Paul of the Cross
Feast Day (US): October 20
Canonized: June 29, 1867
Beatified: October 1, 1852
Paul Daneii was born in Italy in 1694. Because Paul had no formal education, he became a soldier and fought in a religious war against the Turks. After the war, he spent time alone in prayer asking God to guide him in living his faith. He decided not to marry and not to accept the inheritance an uncle had left him.
A legend about St. Paul tells us that he had a dream in which he was wearing the habit, or clothing, of a priest. However, the habit did not look like the habits of any religious orders Paul knew. He saw this as a sign that God was calling him to establish a new order of priests.
Paul studied for the priesthood, was ordained, and founded the Passionist priests. The ministry of this special order is to preach about the Passion of Christ and Jesus’ great sacrifice on the cross for us. Father Paul and his priests ministered to the sick and the dying. They brought many people back to the Church who had forgotten about Jesus’ love.
Father Paul was famous for his parish missions—a time of renewal for all Catholics. Paul was also compassionate and kind. He had a special gift for helping people change the way they were living and express sorrow for their sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Today they are Passionist priests in 52 nations of the world. They minister to the poor and sick; they teach and preach, and they welcome people to their schools and retreat centers, all to proclaim the mystery of Christ crucified and Risen.
St. Paul of the Cross dedicated his life to helping people remember how Jesus showed his love for us. He died in Rome on October 18, 1775 and was canonized in 1867.
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