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Pope Paschal I

Saint Paschal I was pope from 817 to February 11, 824.

A native of Rome, he was raised to the pontificate by the acclamation of the clergy, shortly after the death of Pope Stephen V, and before the sanction of the emperor Louis the Pious had been obtained - a circumstance for which it was one of his first cares to apologize. His relations with the imperial house, however, never became cordial; and he was also unsuccessful in winning the sympathy of the Roman nobles.

He died in Rome while the imperial commissioners were investigating the circumstances under which two papal officials that were testifying against the pope had been seized at the Lateran, blinded and afterwards beheaded; Paschal had shielded the murderers but denied all personal complicity in their crime. The Roman people refused him the honour of burial within the church of St Peter, but he now holds a place in the Roman calendar (May 16).

The church of St Cecilia in Trastevere was restored and St Maria in Dominica rebuilt by him; he also built the church of St Prassede.

Preceded by:
Pope Stephen V
List of popes Succeeded by:
Pope Eugene II

Initial text from a 1911 encyclopedia. Please update as needed.