Monday, December 16, 2013

Saint Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli and Martyr

On this 3rd Monday of Advent we honor Saint Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli, and given the title Martyr, not for having shed his blood, but for the great sufferings he had to endure for the a Divinity of Jesus, and this in the fourth century when the Catholic faith was violently attacked by the Arian heresy.

According to Dom Prosper Guéranger's The Liturgical Year:
"St. Eusebius' place is Advent; and divine Providence has thus chosen him as one of the patrons of the faithful during this mystic season. His powerful prayers will help us to come devoutly to Bethlehem, and see in the Child, that is lying there, the Eternal Word of God."
And, St. Eusebius was one of four bishops:
"...of whom it may be said that the defence of the  dogma of the Consubstantiality of the Son of God was what they lived for, and that to say anathema to them was to say anathema to Christ Himself; all four most powerful in word and work, lights of the Churches of the world, objects of people's love, and dauntless witnesses of Jesus."
What struck me most in reading Dom Guéranger's meditation on St. Eusebius was a prayer for this holy bishop's intercession, particularly for our bishops:
"Obtain for the bishops of our holy mother the Church such vigilance, that no false doctrines may surprise them, and such courage that no persecution may make them yield. May they be faithful imitators of the divine Pastor, who gives His life for His sheep; and may they ever feed the flock entrusted to them in the unity and charity of Jesus Christ."
Certainly a saint for our times. We must pray for our Holy Father Pope Francis, and for our cardinals and bishops.

God bless you!

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