Monday, August 2, 2010

St. Eusebius of Vercelli

Born in Sardinia at the beginning of the 4th Century, he was born into the rapidly changing world of the late Roman Empire. As he grew up he saw Christianity go from being an illegal religion to one tolerated, and then the official religion of the empire. He became a priest of the Church of Rome and was chosen to be the first bishop of his home town of Vercelli. He evangelized Sardinia and was the first in the West to promote the common life for clergy: he combined the observation of a monastic way of life with the distinctively clerical tasks of care for souls and celebration of the sacred liturgy. Eusebius gave his priests the common life, which would later be called canons regular and spread throughout the Church. The Emperor Constantius persecuted him for his loyalty to the Catholic faith and drove him into exile where he greatly suffered. Returning to Sardinia, he worked tirelessly against the Arians for the restoration of the Catholic faith. He died in 371.

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