Saint Paul of the Cross by Gian Domenico Della Porta (1773). This portrait shows Paul at about 79 years of age, just two years before his death. When Paul died on 18 October 1775, it was Porta who would be asked to make the death mask. His Last Testament, spoken by Paul to his community after he had received the Viaticum, underlines his concern for the essentials:
“Above all, I urgently exhort you to observe that holy command that Jesus gave his disciples: This is how all will know you are my disciples: your love for one another. This, my brethren, is what I wish, with all the love of my poor heart, to give you who are present here with me, to all the others who are now wearing this habit of penance and mourning in memory of the passion and death of our most loving Redeemer, and to all those who, by the mercy of God, shall be called to this little flock of Jesus Christ in times to come.”
For the full text of the Last Testament of Saint Paul of the Cross, click here.