Spirituality for Today – May 2014 – Volume 18, Issue 10

The 93rd Pope
Saint Paul I

An image of Pope Saint Paul I, the 93rd PopePope Saint Paul I, the 93rd Pope

Pope Saint Paul I (757-767) – Commonly, little brothers tend to follow their big brothers around and try to copy them in various ways. Pope Paul I represents the singular event of following his big brother, Pope Zacharias, into the papacy. The future Pope Paul I served his brother skillfully and faithfully as a diplomat and counselor.

Pope Paul I inherited the task of administering the newly formed Papal States. In spite of the successful efforts of Pepin I to punish and contain the Lombards, Desiderius, the latest king of the Lombards, sought to stir up trouble regarding the territories given by treaty to the Vatican. Political concerns influenced Pepin I and he used diplomatic, rather than military, means to settle the matter. The pope would have to demur respecting any advancement of papal control.

Pastorally, he appeared the have a rather stern style of promoting his policies, but he also had good reputation regarding care for the poor and other virtuous acts. The pope had an interest in transferring either relics or the entire remains of saints from their resting places in the catacombs of Rome to local churches and chapels. It may be assumed, that the pope's efforts provided a spiritual enhancement for pilgrims visiting Rome.

Pope Paul I is buried in the basilica of Saint Peter.

Habemus papam