On 22 June in the Maronite saints Calendar we celebrate the feast of Mar Hawshab, known in the West as St. Eusebius.
He was bishop of Samosata (around 361 AD) and defended the Church against the heresy of Arius. Arianism was the belief that Jesus was not divine and that He was distinct and inferior from the Father. There were even Bishops who ascribed to Arianism at that time.
Eusebius had held the official record of the election of St Meletius of Antioch who the Arians supported because thought was sympathetic to the heresy. When it was revealed that Meletius’ did not agree with the Arians, Eusebius was ordered to hand the record over so that the Arians could declare the election invalid.
Eusebius refused and the Arians got the Emperor Constantius II involved. They wanted him to destroy the election record so that they could expel Meletius.
Eusebius refused to hand it even to the emperor. The emperor threatened him and said he would cut his hand off. Eusebius extended both of his arms for the emperor to cut off and the emperor withdrew his threats.
Eusebius together with St Gregory of Nazianzen, advocated to have St Basil appointed Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia.
During the persecution of Christians under the Arian Emperor Valens, St Eusebius would disguise himself and travel through Palestine, Syria and Phoenicia ordaining presbyters and Deacons.
The Emperor Valens banished St Eusebius to Thrace. After the Emperor had died, St Eusebius was allowed back to his See. On his way back, he ordained many bishops and continued the fight against the Arians. He dies after an Arian women threw a roof tile which struck his head.
St Eusebius showed great courage in the face of much opposition, to defend the truth.
May we also maintain the same courage in our lives for the sake of our faith.
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