Feast day: February 11
Saint Paschal studied at the Lateran Basilica in Rome and became a Benedictine monk. He was put in charge of Saint Stephen’s Monastery, which was near the Vatican and accommodated pilgrims to Rome. Paschal succeeded Pope Stephen IV. He was elected on the day that Stephen passed away.
Paschal was accused of blinding and murdering two papal officials who had testified for nobles in opposition to the Pope. He was not responsible for the killings but refused to turn over the guilty parties, who were members of his household. Paschal stated that the two murder victims were traitors and that secular authorities had no legal authority over what happened in the Vatican.
This conflict led to the Constitution of Lothair, which set certain limits on the law enforcement and legal powers of the Pope. Paschal defended and sheltered his people against iconoclastic emperors. He also worked to preserve the relics of martyrs and to construct and restore many churches in Rome.
(Image in public domain-70)