Spirituality for Today – March 2009 – Volume 13, Issue 8

The 31st Pope

Saint Eusebius

A photo of a stature of Saint EusebiusPope Saint Eusebius

Pope St. Eusebius (310) – The pontificate of Pope Eusebius is measured not in years, but in months. The persistent problem of the restoration of those who had lapsed from the faith in the face of persecution occupied the whole of the pope's reign.

Unlike his predecessor, Pope Eusebius approached the difficulty surrounding the lapsed Catholic pastorally. Returning to full communion with the Church required that a penitent confess his or her fault and perform an appropriate form of penance.

Apparently, the policy of Pope Eusebius was judged to be too lenient for a certain individual and factional leader named Heraclius. As with the previous Bishop of Rome, tensions grew to the boiling point and general unrest among the populace resulted. Thus, both Pope Eusebius and Heraclius were sent into exile by the emperor.

Pope Eusebius is buried in the cemetery of Callistus.

Habemus papam!