Feast Day: August 2
Born: 283 :: Died: 371
St. Eusebius (of Vercelli) was born on the island of Sardinia in Italy. His parents were faithful Christians and his father died a martyr for the Christian faith. Eusebius grew up to be a strong Christian and actively served his community. After his father's death his family moved to Rome and there he was ordained a Lector.
This was a time when the people elected bishops and when the people of Vercelli saw how well he served their Church; they willingly chose him as bishop. He and some of his priests lived a simple life and became eager and happy followers of Jesus. They learned from Eusebius how to guide the people who came to them for help and many of his priests later became bishops.
Emperor Constantius who was an Arian did not believe that Jesus was God and created lots of trouble for the Catholics. The Pope sent Eusebius on a mission to try and make peace. But the powerful Arians did not want to make peace and only tried to force their will on the Catholics. Because Eusebius was a champion of the truth, he was not afraid and refused to listen to Emperor Constantius.
So Constantius sent him away to Palestine where he lived with a kind man who was the only Catholic in town. But after the kind man died, the Arians kidnapped Eusebius; they insulted him by tearing his clothes and dragging him through the streets. They broke into his house and stole his belongings and food. Then they locked him in a tiny cell without food for four days.
When Emperor Constantius died all the Bishops who were sent away were allowed to return home.
But the problems were not over and Eusebius spent his last years working hard to spread the truth and strengthen the faith of the Christians. Bishop Eusebius died on August 1, 371.
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