On October 20th we celebrate the feast of our patron, St Paul of the Cross. As you know, our parish was started more than a hundred years ago by Fr Scannell, a Passionist. The religious order, that he belonged to, was founded by St Paul of the Cross. Here is an occasion for all of us to get to know a little bit more about our saint. In this week’s bulletin you will find a brief biography provided by our Liturgy Committee. If you would like to read more, you can certainly Google his name and you will find many on-line resources. Our Patron Saint page also provides many details of his life.
In our Catholic faith a patron saint serves two major functions. First of all, he or she is our protector and intercessor in heaven. Since these saints have proved to be faithful followers of the gospel, they have a special relationship with God. As such, they are in a great position to intercede for us. This is why the Church insists that we give the name of a saint to our children at their baptism. The saint will in some way watch over the baby throughout its life.
Second, the patron saint serves as a model for us. These men and women prove to us that it is possible to live the gospel to a heroic degree. The more we delve into their lives the more we discover that they are so much like us. They had their trials and tribulations. They were also riddled with doubts and temptations, just like we are.
We are certain that our patron, St Paul of the Cross, is watching over our entire parish family. I know that he intercedes for each and every member of our faith community. Do not hesitate, therefore, to turn to him in all your needs. Bring before him all your needs and concerns, and our patron will offer these prayers on our behalf.
He is also our model. He teaches us how we can be Christ’s disciples. His unique lesson is that we must love the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As Americans, we are almost seduced into thinking that it is our birthright not to suffer. Unconsciously or deliberately we make every effort to avoid pain at all costs. And yet, pain and suffering inevitably find us. How do we face the Crosses we must bear? Do we groan and complain? Do we allow them to make us bitter?
St Paul of the Cross teaches us to bear our Crosses with a smile. He encourages us to carry our Crosses – be they big or small – following in the footsteps of the Master. In his own life, St Paul of the Cross welcomed the Cross because he was filled with a passionate love for the Crucified One. He wrote: "I want to be entirely on fire with love. More, more, I want to sing in the fire of love, but that is still not enough: I want to live in a continual agony of love for our divine lover. Someday we will burn with love, we will become only fire and the flames will enter us. O dear flames, dear fire! When so fired, we will inflame each other and everything will be aflame in the fire of love."
Here are some of his sayings that reflect his love of the Cross of Jesus:
"I enjoy remaining on the Cross. How beautiful to suffer for Jesus!"
“How sweet it is to remain crucified with Jesus! How can you explain the magnificence of these precious treasures?"
"Your crosses, dear God, are the joy of my heart. How beautiful to suffer with Jesus!"
"I am Paul of the Cross in whom Jesus has been crucified."
"O my good God, how gentle you are, how sweet you are. O dear Cross, I embrace you and press you to my heart."
We, Christians, are not sadists or masochists. We do not take pleasure in pain. We welcome the Cross of Jesus because it is through the Cross that we will obtain our crown. Good Friday leads to Easter Sunday. By bearing our sufferings with a smile, we can collaborate with the Crucified One in His work of redemption. We adore and praise Christ our Savior because through His holy Cross He has redeemed the world.
Happy Feast of St Paul of the Cross! May many blessings descend upon our parish through his intercession!
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...