21 June 2007

Saint Eusebius of Samosata

Bishop and Martyr
Commemoration - June 21

Prayer – Father, receive the prayers we offer to you on the memorial of your martyr, Saint Eusebius of Samosata. Grant that, in our actions, we may be your witnesses; and fill us with the strength to contend for the truth throughout our lives, that we may be worthy at the last day to share in the heavenly joy of your martyrs and holy ones, together with Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Readings – No Proper Readings

Biography - Saint Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata (died c. 379) was a Christian martyr and opponent of the Arian heresy.

In 361 he became bishop of the ancient Syrian city of Samosata. Eusebius had been entrusted with the official record of the election (360) of Bishop St. Meletius of Antioch, who was supported by the Arian bishops, who were under the mistaken notion that he would prove sympathetic to their cause. When Meletius expounded his orthodoxy, the bishops persuaded the Roman emperor Constantius II, a staunch Arian, to extort the record from Eusebius and destroy it. In 361 Constantius threatened Eusebius with the loss of his right hand because he refused to surrender the record, but the threat was withdrawn when Eusebius offered both hands.

During the persecution of orthodox Christians under the Eastern Roman emperor Valens (also an Arian), Eusebius travelled incognito through Syria and Palestine, restoring orthodox bishops and priests who had been deposed by the Arians. In 374 Valens banished him to Thrace, a region in the Balkan Peninsula, but after the Emperor's death in 378, Eusebius was restored to his see of Samosata. While in Dolikha to consecrate a bishop, he was killed after being struck on the head with a root tile by an Arian woman.


All original material (C) 2007-2010 by Father Robert Lyons.

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