THE ROOM OF ST. PAUL OF THE CROSS
Since 18 October 1775, almost two hundred and fifty years ago, when our Holy Founder died, the room inhabited by him in his final years and the adjoining chapel, where he celebrated Mass have been carefully preserved, along with several items that belonged to him.
While awaiting the completion of the cause of his beatification (01 May 1853), various relics of St. Paul of the Cross were displayed for the piety and devotion of our religious and the faithful who visited this site.
In early 1853, being certain of the imminent beatification, the superiors quickly worked to prepare this locale, including the all the objects that were associated with the Founder during this final period of his life.
Cardinal Luigi Lambruschini (1776-1854) offered half of the amount of money needed for the work.
Two days after the beatification, by special privilege, he wanted to be the first to celebrate Mass in that room on the altar that was erected and consecrated several hours before by our Passionist bishop, Giuseppe Molajoni (1780-1859).
A description of the work performed at that time can be found in the “Platea” (record) of the Retreat of Sts. John and Paul. It notes that “the rooms of the Blessed” were “prepared in the nicest and most tasteful manner.
An altar erected in the room where the Blessed died, that includes a picture of the Blessed in the moment of ascending into glory…
There is also a devout image of the most holy Cross that is believed to have been used by the Blessed when he preached holy missions…
The adjacent Chapel, where the Blessed celebrated Mass, is preserved as it was at that time, that is, there is the very altar that the Blessed used with all the decorations that there were at that time: only a few minor objects of decoration and practicality were added to this small chapel”.
In early 2017, fifty years after the last restoration of the Room, the Superior General, Fr. Joachim Rego, and his Council, realized that this sacred space of the Congregation and the Church once again needed to be restored.
After studying the proposals of various experts, a final proposal was studied and approved. The restoration consisted of the following work:
flooring/pavement, walls, ceiling, double-arched mullioned window, lighting, the main door, the altar of St. Paul of the Cross, the Chair of the Founder, the Mission Crucifix and other relics pertaining to St. Paul of the Cross.