Eusebius St, of Samosata

Eusebius St., Of Samosata, one of the pillars of the orthodox Church of the fourth century in its conflicts with Arianism. Nothing is known of his early life. He was appointed bishop of Samosata in 361, and in the same year was present at the Synod of Antioch, at which both Arians and Catholics elected Meletius patriarch of Antioch. The document of election, signed by both parties, was deposited with Eusebius. When Meletius, in his very first sermon, declared himself strongly in favor of the doctrine of theCouncil of Nice, the Arians induced the emperor to demand from Eusebius the surrender of the certificate of election. On his refusal he was threatened with, having his right hand cut off; but he resolutely held out both hands, declaring his readiness to lose both his hands rather than "resign a document containing so manifest a demonstration of the impiety of the Arians" (Theodoret, Hist. Ecclesiastes 2:32). During: the persecution of the orthodox by Valens, he traveled, disguised as a soldier, through Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, everywhere consecrating orthodox. priests, and confirming the people in the Nicene faith. At the disputed election of a bishop for Caesarea, in Cappadocia (370), he aided in securing the success of the orthodox Basil (q.v.). He ever after remained an intimate friend of Basil, and with him, in 372 and 373, took a leading part in the effort to secure, with, the support of the Western churches, the success of the Nicene party also in the East.

He was, therefore, a special object of hatred to the Arians, whom 373 prevailed upon the emperor to exile him to Thracia. After the death of Valens (378) Eusebius was allowed to return to his diocese. He at once began to display an extraordinary activity in appointing Nicene in the place of Arian bishops. While entering the town of Dolica for this purpose in 379 (or 380), he was killed by a stone thrown by the hand of some Arian woman (Theodoret, Hist. Eccl. 5:4). The Church of Rome venerates him as a saint on July 21, and the Greek Church on July 22.-Herzog, Real- Encyklop. 4:499; Ceiliier, Auteurs Sacres (Paris, 1865), 5:1 sq. (A.J.S.)

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