Born to a Spanish shepherd family, Paschal was said to have taught himself to read while tending sheep. At age 21 he joined an austere group of Franciscans, devoting himself to prayer and charity. He was sent on a dangerous mission to French Franciscans, and a shoulder wound he received caused him pain for the rest of his life. Long hours of prayer on his knees before the Eucharist earned this lay brother the honor of being patron of Catholic Eucharistic congresses. His emblem in art is a monstrance.