Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli (283–371)

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli (283–371)

Patron saint of Vercelli

Feast day: August 2

Saint Eusebius was born on the island of Sardinia, Italy. After his father was martyred, he moved to Rome, where he eventually became a bishop. He stood up for the Church during one of its most difficult periods.

This hard time for the Church had to do with the Arian heresy, which claimed that Jesus was not God. The Arians had great power—some of their members were prominent people in the city. Eusebius attended the Council of Milan, which was called to fix the difficulties between the Catholics and the Arians. The Arians wanted to convict Athanasius, who was one of their greatest adversaries. However, Eusebius would not let them condemn him; he placed the Nicene Creed on the table and asked other members of the council to sign it before denouncing Athanasius.

The Nicene Creed proclaims that Jesus is one in being with the Father and directly goes against Arian beliefs. Refusing to convict Athanasius, Eusebius was exiled and harassed by the Arians. Eventually, a new emperor came into power and welcomed Eusebius back to Vercelli. Eusebius died on August 1, 371.

(Image Sebastiano Ricci, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)