Paulinus was born to a Roman family during the period of Longobard rule of Italy.

After receiving a thorough education and being ordained, he became master of his school. He had a deep knowledge of jurisprudence, and extensive Scriptural, theological, and patristic training.

This learning won him the attention of Charlemagne. After the destruction of the Kingdom of the Longobards in 774, Charlemagne invited Paulinus to France in 776, to be “royal master of grammar.” He assisted in restoring civilization in the West. He became acquainted with the leading men of that age. His devotion to Charlemagne was rewarded by many favors, among them the gift of property and the appointment as Patriarch of Aquileia in 787.

Paulinus was able to secure the free election of the future patriarchs, and other privileges for the Church of Aquileia. He helped in preparing new Christian legislation.

In 792 he was present at the Council of Ratisbon, which condemned the heresy of Adoptionism (a position that said Christ was the “adopted” son of God. In 794 he took a leading part in the national Synod of Frankfort-on-the-Main, where Adoptionism was again condemned, and wrote a book against it. We learn from his correspondence that he presided over a synod of bishops in Salzburg, in which were discussed the evangelization of the barbarians, and baptism.

At the Synod of Cividale in 796, Paulinus expounded the Catholic doctrine about the Blessed Trinity, especially about the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son. Also, at this synod, fourteen “canons” on ecclesiastical discipline and on the sacrament of marriage, were framed and a copy of the Acts was sent to the emperor.

In 798 he went to Rome as imperial legate to the pope.

Paulinus was a prolific writer, even writing poems and hymns. For his fame as a priest, bishop, diplomat and writer he died a saint.

Adapted by A. J. Valentini from: Cossio, A. (1911). St. Paulinus II, Patriarch of Aquileia. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved Jan. 5, 2021 from New Advent: