On the most Holy Day of the Nativity of the Lord when the King rose from praying at Mass before the tomb of biased Peter the Apostle, Pope Leo placed a crown on his head and all the Roman people cried out, “To Carolus, pious Augustus, crowned by God, great and peace giving Emperor of the Romans, life and victory.” And after the laudation he was honoured by the pope in the manner of the ancient princes and, the title of Patrician being set aside, he was called Emperor and Augustus.
Of all the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire the most renowned, the first to receive the golden Imperial Crown from the hands of the Roman Pontiff, no Emperor has so captured the Catholic imagination as Carolus Magnus, the Emperor Charlemagne. The beginning of the Sacred Ages might truly be dated to his coronation on the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord. Born on the second of April in the year of Our Lord 742 in the realm of Austrasia, Karol (as he was named in old Frankish) was the oldest son of Pippin the Short, King of Francia and Patrician of the Roman Empire. Upon the death of King Pippin in A.D. 768, Karol and his younger brother Karloman jointly ascended to the Frankish throne, in the midst of a rebellion in Aquitania.