April 28 [New Calendar]
Paul Francis Danei, founder of the Passionists, was born
in Ovada, Italy
in 1694 on January 3, the eldest son of noble parents. At fifteen while
still at home in Lombardy he adopted an autsere way of life that
great mortifications. In 1714 he joined the Venetian army to fight the
Turks , and when discharged a year later, he resumed his life of prayer
and penance, refusing marriage. He remained at home in Castellazzo for
several years as a retreat; but in 1720 he had a vision of Our Lady in
a black habit with the name Jesus and a cross in white on the
in which she told him to found a religious order devoted to preaching
Passion of Christ. He received permission to proceed from the bishop of
Alessandria, who decided the visions were authentic, and Paul drew up a
rule during a forty-day retreat that became the basic role for the
he was to found. With his brother, John the Baptist, who became his
companion and closest confidant, he went to Rome for papal approval,
refused at first, but on their return to Rome in 1725 were granted
to accept novices from Pope Benedict XIII, who ordained them in 1727.
They set up a house on Monte Argentaro, lost many of
their first novices
because of the severity of the rule, opened their first monastery in
and in 1741 received approval of a modified rule from Pope Benedict
and the Barefooted Clerks of the Holy Cross and Passion [the
began to spread throughout Italy, in great demand for their missions,
became famous. Paul was elected first superior general, against his
at the first general chapter at Monte Argentaro and held that position
the rest of his life. He preached all over the Papal States to
crowds, raised them to a fever pitch as he scourged himself in public,
and brought back to the faith the most hardened sinners and criminals.
He was blessed with supernatural gifts-----prophecy,
miracles of healing, appearances to people in visions in distant places-----and
was one of the most celebrated preachers of his time. People fought to
touch him and to get a piece of his tunic as a relic. One of his
concerns was for the conversion of sinners, for which he prayed for
The Passionists received final approbation from Pope Clement XIV in
1769, and two years later, Paul's efforts to create an institute of
came into being with the opening of the first house of the Passionist
at Corneto. He was ill the last three years of his life, and died in
on October 18, and was canonized in 1867. His Feast day is October 19
in the traditional calendar.
to Saint Paul of the Cross
O glorious Saint Paul of the Cross, on earth thou wast a
mirror of innocence
and a model of penance! O hero of saintliness, chosen by God to
day and night on the bitter Passion of His only-begotten Son, and to
devotion thereto by word and deed as well as by means of thy religious
family! O Apostle, mighty in word and work, thou didst spend thy life
bringing back to the foot of the Cross the erring souls of countless
sinners! Do thou mercifully look down once more from Heaven upon my
soul and hear my petitions. Obtain for me so great a love of Jesus
that by constant meditation on His Passion I may make His sufferings
Let me realize in the deep Wounds of my Savior the wickedness of my
and obtain from them, as from the fountain of salvation, the grace of
tears and an effectual resolution to imitate thee in thy penance, if I
have not followed thine example of innocence. Obtain for me, also,
Paul, the favor that I now especially ask of thee, as I humbly kneel
thee . . . Obtain, moreover, for our Holy Mother the Church, victory
Her foes; for sinners, the gift of conversion; for heretics, the grace
of returning to the unity of the Catholic faith. Finally, intercede for
me that I may, by the grace of God, die a holy death, and come at last
to enjoy with thee His blessed Presence in Heaven for all eternity.
Our Father, Hail
Mary, Glory Be.
O glorious Saint Paul of the Cross, who, by meditating on the Passion
of Jesus Christ, didst attain to so high a degree of holiness on earth
and of happiness in Heaven, and, by preaching the same Passion, didst
anew to the world the most certain cure for all its ills, obtain for us
the grace to keep it ever deeply engraved in our hearts, that so we may
be able to reap the same fruits both in time and in eternity. Amen.
to Saint Paul of the Cross
Jesus for Mercy
Lord Jesus Christ, eternal and merciful God, Creator
and Redeemer of
all, listen to my prayer.
For the love Thou doth bear to those who ask
forgiveness, look on me
with mercy, as once Thou didst look on Mary Magdalen, and on Peter who
Look on me, Lord Jesus Christ, as Thou didst looked at
the thief on his cross and on every sinner whom Thou hast ever
Look on me, merciful Lord, as Thou didst look on Thy
Mother, Mary, standing in sorrow beneath Thy Cross.
Let me feel in my heart her compassion for Thee, and let
my eyes weep for Thy sorrows, caused by my sinful life.
Call me back from the darkness to my Father's house,
give me a new
heart and a place at Thy side in the banquet Thou hast prepared for me.
Prayer To Jesus
Lord Jesus Christ,
I thank Thee for loving me so completely.
Thou didst embrace the Cross so
Thou didst hang there so patiently,
Thou didst suffere so painfully,
and for me, a sinner,
Thou didst die and rise again on the third day.
Now, Lord, I commend myself to Thy love,
to the power of Thy Passion,
to the depths of Thy endless mercy.
in Thy measureless pity,
keep alive in me the memory
of Thy Holy Wounds and bitter death.
defend me in all danger,
and keep me so that
I may stand before Thee in joy.
Protect my soul, Lord Jesus Christ,
which Thou hast bought with Thy Precious Blood. Amen.
O Cross of Christ, Immortal Tree
O Cross of Christ, immortal tree On which our Savior died,
The world is sheltered by your arms That bore the Crucified.
From bitter death and barren wood the tree of life is made;
Its branches bear unfailing fruit And leaves that never fade.
Give glory to the risen Christ And to his Cross give praise,
The sign of God's unfailing love, The hope of all our days.
Prayer Before The Cross
Jesus, by this saving sign,
bless this listless soul of mine.
Jesus, by Thy feet nailed fast,
mend the missteps of my past.
Jesus, with Thy riven hands,
bend my will to love's demands.
Jesus, in Thy Heart laid bare,
warm my inner coldness there.
Jesus, by Thy thorn-crowned head,
still my pride till it is dead.
Jesus, by Thy muted tongue,
stay my words that hurt someone.
Jesus, by Thy tired eyes,
open mine to faith's surprise.
Jesus, by Thy fading breath,
keep me faithful until death.
Yes, Lord, by this saving sign,
save this wayward soul of mine.