Popular name for the “Congregation of Discalced Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ,” founded in 1725 by Paul of the Cross.* The first house or “retreat” was opened on Mt. Argentaro (1737). After 1840 the order expanded, founding houses in thirteen countries in Europe and America. In England they were the first religious since the Reformation to lead a strict community life and wear their habit in public. Emphasizing the contemplative life, they take a fourth vow to further the memory of Christ's passion in the faithful. Their chief activities are missions and retreats. Their black habit bears the emblem of a white heart inscribed Jesu XPI Passio.
The Passionist Nuns, founded by Paul with Faustina Gertrude (Mother Mary Crucifixa), were approved by Clement XIV in 1770. Strictly enclosed and contemplative, they take the fourth vow, practicing devotion to the passion. They have convents in Europe, America, and Japan.