Paul I (2)

Paul I

pope of Rome, was a native of the city of Rome, a brother of pope Stephen III (q.v.), whom he succeeded, and by whom he was employed in important political missions. Paul I began his pontificate May 29, 757, amid much opposition and disorder. There were at the time two parties at Rome, the Frankish and the Italian. He owed his elevation to the Frankish party. The Italians were led by Theophylactus, who disputed for a while the right to the pontificate with Paul; the latter, however, proved strongest in the contest, and finally secured submission. Paul's pontificate is distinguished partly by efforts for the complete and secure papal possession of the territories which were claimed as granted by the Frankish king, and partly by the remarkable growth of papal power in Rome itself. Baxmann (Gesch. der Politik der Papste, 2:251) says: "Very seldom have the politics of Rome seen so much deceit and fraud, or so borne the character of unconscientiousness and double-tonguedness, as under pope Paul I." In order to retain the newly acquired exarchate of Ravenna, and to strengthen himself against the attacks of the Lombards and the Byzantines, Paul sought the good graces of king Pepin, and prevented this ruler from alliance with the iconoclastic Greeks (see the Codex Carolinus, in Muratori, vol. 3, pt. ii, p. 116 sq.). One of the most troublesome neighbors of the papal territory was the Lombard king Desiderius, who devastated it several times. He was, however, conciliated in A.D. 766, and we find Desiderius at Rome that year engaged in his devotions, and putting the Church in possession of some portions of his property. Pope Paul I is venerated by the Romish Church as a saint (June 28). He was a friend of the monks, and erected a monastery in his parental home. He was kind towards the poor, and exhibited a compassionate spirit for all troubled hearts. He died June 28, 767, and was succeeded by his brother, who is known as Constantine II. Pope Paul's letters are preserved in the collections of the councils, and in Gretser's collection; but as one of them bears a date after the decease of this pontiff, their genuineness is called in question. See Raynaldus, Annales; Chacon, Vitac Pontificum Romanorum; Bower, Hist. of the Popes, vol. 3; Riddle, Hist. of the Papacy, 1:322-324; Reichel, Hist. of the Roman See in the Middle Ages, p. 113 sq.; Neander, Church Hist. vol. 3; Milman, Hist. of Lat. Christianity, 2:428-432; Aschbach (R. C.), Kirchen-Lexikon, s.v.

Bible concordance for PAUL.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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