St. Paschal was born in Rome and spent his whole life there. He was the head of St. Stephen’s monastery, which housed pilgrims to Rome. In 817 he was elected Pope Paschal I; he served until his death in 824. During his reign, a group of nobles opposing the pope were put on trial. When the two papal officials defending the nobles were found murdered, Paschal was accused; though innocent, he refused to give up those who had committed the crime to secular authorities. He later gave refuge to many Greek monks who were escaping persecution in their own land. He also built many churches in Rome and supplied them with relics. His feast day is February 11.
“To paint a picture of Jesus is to do more, as it is a more difficult thing than to pronounce His name, and surely if done in the Holy Spirit will not be of less aid to devotion.” — St. Paschal on mosaics
Questions for Reflection
St. Paschal’s passionate defense of at times controversial people and art is inspiring. How can you use his example to defend something controversial in your own life that you know is right?
How do you connect with your faith through art?
How would you defend someone who is wrongly accused?