The man chosen to succeed St. Marcellus was a Greek priest named Eusebius.
Except that he was the son of a doctor, nothing is known of his early life.
There is some confusion about the date of his reign. He seems to have ruled
the Church for only four months from April to August, but whether it was in
the year 309 or 310 is uncertain.
It was a troubled community that Eusebius was called upon to rule. The same
situation which led to the exile of Pope Marcellus still prevailed. The
fight over readmission of fallen Christians to the fold still raged on.
Under the circumstances it is not surprising that the election of a new
pope was bitterly contested. Pope Eusebius determined to follow the same
sane policy of Pope Marcellus. He would readmit the fallen brethren, but
only after due penance. The storm increased. The malcontents went so far as
to choose an antipope, a man named Heraclius. Once more matters came to the
point of open strife. Once more Emperor Maxentius intervened. But this time
he exiled pope and antipope alike.
Eusebius was sent to Sicily where he died shortly after. Like Marcellus he
is honored as a saint and a martyr. His feast is kept on September 26.
Excerpted from "Popes
Through the Ages" by Joseph Brusher, S.J.
Edited: December 03, 2006 -
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