Catholic Pocket Dictionary – Passionist Fathers


Their full title is, “Congregation of the Discalced Clerks of the most holy Cross and Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Their founder, Saint Paul of the Cross, born near Genoa in 1694, put on the habit of the order in 1720. In 1721, having compiled the constitutions which he wished his followers to observe, Paul went to Rome in order to obtain their sanction. Approval having been received Paul established the first monastery of his congregation at Monte Argentaro, near Orbitello, in 1737. The rules of the society were confirmed by Benedict XIV. in 1746. In 1867 Paul of the Cross was canonized by Pius IX.

The life of a Passionist is very austere. They fast three days in every week, besides Advent and Lent; they wear nothing on their feet but sandals; they rise at night to say Matins, and, indeed, recite the office in choir at all the canonical hours. They divide their time between contemplation and action; being indefatigable in giving missions and retreats, especially to persons living in community. Besides the three usual vows, they make a fourth that they will do their utmost to keep alive in the hearts of the faithful the memory of our Lord’s passion. On the day of their profession they make a vow of perseverance in the congregation. Nevertheless, they only take simple vows.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “Passionist Fathers”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 3 March 2021. <>