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St. Paulinus of Aquileia

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Facts

Feastday: January 11
Birth: 726
Death: 804

Born near Friuli, Italy, Paulinus in his youth worked on his family’s farm. Years later, as a priest, he became a renowned grammar professor whose reputation reached the court of the Frankish emperor Charlemagne. It was through the intervention of Charlemagne that Paulinus was chosen archbishop of Aquileia in 787. Paulinus served in his see with great holiness. The famed scholar Alcuin begged Paulinus to pray for him at every Mass he celebrated. A zealous defender of the Church’s teachings, Paulinus wrote a book to refute Adoptionism, a heresy which claimed that Christ as Son of Man was only the “adoptive” Son of God. At a synod convened by Paulinus at Cividale in 796, he reiterated the Church’s Trinitarian teaching of the procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son. Paulinus exhorted his clergy to celebrate the Mass and the other sacraments precisely as prescribed by the rubrics and texts of the Church. In a manual of spiritual advice that Paulinus composed for the duke of Friuli, he stresses the need of seeking to please God in all our actions.

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