Celebrating Saint Paul of the Cross—October 20

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by Patricia Mathson

CLICK HERE for a fun activity page about St. Paul of the Cross.

When he was a boy in Italy, Paul Daneo liked to play with his 15 brothers and sisters. By the time he was a teenager, he saw God’s love for us through Jesus on the cross. He knew he was not too young to hear God call him.

Shared the Gospel

Paul became a Catholic priest in 1734. He went all over Italy teaching the gospel. He also wrote thousands of letters to those seeking direction in their lives. He was known as Paul of the Cross because of his love for Christ on the cross who brought new life to us.

Founded Religious Orders

Paul of the Cross founded the order called the Passionists. Today his followers work in many countries. They bring compassion to those who suffer and they share the Good News with everyone. There are Passionist vocations for priests, brothers, nuns, sisters, and lay people.

Example of Faith

The life of Paul of the Cross reminds us to give thanks to God for God’s unending love. We must see how God is calling us to share the Good News with others. The example of this saint calls us to be people of the gospel.

What Can We Do?

* Let’s read Matthew 16:24 to see what Jesus tells his followers about the cross. He says to pick up your cross and follow him. Many people carry crosses of poverty, illness, and hunger. Name other crosses that people carry. We can pray for the needs of others.

* Let’s look at different designs of crosses. The cross helps us remember how much Jesus loves us. There are wooden crosses, painted crosses, glass crosses, metal crosses, and others. In the processional at the beginning of Mass, a cross is carried to the altar. We display crosses in our homes. What other kinds of crosses have we seen?

* Let’s talk about vocations. God calls each of us in a special way. Some people serve God as priests, brothers, or sisters. Is prayer important in deciding on a vocation? We can find out more about vocations at vocationguide.org.


Almighty God, thank you for your Son Jesus, who died and rose to new life for us. Like St. Paul of the Cross, may we remember your unending love each day. Guide us to share the Good News of your love with others. Amen.

Patricia Mathson has many years experience in faith formation as a DRE and holds a Master of Religious Education degree. She is currently the children’s ministry coordinator at Hope Family Center in Des Moines, IA. She is the author of ten books with the latest titled
70 Sacrament Starters for Children (Twenty-Third Publications).

Copyright 2010, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.

This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, September 2010.

Image Credit: jorisvo/Shutter Stock 544541167

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