After the expulsion of Eudoxios from the See of Antioch, the Arians of Antioch, believing that Meletios of Armenia would uphold their doctrines, petitioned the Emperor Constantius to appoint Meletios Bishop of Antioch, while signing a document jointly with the Orthodox of Antioch, unanimously agreeing to Meletios ‘ appointment (Commemorated February 12); this document was entrusted to Eusebios, Bishop of Samosata. Meletios, however, after his Orthodoxy became apparent, was banished, and the Arians persuaded Constantius to demand the document back from Eusebios, as it convicted their perfidy. Imperial officers were sent; Eusebios refused to surrender the document without the consent of all who had signed it; the officers returned to the Emperor, who furiously sent them back to Eusebios with threats. But so great a zealot for the true Faith, so staunch an enemy of the Arians, so fearless a man of valour was St Eusebios, that when Constantius’ officers arrived, threatening to cut off his right hand unless he surrendered the document, Eusebios held out both hands. When Constantius learned of it, he was struck with astonishment and admiration.
This took place in 361 AD, the last year of the reign of Constantius; he was succeeded by Julian the Apostate, who was slain in Persia in 363 AD; Jovian succeeded Julian, and Valentinian succeeded Jovian in 364 AD, making his brother Valens Emperor of the East. Valens, who supported the Arians, exiled Eusebios to Thrace in 374 AD. The bearer of the edict of Eusebios’ banishment arrived in the evening; Eusebios bade him keep silence, or else the people, learning why he had come, would drown him: and Eusebios, though an old man, left his house alone on foot by night. After Valens was slain at Adrianopole in 378 AD, the holy Eusebios returned from exile under the Emperor Gratian, and he ordained for the churches of Syria men known for their virtue and Orthodoxy. About the year 380 AD, as he was entering a certain village to enthrone its bishop, whom he had consecrated, an Arian woman threw a clay tile from the roof, and it crushed his head; as he was dying, he bound the bystanders with oaths that they not take the least vengeance. St Gregory the Theologian addressed several letters to him; he had such reverence for him, that in one letter to him, commending himself to St Eusebios’ prayers, he said, “That such a man should deign to be my patron also in his prayers will gain for me, I am persuaded, as much strength as I should have gained through one of the holy martyrs”.
Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)
As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, you found discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, you also contested for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Eusebios. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion (Fourth Tone)
Having lived as a hierarch in piety and walked the path of martyrdom, you extinguished idolatrous sacrifice, O Hierarch Eusebios. Wherefore as you have boldness before Christ our God, entreat Him to save our souls.
We Also Celebrate Today:
Zenon the Martyr & his servant Zenas of Philadelphia
Anastasios the Serbian