THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Bishop and Martyr
SIMPLE / RED
Eusebius was bishop of Vercelli in northern Italy in the middle of the fourth century. St. Ambrose says that he was the first in the West to introduce the practice of community life among secular clergy. Eusebius was exiled to Palestine and Cappadocia by Emperor Constantius for his defense of St. Athanasius and his opposition to the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ. Though greatly mistreated in exile, [he won the title of martyr for his grievous sufferings] the courageous bishop survived the ordeal and, on the death of the Emperor, took up the fight for the Church once more. He won other enemies, however, by urging clemency toward repentant Arian bishops, the very ones who had been a cause of his exile. St. Eusebius died in peace at Vercelli in 371.
Commemoration of SAINT EUSEBIUS
O God, who gladdens us each year by the feast of Your blessed martyr bishop Eusebius, mercifully grant that we who celebrate his birthday may also enjoy his protection. Through Our Lord . . .
Bless the gifts we have set apart for You, O Lord. May the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishop Eusebius help these offerings to win Your mercy for us. Through Our Lord . . .
O Lord, may this Communion cleanse us from sin, and bestow on us spiritual health from heaven through the intercession of Your martyr bishop Eusebius. Through Our Lord . . .