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Saint Paul of the Cross

Born: January 3, 1694 in Ovada, Piedmont, Duchy of Savoy (now modern-day Italy)
Birth name Paolo Fracesco Danei

Died: October 18, 1775 in Church of Saints Giovanni e Paolo in Rome, Italy

Venerated: Roman Catholic Church

Beatified: May 1, 1853 by Pope Pius IX

Canonized: June 29, 1867 by Pope Pius IX

Feast Day: October 19

Patronages: (Places) Ovada, Italy

Saint Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of Genoa, January 3, 1694.  His infancy and youth were spent in great innocence and piety.  He was inspired from on high to found a congregation; in an ecstasy he beheld the habit which he and his companions were to wear.  After consulting his director, Bishop Gastinara of Alexandria in Piedmont, he reached the conclusion that God wished him to establish a congregation in honor of the Passion of Jesus Christ.

On November 22, 1720, the Bishop vested him with the habit that had been shown to him in a vision, the same that the Passionists wear at the present time.  From that moment the Saint applied himself to prepare the Rules of his institute; and in 1721 he went to Rome to obtain the approbation of the Holy See.  At first he failed, but finally succeeded when Benedict XIV approached the Rules in 1741 and 1746.  Meanwhile Saint Paul built his first monastery near Obitello.  Some time later he established a larger community at the Church of Saints John and Paul in Rome.

For 50 years Saint Paul remained the indefatigable missionary of Italy.  God lavished upon him the greatest gifts in the supernatural order, but he treated himself with the greatest rigor, and believed that he was a useless servant and a great sinner.  His saintly death occurred at Rome in the year 1775, at the age of 81.  He was canonized in 1867 by Pope Pius IX.

Prayer: Lord, may the prayers of Saint Paul, who loved the Cross with a singular love, gain Your grace for us.  May we be inspired by his example and embrace our own cross with courage.  Amen.