Eusebius (96), presbyter, confessor at Rome
Eusebius (96), Aug. 14, presbyter, confessor at Rome
a.d. 358, and by some styled martyr.
>From the earliest times his fame has been everywhere celebrated. A church dedicated
to him is mentioned in the first council held at Rome under pope Symmachus,
a.d. 498 (Mansi, viii. 236, 237).
It was rebuilt by pope Zacharias, c. 742 (Anastas. Lib. Pontif.
art. "Zacharias," No. 216). The facts of his history are very obscure. His Acts
(Baluz. Miscell. t. ii. p. 141) relate that upon the recall of pope Liberius
by Constantius, Eusebius preached against them both as Arians; and since the orthodox
party, who now supported Felix, were excluded from all the churches, he continued
to hold divine service in his own house. For this he was brought before Constantius
and Liberius, when he boldly reproved the pope for falling away from Catholic
truth. Constantius thereupon consigned him to a dungeon four feet wide, where
he continued to languish for seven months and then died. He was buried by his
friends and co-presbyters Orosius and Gregory, in the cemetery of Callistus, with
the simple inscription "Eusebio Homini Dei." Constantius arrested Gregory for
this, and consigned him to the same dungeon, where he also died, and was in turn
buried by Orosius, by whom the Acts of Eusebius profess to have been written.
The Bollandist and Tillemont point out grave historical difficulties in this narration,
especially that Constantius, Liberius, and Eusebius never could have been in the
city together. The whole matter is a source of trouble to Roman Catholic writers,
because the saintly character of St. Eusebius, guaranteed by the Roman martyrology
as revised by pope Gregory XIII., seems necessarily to involve the condemnation
of Liberius. The Bollandists at great length vindicate the catholicity of Felix
II., and are equally zealous champions of St. Eusebius. Tillemont and Hefele (Hist.
of Councils, ii. § 81, "Pope Liberius and the Third Sirmian Formula") are
equally decided opponents of Felix.