Saint of the Day

October 19

Saint Paul of the Cross

Paul of the Cross was the founder of the Passionists. He was a 'walking saint': when he walked in public, crowds pressed in on him, hoping to get a piece of his habit as a relic, or to ask for a cure or a favour.

Born in northern Italy in 1694, Paul experienced conversion at 15 and began a lifetime's devotion to prayer and austerity. At 20 he tried life as a soldier but left after a year. Six years later, having had several visions, he determined that his vocation was to found an order dedicated to the Passion of our Lord. Officials declared the visions authentic and Paul withdrew to write a rule. He was joined by his brother, who remained with him for the rest of his life. By 1747, the Passionists had three houses and were preaching missions throughout Italy. At his death in 1775, Paul was establishing a congregation for Passionist nuns.

©2011 Living with Christ, Novalis - Bayard Press Canada Inc., Reprinted with permission.