Letter signed by St. Paul of the Cross, May 5, 1755
Letter signed by St. Paul of the Cross, May 5, 1755Letter signed by St. Paul of the Cross, May 5, 1755

This is a letter signed by St. Paul of the Cross on May 5, 1755.

The following information regarding this letter was obtained from Laurence M. Finn, C.P., President of the Passionist Asia Pacific Configuration, headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea. He has been working on the letters of Saint Paul of the Cross for over twenty years and was fascinated to find this one on Papal Artifacts.

(The letter) is addressed to Mother Mariamadelena Anselmi–a holy old Benedictine nun who played a part in the foundation of the Passionist Nuns along with our Founder. When the community was eventually founded in 1773, she considered herself too old to make the move. One of the nuns in her community did make the move and was the first professed Passionist Nun. You will find three or four letters addressed to her by Paul. They carried on a correspondence for over twenty years–and all that remain are four letters.

The seal shown on the letter was also of interest because they are usually sealed with red wax and marked with the General’s personal seal. This letter seems to be in a slightly different format.

On the address portion of the letter (they didn’t use envelopes in the 18th century) Paul had written “Spoleto”, which is a bit of surprise. She should have been in residence in Vetralla at that time-but she must have moved around a bit.

All of his letters go together to create the fabric of history that belongs to the Passionist order and their founder.

We are grateful to Laurence M. Finn for this information with which he has provided us.


Much Reverend Mother in God, Abbess,

Receive with a sheet from you the devout expressions that you were so kind to send to me and for our congregation that God impress it more in your heart and open the way to a universal enlargement of the same as we really hope regarding the possibility to found in an institution.

Also monasteries of women although there are some persons that have about this a special feeling. I and some of the benefactors that have shown in the intention of contributing to the foundation, we cannot at a moment speak of this. If God doesn’t send us more light to let us know his divine wish we leave everything in his hands of the Divine Providence that he will do the best. Please excuse me if I didn’t reply to you earlier but this was due to my engagements with the missions and many other businesses that keep me busy and overwhelmed. Please recommend me to God in his sacred wound. I leave you with great esteem.

(Your) unworthy servant, very obliged,

Paul della Croce (Paul of the Cross)

Paul of the Cross was the founder of the Passionist order.

Pius IX canonized him on June 29th, 1867.