The New International Encyclopædia/Passionists
PASSIONISTS. The name generally applied to the order formally known as “Barefooted Clerks of the Holy Cross and Passion of Our Lord,” founded by Saint Paul of the Cross (q.v.). Their first permanent settlement was made on Monte Argentaro, near Genoa, in 1737; they received the first Papal approbation as a society of mission preachers from Benedict XIV. in 1741, and their rule, modified in some points, was again confirmed by Clement XIV. in 1769, who four years later gave them the Church of Saints John and Paul on the Cœlian Hill in Rome, now the headquarters of the Order. The members take, besides the usual monastic vows, a fourth to remember and meditate continually upon the sufferings of Christ. Their work is principally the conversion of sinners, especially by preaching missions. Their habit is black, with a white heart-shaped piece of stuff sewed on the left breast, in which are represented the instruments of the passion — cross, nails, crown of thorns, etc. The general (prœpositus) is elected by the general chapter for six years; each house has a rector, chosen for three years. The Order has now eight provinces — four in Italy, one in England, one in America, one in France, and one in Spain. In 1901 they numbered eighty-seven professed fathers in the United States (to which they came in 1852), with ten monasteries.