it is to suffer for Jesus!"....."I rejoice in the nails that hold me crucified"

"Ah, my Supreme Good. What were the sentiments of your Sacred Heart when You were scourged? My beloved Spouse, how greatly did the sight of my grievous sins and my ingratitude afflict You! Oh, my only Love, why do I not die for You? Why am I not overwhelmed with sorrow? And then I feel that sometimes my spirit can say no more but remains thus in God with His sufferings infused into the soul- and sometimes it seems as if my heart would break.”

"Your crosses dear God, are the joy of my heart. How beautiful to suffer with Jesus!"

"I hope that God will save me through the merits of the Passion of Jesus. The more difficulties in life, the more I hope in God. By God's grace I will not lose my soul, but I hope in His mercy."
"I am a bottomless pit and deserve no light, so unworthy am I."

"Christ Crucified is a work of love. The miracle of miracles of love. The most stupendous work of the love of God. The bottomless sea of the love of God, where virtues are found, where one can lose oneself in love and sorrow. A sea and a fire or a sea of fire. The most beneficial means of abandoning sin and growing in virtue, and so in holiness."

"At holy Communion I had much sweetness. My dear God gave me infused knowledge of the joy which the soul will have when we see him face to face, when we will be united with Him in holy love. Then I felt sorrow to see Him offended and I told Him that I would willingly be torn to pieces for a single soul. Indeed, I felt that I would die when I saw the loss of so many souls who do not experience the fruit of the Passion of Jesus.”

"Oh my Love, what happened to Your heart in the Garden! Oh, what suffering; what shedding of blood! What bitter agony, and all for me!".

"I felt pain in seeing my dear God so offended. I could faint from seeing so many souls lost for not feeling the fruit of the Passion of Jesus. A desire to convert all sinners will not leave me."

"Oh good Jesus, how swollen, bruised, and defiled with spittle do I behold Thy countenance! O my Love! Why do I see Thee all covered with wounds? Oh infinite sweetness, why are Your bones laid bare? Ah, what sufferings! What sorrows! O my God, why are You all wounded? Ah, dear sufferings! Dear wounds! I wish to keep you always in my heart."

"Oh Jesus, my Love, may my heart be consumed in loving Thee; make me humble and holy; give me childlike simplicity; transform me into thy holy love. O Jesus, life of my life, joy of my soul, God of my heart, accept my heart as an altar, on which I will sacrifice to Thee the gold of ardent charity, the incense of continual, humble and fervent prayer, and the myrrh of constant sacrifices! Amen."

"The world lives unmindful of the sufferings of Jesus, which are the miracle of miracles of the Love of God"

"Oh my good God, how gentle You are! How sweet You are! Oh dear cross, I embrace you and press you to my heart!"

"We ought to glory in nothing other than the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are blessed and don't know it. You have Jesus Crucified with you."
-Words of St Paul of the Cross

Born: Paul Francis Danei, January 3, 1694 in Ovada, Genoa, Italy. His holy brother and inseparable companion, John Baptist Danei, was born April 4, 1695.
Luca Danei (father), Donna Anna Maria Massari Danei (mother).
1716: Volunteers in Army for the war against the Turks.
1719 (age 25): Given mystical visions of a scourge whip, with the word "LOVE" written upon each of its thongs. Paul decides to consecrate himself and his life to God.
November 22, 1720: Paul is vested in the Passionist habit by Monsignor Gattinara, Bishop of Alessandria.
Nov. 22- Jan. 1 1720: Paul makes a solitary 40 day retreat in the church of St. Charles, Castellazzo, fasting and praying, during which he writes his "Spiritual Diary" and the first Passionist Rule.
September 1721: He takes a vow in the basilica of St. Mary Major to dedicate himself to promoting the memory of the Passion of Jesus Christ.
1722-1725: Paul and his brother John Baptist live in 3 successive hermitages, each becoming Passionist houses ("retreats"), first at Monte Argentario, then Gaeta, and later Itri.
1726-1728: The two brothers minister to the sick in the hospital of San Gallicano, Rome.
June 7, 1727: The brothers are ordained priests by Pope Benedict Xlll in the St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.
1728-1737: The two brothers move to Mount Argentario. They teach catechism in Orbetello and nearby towns. In 1730 they preach their first parish mission in Talamone. They are joined by other companions who are called by God to the Passionist life. Paul writes the name "Jesus" on his chest with a burning hot iron.
May 14, 1741: Pope Benedict XIV approves the Rule of the Passionists.
June 11, 1741: Paul and his companions profess religious vows as "Passionists".
1747: Against his wishes, Paul is elected Superior General of the Passionists, a position he holds for the remainder of his life.
1748-1767: Paul preaches countless parish missions and retreats throughout Italy; writes thousands of letters of spiritual direction (most of which have been translated and published in English) and founds retreat houses (Passionist communities) in Vetralla, San Eutizio, Ceccano, San Sosio, Montecavo and Paliano.
August 30, 1765: Paul's brother and intimate companion, Father John Baptist Danei dies a holy death.
1767: Paul is seriously ill in Vetralla.
1770-1771: He is again seriously ill in the hospital of the Crucified, in Rome.
May 1771: First foundation of the Passionist Nuns in Tarquinia.
December 1773: As a gift from Pope Clement XIV, Paul takes possession of the retreat house and Church of Saints John and Paul in Rome.
June 26,1774: Paul is visited by Pope Clement XIV at Saints John and Paul; Pius VI visits him in 1775.
Sept 14, 1775: Pope Pius VI approves the revision of the Passionist Rule in the Papal Bull "Praeclara Virtutum Exampla".
October 18, 1775: Paul dies a holy death at age 81 in Saints John and Paul, Rome.
Jan 7, 1777: Opening of the process of Canonization, only 2 years after his death.
Dec. 22, 1778: First biography of Paul of the Cross written by Passionist friend Vincent M. Strambi (now a Saint)
February 18, 1821: Formal proclamation of Paul's' heroic virtues, thereby being officially listed as "servant of God".
May 1, 1853: Formal Beatification of Paul by Pope Pius IX.
June 29, 1867: Paul is formally Canonized by Pope Pius IX, only 92 years after his holy death.
April 25, 1880: The Holy relics of St. Paul of the Cross are transferred in a Solemn procession to a special chapel dedicated to him in the basilica of Saints John and Paul, Rome.

"I place all of my hope and confidence in the Passion of Jesus. Our Lord knows well that I have laboured all of my life to love Him myself, and to make others love Him" -St Paul of the Cross during a serious illness

For an in depth study into the life of St Paul of the Cross, I highly recommend this free online book from the Passionist Nuns in Kentucky website entitled "Mysticism of the Passion in St Paul of the Cross"

Also, for an excellent and edifying book of the words and quotes of St Paul of the Cross taken from his letters, I highly recommend this free online book published over 100 years ago entitled "Flowers of the Passion -Thoughts of Saint Paul of the Cross"(click here)