Archive for the ‘St. Militades of Rome’ Tag

Feast of St. Eusebius of Rome (August 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Eusebius of Rome

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT EUSEBIUS OF ROME (DIED OCTOBER 310)

Bishop of Rome, and Martyr, 310

Former feast day = September 26

St. Eusebius of Rome comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Forgiving people can cause controversy.  Some people are not remorseful and are, therefore, impenitent.  Yet others are remorseful and penitent.  Forgiving these individuals can cause controversy.

During the lifetime of St. Eusebius of Rome, the major context of debates over forgiveness was whether to forgive and readmit to Christian fellowship those Christians who had lapsed during persecution.  The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church usually favored forgiveness of those who were sincere.  There were always those who opposed forgiving these remorseful lapsi, of course.

The immediate context of debate was the aftermath of the Diocletian persecution, which started in 303.  The Emperor Diocletian had outlawed all Christian worship services and ordered the destruction of all Christian books and churches in 303.  That year, he also ordered the arrest of all Christian clergy who refused to sacrifice to pagan deities.  Then, in 305, Diocletian ordered the arrest of all Christians who refused to sacrifice to pagan gods.  The persecution paused after the abdication of the Augustii Diocletian and Maximian in 305.  Yet the persecution resumed in 306, under the new regime and lasted until 311, when the Emperor Galerius (reigned 305-311), on his death bed, granted religious toleration.

On April 18, 310, St. Eusebius of Rome became the new Bishop of Rome.  He succeeded St. Marcellus I (reigned November/December 306-January 10, 308), a hardliner not in the forgiving mood vis-à-vis lapsi.  St. Eusebius was in a forgiving mood, though.  He required that lapsi former penance prior to readmission to communion, but he was willing to forgive.

One Heraclius disagreed with St. Eusebius.    Heraclius was a rigorist.  His efforts divided the Church in 310.  Breakaway Emperor Maxentius controlled territory in Africa and southern and central Italy, including Rome.  He exiled Heraclius and St. Eusebius to Sicily.  The Pope died there in October 310.

The Papacy remained vacant until 311.  The next Bishop of Rome, St. Militades (or Melchiades) (reigned July 2, 311-January 10, 314), was also in the forgiving mood.  That position remained controversial.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 5, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL RAHNER, JESUIT PRIEST AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF AMBROSE PHILLIPPS DE LISLE, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC CONVERT, SPIRITUAL WRITER, AND TRANSLATOR OF SPIRITUAL WRITINGS; FOUNDER OF MOUNT SAINT BERNARD ABBEY

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER MACASSOLI OF VIGEVANO, FRANCISCAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUSEBIUS OF CREMONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ION COSTIST, FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant Saint Eusebius of Rome,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock;

and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by your grace grow into the full stature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 38

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