Friday, October 22, 2021

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli – Feast Day – August 2

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli was the first bishop in Vercelli in northern Italy. He was born on March 2 283 in Sardinia and died on August 1 371 in Vercelli, Piedmont in Northwest Italy at the age of 88 years. His feast day is celebrated on August 2 every year in the Catholic Church.

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop Biography
Saint Eusebius of Vercelli
Saint Eusebius of Vercelli
Date of Birth March 2 283
Place of Birth Sardinia, Italy
Profession Bishop and Confessor of the Church
Place of Work Vercelli, Piedmont in Northwest Italy
Date of Death August 1 371
Place of Death Vercelli, Piedmont in Northwest Italy
Feast Day August 2
Canonization Pre-Congregation
Patron Saint of Vercelli

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli Life History

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli was born in Sardinia, Italy on March 2 283 but moved to Rome together with his mother after his father was martyred. In Rome, he became a lector. Later in life, he was elected as the first bishop in Vercelli, northern Italy after the people recognized his piety.

He founded a community of priests in Vercelli where they practiced Cenobitic monasticism. As a bishop, he lived in common with the other clergy where he formed and reformed then in piety. This makes him and St Augustine be honoured as the founders of the Canons Regular of St Augustine.

In 354, Pope Liberius recognized how well Eusebius served the Church and requested him together with Bishop Lucifer of Cagliari to go to Milan and mediate with Emperor Constantius II on matters concerning Arianism and fate of Athanasius of Alexandria. In 355, the emperor convened the council and during the proceedings, the very powerful Arians forced down their stances and did not tolerate anything from Eusebius and his entourage.

The emperor and the Arians condemned Athanasius of Alexandria and tried to force Eusebius and his delegation to sign the condemnation. But Eusebius insisted that before taking any final decision on the matter, they should all append their signatures on the Nicene Creed he had laid on the table. They refused to join the condemnation and as a consequence, they were sent to exile Scythopolis in Palestine and then to Cappadocia, and finally to the Thebaid in Egypt. In Scythopolis he was under the watch of the Arian bishop Patrophilus.

He lived as a prisoner and on one occasion, he was stripped half-naked, put in a tiny cell, and dragged in the streets. He was made to stay hungry for four days and his food and belongings were stolen. These persecutions did not make him betray the Catholic faith.

When the Roman emperor Julian rose to power in 361 AD, the bishops who were in exile were free to return to their homes. In 362, Eusebius attended the Athanasius’ synod where the divinity of the Holy Ghost was confirmed and issues of the incarnation were settled. They also resolved to mildly deal with the bishops who had signed the Arian Creeds under duress but were repentant and willing to abandon that creed.

Eusebius had tried to reconcile the warring factions of the Church in Antioch that was divided between adherents of Eustathius of Antioch who had been exiled by the Arians and the adherents of Meletius. Bishop Meletius had been elected by the Arians but had not embraced Arianism. Unfortunately, before bishop Eusebius had arrived, Bishop Lucifer of Cagliari had come there and already consecrated the leader of the Eustathians named Paulinus as Bishop of Antioch.

Bishop Eusebius then proceeded to Vercelli where he continued to fight Arianism together with Bishop Hilary of Poitiers.

After his death, in the middle ages, Saint Eusebius was often referred to as a martyr because of the suffering he endured while defending his faith but later this was later verified that he did not die as a martyr.

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli Birth

He was born on March 2 283 in the island of Sardinia, Italy

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli Death

He died on August 1 371 in Vercelli, Piedmont in Northwest Italy at the age of 88 years.

Canonization

St Eusebius of Vercelli was canonized Pre-Congregation

Feast Day

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli feast day is celebrated on August 2 in the Roman Catholic Church. It used to be celebrated on December 15 between 1602–1728 and on December 16 between 1729–1969.

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli is the Patron Saint of

  • Vercelli, Italy
  • Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Eusebius

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