Pope Paschal II

Pope Paschal II (Latin: Paschalis II; 1050 x 1055 – 21 January 1118), born Ranierius, was pope from 13 August 1099 to his death in 1118.

A monk of the Cluniac order, he created the Cardinal-Priest of San Clemente by Pope Gregory VII (1073–85) in 1073. He was consecrated as pope in succession to Pope Urban II (1088–99) on 19 August 1099. His reign of almost twenty years was exceptionally long for a pope of the Middle Ages.


Paschal II
Pope Paschal II
Papacy began13 August 1099
Papacy ended21 January 1118
PredecessorUrban II
SuccessorGelasius II
Created cardinal1073
by Gregory VII
Personal details
Birth nameRanierius
Bleda, March of Tuscany, Holy Roman Empire
Died21 January 1118
Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
Previous post
Other popes named Paschal
Papal styles of
Pope Paschal II
Emblem of the Papacy SE
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous stylenone


Early life and papacy

He was born in Bleda, near Forlì, Romagna. During the long struggle of the papacy with the Holy Roman Emperors over investiture, he zealously carried on the Hildebrandine policy in favor of papal privilege, but with only partial success. The future Emperor Henry V took advantage of his father's excommunication to rebel, even to the point of seeking out Paschal II for absolution for associating with his father, Henry IV.[1] But, Henry V was even more persistent in maintaining the right of investiture than Emperor Henry IV had been before his death in 1106. The imperial Diet at Mainz invited Paschal II to visit Germany and settle the trouble in January 1106, but the Pope in the Council of Guastalla (October 1106) simply renewed the prohibition of investiture.[2]

In the same year he brought to an end the investiture struggle in England, in which Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, had been engaged with Henry I of England, by retaining to himself exclusive right to invest with the ring and crozier, but recognizing the royal nomination to vacate benefices and the oath of fealty for temporal domains. Paschal went to France at the close of 1106 to seek the mediation of Philip I of France and Prince Louis in the imperial struggle, but he returned to Italy in September 1107, his negotiations remaining without result. When Henry V advanced with an army into Italy in order to be crowned, the Pope agreed to a compact in February 1111 which stipulated that before receiving the imperial crown, Henry was to abjure all claims to investitures, whilst the pope undertook to compel the prelates and abbots of the empire to restore all the temporal rights and privileges which they held from the crown. Preparations were made for the coronation on 12 February 1111, but the Romans rose in revolt against Henry, and the German king retired, taking the Pope and Curia with him.[3]

After 61 days of harsh imprisonment, during which Prince Robert I of Capua's Norman army was repulsed on its rescue mission, Paschal II yielded and guaranteed investiture to the Emperor. Henry V was then crowned in St. Peter's on 13 April 1111, and, after exacting a promise that no revenge would be taken for what had happened, withdrew beyond the Alps. The Hildebrandine party was aroused to action, however; a Lateran council of March 1112 declared null and void the concessions extorted by violence; a council held at Vienne in October 1111 excommunicated the Emperor; and Paschal II sanctioned the proceeding.[4]

Towards the end of his pontificate trouble began anew in England; Paschal II complained in 1115 that councils were held and bishops translated without his authorization, and he threatened Henry I with excommunication. Matilda of Tuscany was said to have bequeathed all her allodial lands to the Church upon her death in 1115, but the donation was neither publicly acknowledged in Rome nor is any documentary record of the donation preserved. Emperor Henry V at once laid claim to Matilda's lands as imperial fiefs and forced the Pope to flee from Rome. Paschal II returned after the Emperor's withdrawal at the beginning of 1118, but died within a few days, on 21 January 1118.

Actions during his reign

Piae Postulatio Voluntatis bull of Pope Paschal II, 1113
"Pie Postulatio Voluntatis". Bull issued by Pope Paschal II in 1113 in favour of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, which was to transform what was a community of pious men into an institution within the Church. By virtue of this document, the pope officially recognized the existence of the new organisation as an operative and militant part of the Catholic Church, granting it papal protection and confirming its properties in Europe and Asia.
B Paschalis II
Pope Paschal II

Pope Paschal II ordered the building of the basilica of Santi Quattro Coronati on the ashes of the one burned during the Norman sack of Rome in 1084.[5]

During Paschal's trip to France in 1106–1107, he consecrated the Cluniac church of Notre Dame at La Charité-sur-Loire,[6] the second largest church in Europe at the time.

In 1116, Paschal II, at the behest of Count Ramon Berenguer III, issued a crusade for the capture of Tarragona.[7]

During Paschal's papacy some efforts were made by the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I to bridge the schism between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church, but these failed, as he pressed the demand that the Patriarch of Constantinople recognise the Pope's primacy over "all the churches of God throughout the world" in late 1112. This was something the patriarch could not do in face of opposition from the majority of clergy, the monastic world, and the laity.[8]

The first bishop of America was appointed during Paschal II's reign, nearly four centuries before Columbus' first voyage across the Atlantic. Erik Gnupsson was given the province of Greenland and Vinland, the latter believed to refer to what is now Newfoundland.[9]

Pope Paschal II issued the bull "Pie Postulatio Voluntatis" on 15 February 1113.[10] It brought under Papal protection and confirmed as a religious order the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, later known as the Knights Hospitaller and today known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. It also confirmed the order's acquisitions and donations in Europe and Asia and exempted it from all authority save that of the Pope.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Megan McLaughlin, Sex, Gender, and Episcopal Authority in an Age of Reform, 1000-1122, (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 175.
  2. ^ Uta-Renate Blumenthal, The Investiture Controversy: Church and Monarchy from the Ninth to the Twelfth Century, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988), 167.
  3. ^ Loughlin, James. "Pope Paschal II." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 25 December 2017
  4. ^ [https://catholicsaints.info/new-catholic-dictionary-pope-paschal-ii/ “Pope Paschal II”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 August 2013
  5. ^ Matilda Webb, The Churches and Catacombs of Early Christian Rome: A Comprehensive Guide, (T.J.International, 2001), 93.
  6. ^ Suger (Abbot). "DE LA VENUE EN FRANCE DU PAPE PASCAL II (1107) / Of Pope Paschal II's Travel to France (1107)" (in French). Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2016. puis de Cluny à La Charité, où, au milieu d'un très grand concours d'archevêques, d'évêques et de moines, il dédia et consacra ce fameux monastère [...] 6) Le 9 mars 1107. Le monastère de la Charité-sur-Loire (Nièvre, arrondissement de Cosne) était un prieuré clunisien.
  7. ^ Bernard F. Reilly, The Contest of Christian and Muslim Spain:1031-1157, (Blackwell Publishing, 1995), 177.
  8. ^ J.M. Hussey, The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire (OXford: University Press, 1986), pp. 170–171.
  9. ^ Historical Records and Studies, volume 12 (1918)
  10. ^ Piae postulatio voluntatis | http://blessed-gerard.org/bgt_1_3.htm
  11. ^ Sire, H.J.A.: The Knights of Malta, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1996


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Urban II
Succeeded by
Gelasius II
1099 papal election

The papal election of 1099 (held 13 August) took place upon the death of Pope Urban II, the cardinal-electors with the consent of the lower Roman clergy chose Pope Paschal II as his successor.

1113–1115 Balearic Islands expedition

In 1114, an expedition to the Balearic Islands, then a Muslim taifa, was launched in the form of a Crusade. Founded on a treaty of 1113 between the Republic of Pisa and Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona, the expedition had the support of Pope Paschal II and the participation of many lords of Catalonia and Occitania, as well as contingents from northern and central Italy, Sardinia, and Corsica. The Crusaders were perhaps inspired by the Norwegian king Sigurd I's attack on Formentera in 1108 or 1109 during the Norwegian Crusade. The expedition ended in 1115 in the conquest of the Balearics, but only until the next year. The main source for the event is the Pisan Liber maiolichinus, completed by 1125.

1118 papal election

The Papal election of 1118 saw the election of Pope Gelasius II as the successor of Pope Paschal II, who died January 21, 1118 in Rome after an over 18-year pontificate.

Alexander of Canterbury

Alexander of Canterbury (fl. 1120) was an English monk of Christ Church, Canterbury. He is known as the author of a work, Dicta Anselmi archiepiscopi, which has been also ascribed to Eadmer. He was employed as a messenger from the Countess Matilda to St. Anselm, and was sent by St. Anselm to Pope Paschal II for his instruction on various points.

Antipope Adalbert

Adalbert (or Albert) was elected Pope of the Catholic Church in February 1101 and served for 105 days. He was a candidate of the Roman party opposed to Pope Paschal II and is regarded today as an antipope. Prior to his election he was a (pseudo)cardinal of the Antipope Clement III. He was captured by partisans of Paschal II and forced to live out his days as a monk.

Antipope Theodoric

Theodoric was an antipope in 1100 and 1101.

Antipope Clement III died on September 8, 1100. His followers in Rome met secretly at night in St. Peter's Basilica, where they elected and enthroned Cardinal Teodorico, the Bishop of Albano, who then went by the name of Theodoric. Forced to abandon Rome, Theodoric was seized three and a half months later and brought before Pope Paschal II, where he was condemned and declared an antipope and then sent to the monastery of La Cava, Salerno, where he died in 1102, according to the epitaph in the crypt of the monastery. A memorial plaque in La Cava commemorates him under the pontifical name of "Sylvester III", because Pope Sylvester III, at that time, was considered an antipope. His successor was Antipope Albert (1101).


Blera is a small town and comune in the northern Lazio region of Italy. It was known during the Middle Ages as Bieda, an evolved form of its ancient name, which was restored in the twentieth century. It is the birthplace of Pope Sabinian; Pope Paschal II was also originally thought to be from here.

It is situated on a long, narrow tongue of rock at the junction of two deep glens.

Cardinals created by Paschal II

Pope Paschal II (r. 1099-1118) created 92 cardinals in fifteen consistories held throughout his pontificate. This included the future Antipope Anacletus II.

Filip (bishop of Płock)

Filip was an eleventh-century bishop of Płock, Poland.According to Jan Długosz he was from the Doliwczyków Polish Noble family and was appointed by Pope Paschal II. He is known to history through some papal correspondence, but exact dates for his bishopric are uncertain. He was probably ordained 1099 or 1100 and remained Bishop unto 1007AD or 1112AD.


Grosolanus or Grossolanus, born Peter, was the Archbishop of Milan from 1102 to 1112. He succeeded Anselm IV, who had made him vicar during his absence on the Crusade of 1101, and was succeeded by Jordan, who had been his subdeacon.

Grosolanus was the abbot of Ferrania and already Bishop of Savona when Anselm appointed him to act as his vicar during the crusade.

Grosolanus was accused of simony in obtaining the Ambrosian see by the priest Liprand, who proceeded through the ordeal of fire to prove his charges. This tale is probably an invention of Landolfo Iuniore, bearing little resemblance to reality, save the fact that Grosolanus was opposed by a strong faction in the city. Even in modern times, though, it has served as the inspiration of a song by Enzo Jannacci.

The archbishop was still embattled when, in 1111, he decided to go on a pilgrimage to Outremer. Almost immediately a council of equal numbers of supporters and opponents of the archbishop convened in his absence and, deposing him, elected Jordan of Clivio in his place on New Year's Day. Of all Milan's suffragans, only Atto, Bishop of Acqui, and Arderic, Bishop of Lodi, refused to do homage to the new bishop and remained loyal to Grosolanus. On 6 December, Mainard, Bishop of Turin, formally deposed Grosolanus at the altar in S. Ambrogio.

In August 1113, Grosolanus returned from his pilgrimage. Tensions were raised in the city of Milan, where the old archbishop still had some supporters. Finally, on 11 March 1116, Pope Paschal II declared Grosolanus' transferral from the see of Savona to that of Milan to be invalid and thus null. He was transferred back to Savona and Jordan was papally confirmed as the legitimate Ambrosian pontiff for a second time.

Legatine council

A legatine council or legatine synod is an ecclesiastical council or synod that is presided over by a papal legate.According to Pope Gregory VII, writing in the Dictatus papae, a papal legate "presides over all bishops in a council, even if he is inferior in rank, and he can pronounce sentence of deposition against them". During the Middle Ages, a legatine council was the usual means that a papal legate imposed his directives.Many councils in the Middle Ages were legatine councils, including the council held by Hugh of Die at Autun in 1077. Another was a series of councils held by Cuno of Praeneste in 1114 and 1115, held respectively at Beauvais, Rheims and Chalon, which excommunicated Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor, although Pope Paschal II eventually refused to ratify Cuno's actions. In 1116 Cuno demanded that Paschal either confirm or reject the legate's actions, but Paschal did neither. Early in the history of the Crusader states, a number of legatine councils were held in the Kingdom of Jerusalem that not only appointed and deposed ecclesiastics, but also regulated the church government. Legatine councils were also held in the German Empire during the 12th-century.Legatine councils were also held in Medieval England, including the Council of Westminster in 1125, and a series of legatine councils held from 1139 to 1151, which unlike the 1125 council, were summoned by English ecclesiastics appointed as legates by the pope, rather than legates who had been sent to England by the papacy.

Leo of Ostia

Leo Marsicanus (meaning "of the Marsi") or Ostiensis (meaning "of Ostia"), also known as Leone dei Conti di Marsi (1046, Marsica – 1115/7, Ostia), was a nobleman and monk of Monte Cassino around 1061 and Italian cardinal from the 12th century.

In Monte Cassino, he became a friend of Desiderius of Benevento, later Pope Victor III, and it was to him that Leo dedicated his most famous work as an historian and chronicler, being a librarian: the Chronicon monasterii Casinensis, usually called the Montecassino Chronicle in English. The chronicler depends largely on Amatus' earlier work, but also on oral traditions and other archives. Leo finished it at 1075; it is continued by other monastic librarian Peter the Deacon.

Pope Urban II created him cardinal deacon in 1088 with the deaconry of Ss. Vito e Modesto. In 1101, Pope Paschal II promoted him cardinal-bishop of Ostia. In 1105 he was appointed cardinal - bishop of Velletri until his death.

Peter of Anagni

Peter of Anagni was Benedictine, Bishop, and papal legate. Born in Salerno, Italy, he entered the Benedictines and so distinguished himself as a monk that Pope Gregory VII appointed him Bishop of Anagni. As bishop, he improved the spiritual welfare of the city, built a new cathedral, and promoted the First Crusade to the Holy Land, a venture in which he participated. Pope Urban II sent him to Constantinople as papal legate to the Byzantine Empire. He was canonized in 1109 by Pope Paschal II, a mere four years after his death.

Pie postulatio voluntatis

Pie postulatio voluntatis (English: The Most Pious Request) is a papal bull issued on 15 February 1113 by Pope Paschal II, in which the Pope formally recognized the establishment of the Knights Hospitaller and confirmed its independence and sovereignty. Today, the document is preserved at the National Library of Malta in Valletta, Malta.

Pierleoni family

The family of the Pierleoni, meaning "sons of Peter Leo", was a great Roman patrician clan of the Middle Ages, headquartered in a tower house in the Jewish quarter, Trastevere. The heads of the family often bore the title consul Romanorum, or "Consul of the Romans," in the early days.

The family descended from the eleventh-century Jewish convert Leo de Benedicto, whose baptismal name comes from the fact that he was baptised by Pope Leo IX himself. They also were bankers and financially backed the reform papacy.While the Pierleoni during their greatness spuriously claimed to be descended from the ancient Roman noble family of the Anicii, their enemies in Rome made much of their Jewish extraction and levelled the usual charges of usury. Leo's son was the Peter Leo (Pierleone) of the name and it is his sons that garnered for the family such fame as protectors of the popes: Pope Urban II died in one of the Pierleoni's castelli, July 1099. The family's territory was expanded to include the Isola Tiberina and a further tower house near the Theater of Marcellus.When Emperor Henry V came to Rome (1111), Petrus Leonis headed the papal legation that effected a reconciliation between the pope and the emperor. Pope Paschal II made Pierleone's son, Peter Peirleone, a cardinal, as well as bestowing the Castel St. Angelo on Petrus. Pierleone's attempt to install one of his sons as Prefect of Rome in 1116, though favoured by Paschal II, was resisted by the opposite party with riot and bloodshed. Peter, would later become Antipope Anacletus II (1131), and another, Giordano Pierleoni, with the revival of the Commune of Rome, became the head of the Republic as Patricius in 1144. The family generally supported the papacy and represented the Guelf faction of the city against the Ghibellines, often under the leadership of the Frangipani.

Two branches of the Pierleoni are still in existence. The first is that of Matelica and Pesaro in the Marche and the second is that of Città di Castello in Umbria. Both are still members of the Italian nobility.

Pope Gelasius II

Pope Gelasius II (c. 1060/1064 – 29 January 1119), born Giovanni Caetani or Giovanni da Gaeta (also called Coniulo), was Pope from 24 January 1118 to his death in 1119. A monk of Monte Cassino and chancellor of Pope Paschal II, Caetani was unanimously elected to succeed him. In doing so he also succeeded to the conflicts with Emperor Henry V over investiture. Gelasius spent a good part of his brief papacy in exile.

Ralph d'Escures

Ralph d'Escures (died 20 October 1122) was a medieval Abbot of Séez, Bishop of Rochester and then Archbishop of Canterbury. He studied at the school at the Abbey of Bec. In 1079 he entered the abbey of St Martin at Séez, and became abbot there in 1091. He was a friend of both Anselm of Canterbury and Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, whose see, or bishopric, he took over on Gundulf's death.

Ralph was not chosen archbishop of Canterbury by the chapter of Canterbury alone. His election involved an assembly of the lords and bishops meeting with King Henry I of England. Ralph then received his pallium from Pope Paschal II, rather than travelling to Rome to retrieve it. As archbishop, Ralph was very assertive of the rights of the see of Canterbury and of the liberties of the English church. He claimed authority in Wales and Scotland. Ralph also quarrelled for a time with Pope Paschal II.

Ralph suffered a stroke on 11 July 1119 and was left partially paralysed and unable to speak clearly from that time until his death on 20 October 1122. A surviving English translation of a sermon delivered by Ralph is preserved in a manuscript in the British Library. The sermon survives in some fifty Latin manuscripts.

Richard II of Gaeta

Richard II (died 1111), called Richard of Aquila (Riccardo dell'Aquila), was the consul and duke of Gaeta, ruling from 1104 or 1105 to his death.

The younger son of Richer, the Norman lord of L'Aigle, and nephew of Hugh d'Avranches, Earl of Chester, he conquered the duchy from his predecessor, William Blosseville, whom he exiled. He subsequently minted his own coinage as an independent prince. He was also count of Suessa.

He lent troops to Pope Paschal II in 1108 to retake Rome. He was a constant ally of the pope and enemy of Ptolemy I of Tusculum.

Robert II of Loritello

Robert II (died 1134 or 1137) was the son and successor of Count Robert I of Loritello. His father died in 1107. He married his second cousin Adelaide, a daughter of Roger II of Sicily and Elvira of Castile. They had a son, named William, who succeeded him.

Robert was a friend of the Church. He took part in the council of Troia (1115) of Pope Paschal II and that of 1120 of Callixtus II.

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