The fourth-century bishop Eusebius of Vercelli (ca. 283-371) was born in Sardinia and raised in Rome; he served as a priest there for some years, and was appointed Bishop of Vercelli, a town in northern Italy, in 340. Eusebius devoted himself to the care of the people; he was especially concerned with improving the sanctity and brotherhood of the clergy, so that they might provide the laity with a good example. He was a leader in the fight against the heresy of Arianism, which wrongly denied the divinity of Jesus. The pope sent Eusebius to the emperor to ask for a council which would end the Arian controversy; however, as Eusebius had feared, the Arians gained the upper hand, and with the emperor’s support they rejected Eusebius’s demand that the Nicene Creed be accepted as a statement of Church teaching.
Because of his opposition to Arianism, Eusebius was sent into exile for six years, spending time in Palestine, Asia Minor, and Egypt, and suffering much abuse from the local Arians. Upon the election of a new emperor in 361, Eusebius was released and allowed to return to Vercelli. He worked closely with St. Athanasius of Egypt and St. Hilary of Poitiers to reduce the influence of Arianism, and he approved the Church’s policy of leniency toward those bishops who had wavered in their support of the faith. St. Eusebius’s final years were peaceful, and he died after a long period of service marked by a courageous defense of the teachings of the Church.
From Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living: Meditations to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day
“We must keep in mind that the Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ past, present, and future; that the Eucharist is the last development of the Incarnation and mortal life of our Savior, that in the Eucharist Jesus Christ gives us every grace; that all truths tend to an end in the Eucharist; and that there is nothing more to be added when we have said, “The Eucharist,” since it is Jesus Christ.”
‒ St. Peter Julian Eymard, The Real Presence
Which one description of the Eucharist given by St. Peter Julian Eymard touches me most deeply, and in what one concrete way can this enhance my gratitude of this great gift? How will I show my appreciation?
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Peter Julian Eymard (1868), Priest, Founder of Servants of the Blessed Sacrament
St. Alphonsus Liguori (1787), Bishop, Doctor, Patron of confessors, moral theologians
St. Stephen I (257), Pope, Martyr
Our Lady of the Angels