St Eusebius of Vercelli

Exodus 34.29-35; Psalm 98; Matthew 13.44-46

Eusebius (ca 287-371) was born to Sardinian Christian parents who suffered for their faith. After his father’s martyrdom his mother brought him to Rome where he was educated and became a lector. In the mid-340s he was elected Bishop of Vercelli in Piedmont (northern Italy) where he formed the clergy into a kind of proto-monastic community; he is considered one of the founders of the Augustinian order because of this.

During the Synod of Milan in 355 Eusebius defended the theology of St Athanasius. When Athanasius was condemned by the Synod, consequently, Eusebius was also exiled. He spent the next six years travelling throughout the Christian world and vigorously attacking the Arian heresy (the teaching that Jesus was man, not the Incarnate God). He returned to his see in 363 and is credited, along with St Hilary of Poitiers, as one of the primary defenders of the orthodoxy of the Nicene Creed. There are some legends of his martyrdom but there is no historical basis for them. Rather, he is honoured as one who endured suffering whilst standing up for the faith.

Posted in Daily Reflection.