Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 April – St Paul of the Cross CP (1604-1775) Confessor

Saint of the Day – 28 April – St Paul of the Cross CP (1604-1775) Confessor, Priest, Mystic, Preacher, endowed with miraculous powers of healing and prophecy, Founder of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ – the Passionists. Born Paolo Francesco Danei on 3 January 1694, in the Town of Ovada, Italy and died at the age of 81 on 18 October 1775, at the Retreat of Saints John and Paul. St Paul’s Major Shrine is at the Basilica of Saints Giovanni e Paolo, Rome, Italy.
St Paul called his Monasteries “Retreats” to underline the life of solitude and contemplation which, he believed was necessary, for someone who wished to preach the message of the Cross. In addition to the communal celebration of the Divine Office, members of hisOrder were to devote at least three hours to contemplative prayer each day.

St Paul of the Cross
From the Roman Breviary

St Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in Liguria [Northern Italy] and was descended from a noble family of Castellazzo near Alessandria [Piedmont]. The brilliance of his future holiness was foreshown, by a wonderful light which filled his mother’s room at night, while she was in labour and, by a remarkable favour of the august Queen of Heaven, who delivered him unhurt, from certain destruction, when he fell into a river as a child.

From the dawn of reason, he was filled with an ardent love for Jesus Christ Crucified and began to devote much time to contemplation of His Passion. He chastised his innocent flesh with watchings, scourgings and fasting, on Fridays drank vinegar mingled with gall and practiced all kinds of severe penances. Burning with desire for Martyrdom, he enlisted in the army which was being raised at Venice, to fight against the Turks. After he learned, in prayer, the will of God, he gave up the career of arms to serve in a nobler army which was, to defend the Church and strive with all his might for the eternal salvation of men. When he returned home he refused a very honourable marriage and the inheritance left him by his uncle; he wished to enter upon the narrower way of the Cross and to receive a coarse tunic from his Bishop. Then, by command of the Bishop, because of his eminent holiness of life and knowledge of Divine things, although not yet a cleric, he tilled the Lord’s field by preaching the Divine Word, with great profit to souls.

He went to Rome and after having studied the regular course in Theology, he was Ordained Priest by command of the Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XIII, who also gave him permission to gather companions around him. He withdrew to the solitude of Mount Argentaro, where he had already been summoned by the Blessed Virgin, who had also shown him a black habit bearing the emblems of the Passion of her Son and there, he laid the foundations of a new Congregation.

Retreat/Monastery of the Presentation in Monte Argentario, Tuscany

In a short time by God’s blessing, it increased very much, sustained by his arduous labours and attracted eminent men. It received the confirmation of the Apostolic See more than once, together with the Rules which Paul had himself received from God in prayer and, the addition of a Fourth Vow – to promote the blessed remembrance of the Passion of the Lord. He also founded a Congregation of holy Virgins, who would constantly meditate upon the surpassing love of the Divine Spouse.

In all these works, his untiring love of souls never caused him to weary in the preaching of the Gospel and he led almost countless men, even the most abandoned and those who had fallen into heresy, onto the footpath of salvation. Wonderful was the power of his eloquence, especially when he spoke of the Passion of Christ, so that, both he and his hearers, would shed tears and the most hardened hearts were moved to repentance.

The flame of the love God, so burnt in breast that the garment which was nearest to his heart, often seemed to be scorched if by fire and two of his ribs seemed to protrude. He could not restrain his tears, particularly when saying Mass and he was seen to experience frequent ecstasies, during which there was a remarkable elevation of his body and his face shone with light from Heaven. Sometimes, when he was preaching, a heavenly voice was heard promting him and at other times, his words could be heard at the distance of several miles! He was distinguished for gifts of prophecy, languages, reading the heart, power over evil spirits, diseases and the elements. Though even the Supreme Pontiffs regarded him with affection and veneration, he looked upon himself as an unprofitable servant and a worthless sinner, upon whom devils might well trample.

At length, having persisted in his most austere mode of life until extreme old age, in 1775 at Rome, he pass,ed to Heaven on the very day he had predicted, after he had addressed to his followers, some most beatiful exhortations, as it were bequeathing them the heritage of his spirit and fortified with the Sacraments of the Church and with a heavenly vision.

Founder’s Statue at St Peter’s Basilica, Rome

The Supreme Pontiff Pius IX enrolled him among the blessed and after renewed signs and wonders, among the Saints.

Shrine is at the Basilica of Saints Giovanni e Paolo, Rome, Italy.


Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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