Father Gaudentius Hayden, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1876-1914)

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Born Francis Hayden in Paterson, New Jersey on August 11, 1876, he was from a family of seventeen children. He was accepted into the Passionist Preparatory School and St. Mary’s Monastery, Dunkirk, New York. In 1892 he went to the novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and professed his vows on February 16, 1893. His religious name was Gaudentius. Because of his youth he had to wait an extra year to be ordained on June 21, 1899. He was a preacher of parish missions for over seven years. In 1911 while giving a mission in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania he became ill with dropsy, returned to Scranton, Pennsylvania and was transferred to Brighton, Massachusetts for better care. Prayers were actively offered to Blessed Gabriel and Saint Margaret for the improvement of his health which did prove positive and he was able to resume his ministries. In Brighton he became the director of the laymen’s retreat house for a short time until illness prevented him from continuing in that capacity. While he was director over three hundred men from the greater Boston area made retreats. This included non-Catholics, some of whom entered the Catholic Church. In the winter of 1913 the dropsy returned and this began to affect his heart. After New Years on 1914 he was confined to his bed until his death.