The Miracle of the Cross
St. Paul focused completely on Jesus Crucified. He spent more and more of his time venerating the Cross, and the price Our Lord Jesus paid for our salvation. He meditated on how much Jesus loved us and loved him, in particular. He found himself in tears often, weeping before His Lord in agony. On one of these occasions, Our Lord Jesus came to life on the Cross. Paul levitated to where He was. Jesus took him in His arms, and embraced him. That feeling stayed with our Saint for the rest of his days. While he wrote of it, he could never quite put in words the bond, the brotherhood, the love between the Savior and the saved.
In memory of the work the two brothers did for Mother Church, Pope Clement XIV imparted on St. Paul of the Cross The Basilica of Sts. John and Paul, named after two martyrs of the early Church, in honor of St. Paul of the Cross and his brother, John Baptist. The new Passionist Order received final approval, placing them on the same footing as other Religious communities. They have headquartered out of the Basilica of Sts. John and Paul from that day to this.
It was time to retire! St. Paul was tired; he was not well; he longed to spend his final days among his brother missionaries, in contemplative peace; after all his work was done, wasn’t it!
St. Paul of the Cross was given the house adjoining the Basilica of Sts. Giovanni e Paolo, on the Celian hill, near the Coliseum. St. Paul spent his final days here. He was visited by two Popes, Clement XIV in 1774 and by Pius VI in 1775. Shortly after Pope Pius VI’s visit, our Lover of Jesus Crucified went Home to the Lord He had adored on earth, no veil separating them.
There were many miracles credited to St. Paul’s intervention, in addition to those used for his beatification and canonization; the most noteworthy were the many conversions that came about of sinners who had appeared hopelessly lost in sin, their hearts hardened and distant.
May 1, 1853, St. Paul was beatified by Pope Pius IX and then canonized by him on June 29, 1867. April 25, 1880, the relics of St. Paul of the Cross were transferred to a chapel that had been recently completed. Our Saint can be venerated there till today. His Feast Day is April 28th.
What Cross do you carry? Is it heavy? Is it unbearable? Turn to St. Paul and ask him to help you, not to just carry it; but to embrace it. Crave the Cross!
After his canonization, the image of St. Paul being embraced by the Crucified Christ was placed on the back of the main altar in the new Basilica of Sts. John and Paul.
Sts. John and Paul
Ss Giovanni e Paolo