St. Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Congregation of Clerks Regular of the Cross, or Passionists, was one of the most ardent lovers of the passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of the sorrows of Mary. By his continued meditation on the sorrows of Jesus and Mary, and by his spirit of penance and mortification, he merited to attain to a high degree of sanctity. He was wont to say that anyone going to the Crucified Lord will also find our blessed Lady, for where the Son is, there is the Mother also. Indeed, one of the fruits of his great devotion to the passion of Jesus, which from his youth he had acquired at the foot of the cross, was a tender compassion for the sorrows of Mary, so that he could not reflect on the sufferings of Jesus without bewailing those of His Mother.
How pleasing were these sentiments of compassion to our blessed Lady, is manifest from the many occasions on which she deigned to appear to him and from the many revelations she made to her faithful servant with regard to the sufferings which she endured with her Son Jesus. It can scarcely be said how St. Paul was confirmed in fervor by these revelations; what great light he received in meditating on the work of our redemption; and what ardor he infused into his Religious and into all with whom he came in contact, for their advancement along the true path of sanctity.
When St. Paul of the Cross was on the point of death, Our Lady deigned to appear to him, in company with the Heavenly Court, inviting him into paradise. He was overcome with joy at the invitation and peacefully breathed forth his saintly soul in the year 1775. And thus the words of the Psalmist were verified in him: “They that sow in tears shall reap with joy.” [Ps 126:5]
Text from Alexis M. Lepicier, The Fairest Flower of Paradise (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, Ltd., 1922).