22nd November 1720

On 22nd November in 1720 St. Paul of the Cross was clothed in the habit of a hermit by Bishop Di Gattinara in Alessandria.

“For the Bishop, what happened that evening was the clothing ceremony of a hermit; he was prepared to allow Paul to set out on this new way of life and watch what would happen. Hermits were not uncommon in eighteenth-century Italy, living alone, caring for remote chapels and oratories. This one wanted to teach catechism and help people to pray, and that was not a bad thing.  As we shall see later he was not so sure about the idea of founding a new religious order, but was willing to give Paul a chance. For Paul, and for those who would come after him, that ceremony in the bishop’s chapel had another meaning: it was the beginning of the Poor of Jesus, later to be known as the Congregation of the Passion.”

– As A Seal Upon Your Heart, Paul Francis Spencer, C.P., p. 36 

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