St. Vincent Mary Strambi, Passionist Bishop

On September 24, we celebrated the memorial of our Passionist Saint Vincent Mary Strambi.  He was born on January 1, 1745 in Civitavecchia, Italy.  Greatly impressed by the holiness of Saint Paul of the Cross, he decided to enter the Passionists shortly after his priestly ordination. Saint Vincent was renowned for his eloquent preaching on the Passion and greatly loved by the faithful throughout Italy.  His life was given totally to Christ Crucified.  When Pope Leo XII became seriously ill, he offered his life to God in place of the Pope.  He died on January 1, 1824, but the Pope recovered.

"My brothers and sisters, through the wounds of the Lord, let us plunge into the boundless ocean of God's Love."  (Saint Vincent Mary Strambi)

Keep Mary company at the Foot of the Cross

On September 15th, we celebrated the Solemnity of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Patroness of our Congregation and our Monastery.  The original rule states that the Passionist Nuns shall go "to the feet of the immaculate Mother of God, and invoke her in all their wants.  Every day they shall accompany her in spirit to Calvary, and shall compassionate her in the sorrow which pierced her soul during the death-agony of her only Son."

St. Paul of the Cross reflected, "If we go to the crucifix, we find our Mother of Sorrows, for where the Mother is, there also is the Son.  Dear Mother, what sorrow you experienced in receiving your dead Son into your arms!  We beseech you, Holy Mother, grant that the Passion of our Lord may be for us a fountain of sorrow, of pardon, of love, and of life."

Perhaps the greatest love that
I can
Ever give You, Lord Jesus, is
To imitate Your Holy Mother
And hold Your Suffering within my heart.

St. Paul of the Cross: "Humble yourself much"

"Humble yourself much when it seems you receive graces from God.  At times it may seem that we are receiving, and it is because other servants of God are praying. . . . Oh, how many who seemed strong as the cedars of Lebanon and are now fallen!  A grain of pride can ruin a mountain of holiness; therefore, be hidden from all.  Retreat into the strong fortress of the pure Heart of Jesus, and you will be freed from every evil." (From a letter of St. Paul of the Cross to Agnes Grazi, March 15, 1736)

"Pray to the gentle Jesus to teach you how to pray."

"Pray to the gentle Jesus to teach you how to pray, and hold it as certain that he will be your guide and master and your every good. . . Have a pure intention to do everything simply to please God.  If you will be humble and obedient, the Holy Spirit will teach you." (From a letter of St. Paul of the Cross to Teresa Palozzi, December 7, 1755).

When St. Paul of the Cross wrote this letter, Teresa Palozzi was 18 years old.  Teresa later became one of the founding members of the first foundation of Passionist Nuns in Corneto, Italy.  Also, she became the second superior of this first foundation.  The first superior was Mother Mary Crucified Costantini.

The Contemplative Passionist Life