Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Cure of Ars and Patron saint of Priests

 

St. John Vianney




Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, known as John in English, was born May 8, 1786 in Dardilly, France and was baptized the same day. He was the fourth of six children born to Matthieu and Marie Vianney.

John was raised in a Catholic home and the family often helped the poor and housed St. Benedict Joseph Labre when he made his pilgrimage to Rome.

In 1790, when the anticlerical Terror phase of the French Revolution forced priests to work in secrecy or face execution, young Vianney believed the priests were heroes.

He continued to believe in the bravery of priests and received his First Communion catechism instructions in private by two nuns who lost their convents to the Revolution.

At 13-years-old, John made his first communion and prepared for his confirmation in secrecy.

When he was 20-years-old, John was allowed to leave the family farm to learn at a "prsbytery-school" in Écully. There he learned math, history, geography and Latin.

As his education had been disrupted by the French Revolution, he struggled in his studies, particularly with Latin, but worked hard to learn.

In 1802, the Catholic Church was reestablished in France and religious freedom and peace spread throughout the country.

Unfortunately, in 1809, John was drafted into Napoleon Bonaparte's armies. He had been studying as an ecclesiastical student, which was a protected title and would normally have excepted him from military services, but Napoleon had withdrawn the exemption in some dioceses as he required more soldiers.



Two days into his service, John fell ill and required hospitalization. As his troop continued, he stopped in at a church where he prayed. There he met a young man who volunteered to return him to his group, but instead led him deep into the mountains where military deserters met.

John lived with them for one year and two months. He used the name Jerome Vincent and opened a school for the nearby village of Les Noes' children.

John remained in Les Noes and hid when gendarmes came in search of deserters until 1810, when deserters were granted amnesty.

Now free, John returned to Écully and resumed his ecclesiastic studies. He attended a minor seminary, Abbe Balley, in 1812 and was eventually ordained a deacon in June 1815.

He joined his heroes as a priest August 12, 1815 in the Couvent des Minimes de Grenoble. His first Mass was celebrated the next day and he was appointed assistant to Balley in Écully.

Three years later, when Balley passed away, Fr. John Vianney was appointed parish priest of the Ars parish. With help from Catherine Lassagne and Benedicta Lerdet, La Providence, a home for girls, was established in Ars.

When he began his priestly duties, Fr. Vianney realized many were either ignorant or indifferent to religion as a result of the French Revolution. Many danced and drank on Sundays or worked in their fields.

Fr. Vianney spent much time in confession and often delivered homilies against blasphemy and dancing. Finally, if parishioners did not give up dancing, he refused them absolution.

He spent 11 to twelve hours each day working to reconcile people with God. In the summer months, he often worked 16-hour days and refused to retire.

His fame spread until people began to travel to him in 1827. Within thirty years, it is said he received up to 20,000 pilgrims each year.

He was deeply devoted to St. Philomena and erected a chapel and shrine in her honor. When he later became deathly ill but miraculously recovered, he attributed his health to St. Philomena's intercession.

By 1853, Fr. Vianney had attempted to run away from Ars four times, each attempt with the intention of becoming a monk but decided after the final time that it was not to be.

Six years later, he passed away and left behind a legacy of faith and was viewed as the champion of the poor.

On October 3, 1873, Pope Pius IX proclaimed Fr. Vianney as "venerable" and on January 8, 1905, Pope Pius X beatified him. St. John Vianney was canonized on May 31, 1925. His feast day was declared August 9 but it was changed twice before it fell to August 4.

St. John Vianney would often say: "Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there: If you set it on fire, it makes a lot of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; public prayer is like that."

Prayer of St. John Vianney

I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life.
I love You, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally...
My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You, I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.

Archdiocese tells Priest do not give someone a "religious exemption" for the Covid19 vaccines

 

ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK: PRIESTS MAY NOTGRANT RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS FOR VACCINES


The Archdiocese of New York has instructed priests not to grant religious exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines, saying that do so would contradict the pope.

“There is no basis for a priest to issue a religious exemption to the vaccine,” stated a July 30 memo from the archdiocese’s chancellor, John P. Cahill, to all pastors, administrators, and parochial vicars in the archdiocese.

“Pope Francis has made it very clear that it is morally acceptable to take any of the vaccines and said we have the moral responsibility to get vaccinated. Cardinal Dolan has said the same,” the memo stated.

By issuing a religious exemption to the vaccine, a priest would be “acting in contradiction to the directives of the Pope and is participating in an act that could have serious consequences to others,” the memo stated.

In a television interview in January, Pope Francis said, “I believe that, ethically, everyone has to get the vaccine.” In a December 2020 note, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation” and “therefore, it must be voluntary.” The Vatican congregation acknowledged “reasons of conscience” for those refusing a vaccine.

Vaccine mandates have begun to be announced at places of employment in the United States. The Catholic health care network Ascension will mandate coronavirus vaccination for employees, physicians, volunteers, and vendors, although it has promised some health-related and religious exemptions.

Some Catholic institutions have stated their support for conscience exemptions to vaccine mandates, or have provided materials for individuals with religious objections to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The National Catholic Bioethics Center lists a form letter on its website for individual Catholics seeking religious exemptions from vaccine mandates.

“The Roman Catholic Church teaches that a person may be required to refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her informed conscience comes to this sure judgment,” the letter states, adding that the Church “does not prohibit the use of any vaccine, and generally encourages the use of safe and effective vaccines as a way of safeguarding personal and public health.”

The Catholic Medical Association, a national network of Catholic doctors and health care workers, stated on July 28 that it “opposes mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment without conscience or religious exemptions.”

Pope Francis sends message to youth gathered in Medjugorje

 

Young participants at Mladifest 2019 in Medjugorje Young participants at Mladifest 2019 in Medjugorje  

Pope to youth in Medjugorje: follow Christ with courage and joy

Pope Francis sends a message to young people gathered at Mladifest, the annual international prayer meeting being held from 1-6 August in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Entrusting them to the example of Mary, the Pope invites them to believe in the fullness and true happiness giving oneself to God brings.

By Gabriella Ceraso - Vatican City

The guiding theme of the youth festival underway in Medjugorje until August 6 is: "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" They cite the words of the rich young man of whom the Synoptic Gospels speak (cf. Mt 19:16-22; Mk 10:17-22; Lk 18:18-23), when he set out, or rather, ran to meet the Lord, to inquire about gaining eternal life, that is, happiness. Pope Francis sent his good wishes to the participants with a message offering some reflections on the theme.

An occasion to encounter Jesus

Mladifest, the Pope reminds his readers, is in fact a "week of prayer and encounter with Jesus Christ, especially in his living Word, in the Eucharist, in adoration and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation," which has the power to "set us on our way to the Lord." And so this young man of the Gospel, whose name we do not know but whose soul we do know, becomes the symbol of all those who participate in this event.

The Pope recalled that the young man recounted in the Gospels was "educated and very knowledgeable" and motivated with a "healthy restlessness that urged him to seek true happiness, life in its fullness". It is for this reason that he set out on his journey to findin Jesus Christ an "authoritative, credible and reliable" guide who "directed him to God, who is the one and supreme good from whom all other good comes".  Eternal life, the good for which he yearns, the Pope writes, is certainly not a material good to be conquered with "one's own strength” but requires going through various stages of maturation. 

Making steps towards eternal life: loving one's neighbor

The first step, indicated by Jesus, is "concrete love for one's neighbor," not the love given simply by the observance of precepts, rather a "gratuitous and total" love.  Jesus notices the "desire for fullness that the young man carries in his heart", but also his "weak point", which is his attachment to "many material goods". For this reason, as a second step, Jesus suggests moving “from a logic of 'merit' to one of giving."

“If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."  (Mt 19:21). Jesus changes the perspective: he invites him not to think of securing the afterlife, but to give everything in his earthly life, thus imitating the Lord. It is a call to further maturity, to pass from precepts observed to receive a reward, to one that is about love by giving freely without limit. Jesus asks him to leave behind all that weighs down the heart and hinders love. What Jesus recommends is not so much that everything be taken away as much as being free to love and rich in relationships with others.

To be free from all attachments

The Pope went on to explain that if the heart is crowded with possessions, the Lord and one's neighbor become merely "things", because "having and wanting too much" suffocate us and "make us unhappy and incapable of loving".

The third step that Jesus proposes to the young man marks a radical choice, the Pope observed when Jesus asks him: "Come! Follow me!" It is a matter of "being disciples of Jesus", which means, not imitating Him outwardly but "conforming to Him" deep in our hearts in order to receive in return "a rich and happy life, in the company of the many brothers and sisters, fathers, mothers and children".

Following Christ is not a loss, but an incalculable gain, the Pope writes, while renunciation concerns the obstacle that blocks this pathway. The rich young man, however, has his heart divided between two masters: God and money. The fear of risking and losing his possessions makes him return home sad.

Drawing close to Christ to be happy: saying yes without holding back

It marked a sad moment, because "he did not find the courage to accept the response, which is the proposal to 'untie himself' from himself and from riches in order to 'bind himself' to Christ, to walk with Him and discover true happiness", the Pope observed. He writes:

“Have the courage to live your youth by entrusting yourselves to the Lord and setting out with Him. Let yourselves be conquered by his loving gaze that frees us from the seduction of idols, from the false riches that promise life but bring death. Do not be afraid to welcome the Word of Christ and accept his call. Do not be discouraged like the rich young man in the Gospel; instead, fix your gaze on Mary, the great example of the imitation of Christ, and entrust yourselves to her who, with her affirmative response "Here I am", answered unreservedly to the Lord's call.”

Mary as an example for all of us

May Mary, to whose maternal intercession the Pope entrusts the young people present at the Festival, be the source of the "strength" from which we draw to say our own "here I am", but also a model for "bringing Christ to the world" and for "transforming our lives into a gift for others". Like her, the Pope asks us to strive to be attentive to others and to discover in God's will "our joy", welcoming it even if it is not easy but with the certainty that "it will make us happy".

The Pope writes: "the joy of the Gospel fills the heart and the whole life of those who encounter Jesus. Those who allow themselves to be saved by Him are freed from sin, from sadness, from inner emptiness, from isolation. With Jesus Christ, joy is always born and reborn." 

The return of general audiences tomorrow

 

Pope Francis with the faithful during the most recent General Audience on June 30Pope Francis with the faithful during the most recent General Audience on June 30  (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis to resume General Audiences in Paul VI Hall

Following the summer break in July, Pope Francis will resume holding his weekly General Audience, beginning this Wednesday, 4 August.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis’ General Audiences will resume this week on August 4. As is customary, the regular Wednesday meetings were suspended throughout the month of July to allow for a period of rest.

This year, the break also coincided with the convalescence of Francis, who on July 4 underwent colon surgery at the Gemelli Hospital. During that time, most papal activities were suspended, with the exception of the Sunday Angelus, one of which was held from a balcony of the Roman hospital. Wednesday’s General Audience, which will take place in the Paul VI Hall, will mark the resumption of a normal schedule, exactly one month after his operation.

Catechesis on the Letter to the Galatians

At the most recent General Audience, held in the courtyard of San Damaso on June 30, Pope Francis continued the cycle of catechesis, begun a week earlier, on St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. In particular, the Pope reflected on the “plan of salvation” prepared by the Lord for every person. God’s grace, he said, “changes hearts, changes lives, and makes us see new paths.”

Monday, August 2, 2021

Tuesday Saint of the Day

 

St. Gamaliel




Rabbinical teacher, the mentor of St. Paul. Gamaliel counseled the Jewish Sanhedrin in Jerusalem to release St. Peter and other apostles. He reportedly became a Christian, and the finding of his body in Jerusalem was celebrated on August 3 by early Christians.

To continue the livestream or not?

 

As numbers at Mass grow, parishes weigh benefits of continuing livestream

  • Joe Ruff
    Aug 1, 2021
As numbers at Mass grow, parishes weigh benefits of continuing livestream

Mary Beth Hess assists in livestreaming Mass at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Maplewood, Minn., June 15, 2021. (Credit: Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit via CNS.)

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — YouTube, Facebook, parish websites — all now offer livestream Masses from parishes across the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

But before COVID-19 hit Minnesota in March 2020, most of those parishes had never livestreamed a single Sunday Mass.

With in-person Masses suspended for two months to help prevent spread of the virus, parishes suddenly scrambled to gather or purchase cameras, computers, soundboards, expertise and volunteers. They were anxious to continue offering the sacrament of the Eucharist to their parishioners — at least remotely.







Now that a 15-month suspension of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass has ended, as of July 1, pastors, parish staff and parishioners are weighing the costs and benefits of continuing to livestream their daily or weekly Masses.

Questions include whether livestreaming makes staying home and away from in-person Mass too easy, whether the monetary investment is “paying off” in terms of reaching people and evangelizing, and how best to invite people back to in-person Mass while offering an online alternative.

While the novel coronavirus has waned, concerns have arisen about the Delta variant of the virus, which could lead some to still prefer the livestreamed Masses.

In a July 28 memo to parishes and institutions in the archdiocese, Father Tom Margevicius, director of the Office of Worship, acknowledged the variant remains a threat, but said because each parish has “unique demographics,” pastors can determine their own best practices for minimizing the virus’ spread.

Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Medina decided to offer its last online Mass the weekend of June 27, said Michelle Hudlow, director of information technology and communications.

After an initial investment for software and other needs, it cost about $500 a week to hire someone and devote the necessary staff time to record, produce and share Sunday Mass via Facebook, YouTube and the parish website.

The cost and a desire to emphasize in-person Mass prompted the parish to end livestreams.

“The Eucharist is just too important, and people are better connected to God and each other when they are in the building together,” Hudlow told The Catholic Spirit, the archdiocesan newspaper. “Our focus is really on connecting with people.”

For other parishes, connecting people and evangelization are two reasons they plan to continue offering Mass online.

“We have discovered some real and ongoing needs,” said Father Tom Wilson, pastor of All Saints Parish in Lakeville, which increased its online presence when the pandemic hit by expanding its video uploads from only the homily to the entire Sunday Mass. The parish also purchased several more cameras.

“People who are homebound or confined to care centers, even without the pandemic, for them, it is a way to stay connected to their parish, and not just a regional or national broadcast,” Wilson said.

The parish also offers the Mass with an interpreter for the deaf on the second weekend of each month, and many people in the deaf community have learned of it and participate online, he said.

Livestreaming weddings and funerals during the pandemic also has been helpful, Wilson said. Still, the parish is considering its options going forward, as it weighs licensing requirements and other factors in offering the Mass online, he said.

St. Jerome in Maplewood has offered the Saturday vigil Mass live via YouTube since March 2020, and that will continue, said Mary Beth Hess, music director and the effort’s chief organizer, who learned how to livestream on the fly. Hess also livestreams daily Mass, a project she undertook on her own just to learn the ropes, which she’s grown to love. It’s been particularly helpful to seniors, the sick and disabled, she said.

“They could view Mass on TV, or other churches that were streaming Mass,” she said of those participating. “But they were so thankful to be able to see their dear St. Jerome church. To see Father Victor (Valencia, the pastor), the crucifix in front of the church, the statutes, the red carpeting … all of these things gave them comfort.”

The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis plans to continue livestreaming the Mass, which began with the pandemic and will be expanded from the main church to include daily Mass in a smaller chapel downstairs, said Mae Desaire, director of marketing and communications.

“We have found it a great outreach and growth tool” with people who are homebound, in nursing homes, former parishioners, and others around the country and even the world able to participate via livestream, she said.

Johan von Parys, the basilica’s director of liturgy and the sacred arts, said the sacraments need to be celebrated in person and attendance at in-person Mass is growing and encouraged, even while livestreaming will continue to be offered.

“It was with great pain (during the pandemic) that I embraced the fact that the only way to reach people was by livestream,” he said.

But Christ is present in several ways at the Mass, including in the Scriptures, and that has been a consolation, he said.

“We could at least listen to the word of God proclaimed,” he said. “I know that Christ is present in the word.”

Some people turn to the online Mass because they are ill or they’ve moved away, von Parys said. “For those who can’t join us, there is at least this,” he said.

Livestreaming also has been an avenue for evangelization, he said, particularly for people who are curious about the church but uncomfortable with an in-person visit, or have fallen away from attending Mass but are contemplating a return.

Last March, Our Lady of Peace Parish in Minneapolis began recording its Saturday evening Mass and posting it at 7 a.m. each Sunday on YouTube. James Pike, the parish’s office manager, said the practice will continue as a tool for evangelization.

“A couple of people have watched, not been parishioners before, but have started to attend Mass in person,” Pike said. “One person was registered at another parish but had stopped attending there.”

Some people have expressed concern that livestreaming Mass makes it too easy to stay, and many parishes have discussed that possibility. But no one interviewed by The Catholic Spirit actually know that to have happened, and parish representatives believe that generally, people who participate in livestream Mass either have no other option or they are curious about the faith or a parish community.

“People taking time to watch online innately know that Mass is intended to be celebrated in person,” Pike said. “We’ve seen a lot of people come back” to in-person Mass, he said.

Wilson said he has yet to see “any evidence of people staying home and just eating breakfast. I know people worry about that, but so far, I have not experienced that directly.”

If people don’t realize that Mass needs to be celebrated in person, von Parys said, then the church has failed in its teaching of the faith.

“We need to have beautiful, dignified celebrations of the Eucharist, and we need good catechism,” he said.

Ruff is news editor of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Catholic devotion for August is the Immaculate Heart of Mary

 

Month of the Immaculate Heart

     
O Mary Immaculate, inflame our hearts with one ray of the burning love of thy pure heart.
Highlights
Prayer of the Month


Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially ...(special intention).


Devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Documents


Websites

The month of August (Overview - Calendar) is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart. Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The physical heart of Mary is venerated (and not adored as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is) because it is united to her person and is the seat of her love (especially for her divine Son), virtue, and inner life. Such devotion is an incentive to a similar love and virtue.

This devotion has received new emphasis in this century from the visions given to Lucy Dos Santos, oldest of the visionaries of Fatima, in her convent in Tuy, in Spain, in 1925 and 1926. In the visions Our Lady asked for the practice of the Five First Saturdays to help make amends for the offenses committed against her heart by the blasphemies and ingratitude of men. The practice parallels the devotion of the Nine First Fridays in honor of the Sacred Heart.

On October 31, 1942, Pope Pius XII made a solemn Act of Consecration of the Church and the whole world to the Immaculate Heart. Let us remember this devotion year-round, but particularly through the month of August.

Excerpted from The Prayer Book by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A.

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart

Pope Paul VI, on the floor of the Vatican Council at the close of the third session, renewed publicly the consecration of the Church and the world to Mary's Immaculate Heart. He said that his thoughts turned to the whole world "which our venerated predecessor Pius XII . . . not without inspiration from on high, solemnly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. . . . O Virgin Mary, Mother of the Council, to you we recommend the entire Church." When he visited Fatima on May 13, 1967, the same Pope recalled this "consecration which we ourselves have renewed on November 21, 1964 — we exhort all the sons of the Church to renew personally their consecration to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of the Church and to bring alive this most noble act of veneration through a life ever more in accord with the divine will and in a spirit of filial service and of devout imitation of their heavenly Queen."

Before making a consecration it is most desirable to make a careful preparation extending over some period of time. One good way to make that preparation is described in the last part of St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion book.

The most essential thing is not making an act of consecration, with or without some solemnity, though that is important. The essential thing is to live that consecration.

Living a consecration could be described as following three attitudes or spirits:

 Union — Imitation of Jesus and Mary, so as to become like them, and trying to develop as constant as possible a realization of His and her presence.

 Dependence — Give to Jesus and Mary the right to dispose of everything we have, temporal and spiritual.

 Obedience — Jesus and Mary have the right to ask us to do anything at all, even without reward. In consecration, we recognize that right, give it on a basis of love, and plan to carry it out with fullest generosity.

St. Maximilian Kolbe liked to speak of the relation of consecration to our baptismal promises, in which we promised to renounce satan and all his works, and to follow Jesus, by whom we are "sealed" in baptism as His property. Consecration is the fullest kind of response to and carrying out of these promises. Mary, in view of her Immaculate Conception, was most fitted to respond most fully, and that she did, with a fullness and perfection beyond our ability to visualize — for we recall that Pius IX told us that even at the start of her existence, her holiness was so great that "none greater under God can be thought of, and no one but God can comprehend it."

Excerpted from Our Father's Plan, Fr. William G. Most

Reparation to the Immaculate Heart

Our very consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary calls upon us to make reparation for the offenses that we and others have committed against her. The Church, in inviting us to consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart, implicitly calls upon us for this reparation. But more explicitly, and even before Fatima, Saint Pius X offered a plenary indulgence to all who on the first Saturday of the month would observe special devotions in honor of the Immaculate Virgin in a spirit of reparation for the blasphemies uttered against her.

There is, however, an even more basic reason why each one of us owes reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: every sin of ours caused grief and suffering to her in union with her divine Son. For sin was the cause of that terrible day on Calvary when she, as the New Eve, shared in the torment of the great sacrifice, and, amidst indescribable pain, brought forth spiritually all the members of the Mystical Body of her divine Son. God willed that Mary should be intimately associated with His Son in bearing the burden of all sin; surely then, her Immaculate Heart, in union with His divine Heart, should receive reparation from us who have caused them such pain. If anyone causes hurt to even a very ordinary human being, he does not overlook the need to make amends. How much more do we owe to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

Excerpted Mary In Our Life, Fr. William G. Most

Another Saint for Monday; important "Father" of the Church

 

St. Eusebius of Vercelli





Christians who breathed a sigh of relief when Constantine proclaimed Christianity the state religion, believing this would end the bloodshed and martyrdom. But it was all too short a time until they were facing persecution once more -- from others who claimed to be Christian.

When Christianity became the state religion, many people adopted it for political reasons. Others adopted it without truly understanding it. Under these circumstances heresy found fertile ground. One of the most powerful heresies was Arianism which claimed that Jesus was not God (a heresy that has never completely died out). The Arians were powerful people, including nobles, generals, emperors. They commanded armies and senates. True Christianity was in real danger of being stamped out once again.

Eusebius had learned how to stand as a Christian from his father, who died a martyr in Sardinia. After his father's death, he grew up in Rome where he was ordained a lector. This was a time when bishops were elected by the people and local clergy. When the people of Vercelli saw how well he served their Church, they had no doubt about choosing him as bishop.

Pope Liberius also noticed his abilities and sent him on a mission to the Emperor Constantius to try to resolve the troubles between Arians and Catholics. Seeming to agree, Constantius convened a council in Milan in 355. The powerful Arians however weren't there to talk but to force their own will on the others. A horrified Eusebius watched as his worst fears were confirmed and the Arians made this peace council into a condemnation of Saint Athanasius, their chief opponent. Eusebius, unafraid of their power, slapped the Nicene Creed down on the table and demanded that everyone sign that before condemning Athanasius. The Nicene Creed, adopted by a council of the full Church, proclaims that Jesus is one in being with the Father -- directly contradicting the Arian teaching.


The emperor then tried to force Eusebius, Saint Dionysius of Milan, and Lucifer of Cagliari to condemn Athanasius under pain of death. They steadfastly refused to condemn a man who far from being a heretic was supporting the truth. Instead of putting them to death, the emperor exiled them.

In exile in Scythopolis in Palestine, Eusebius lived with the only Catholic in town. Any comfort he had from visits of other saints was destroyed when the local Arians stripped him half naked and dragged him through the streets to a tiny cell. The Arians finally let him go after he spent four days without food. But a few weeks later they were back, breaking into his house, stealing his belongings and food, and imprisoning him again.

Eusebius was exiled to two other places before Constantius' successor Julian let him and the other exiled bishops return home in 361. The problem was not over and Eusebius spent his last years working hard to counteract the damage the Arians had done and continued to do. After working with Athanasius and taking part in councils, he became a latter-day Saint Paul traveling all over in order to strengthen the faith and spread the truth.

Eusebius died on August 1, 371.

In His Footsteps

How much do you know about your faith? Could you defend it against powerful argument? Read the section on the Trinity and Christ's divinity in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 238 through 256).

Prayer:

Saint Eusebius, help us to have a desire to learn more about our faith, the wisdom to discern the truth, and the strength to defend it. Amen