Saint Paul of the Cross was born Paul Francis Danei, on the 3rd of January, 1694, the second of sixteen children. One of his brothers, John Baptist would be very instrumental in the work Our Lord had chosen for St. Paul. His parents, although of nobility, were neither affluent nor privileged. Even though the town hall at Castellazzo had once been the family palace, St. Paul's father, a cloth merchant, was always in serious debt. Because of the financial situation, St. Paul had to discontinue his education at a boarding school. At one point, things became so dire, St. Paul pawned all his belongings, to help his father avoid disgrace. This was a great sacrifice for someone in Paul's position, but it prepared him for giving up far greater things in the future, and for receiving great gifts in return.
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