The return from the exile

Patrophilus, along with his people, as a consequence of the situation, put Eusebius in another room and allowed him to speak with visitors. This did not last long.

After a few days, everything started over. Armed with clubs, guardians came to his room, dragged him out and put him in a dungeon, shorter than him, so he had to remain crouched and almost immobilized. He resisted until Emperor Costantius’ death.

Those who had been with him say that, nourished by the heavenly table, he was so strong that he didn’t even seem to have fasted in prison. He encouraged his people, assuring them that they would soon return to their land. He visited the Catholic churches nearby and wrote them letters.

He also sent a letter to Vercelli, full of exhortations to all the people to keep the faith he had preached. He sent a letter to the church of Milan, asking them to keep no other faith other than the one they had learned from Dionysus, their bishop.

”I rejoice, brothers and sons, in your faith, I rejoice for the abundant fruits, like a farmer who engages carefully to grow chosen plants. I strongly urge you to keep the faith with all vigilance, to keep harmony among you and devote yourselves to constantly prayer. I ask that each one of you receive my personal greeting with this letter. With this letter I address to all the brothers (priests and deacons) to the holy sisters (from the women’s monastery), all young men and women, of all ages ... “.

Constantius died, Emperor Julian, his successor, came to Constantinople and wondered how to earn respect from the people by granting them a favor. He was a calculating man. He knew that Constantius had been hated by the population; that he Catholic bishops had been expelled from church and their property confiscated. The holy Fathers were wrongfully in exile.

Julian condemned Constantius’ cruelty toward his servants, calling him enemy of peace. He decided that the bishops that had been exiled should be released. That each one of them should live in peace under the law they had chosen and their confiscated property should be returned. He demanded the reopening of pagan and Jewish temples, recommending that no harm should be done neither to Christians, nor Jews, nor pagans. Those who did not want to make sacrifice should not be obliged to and those who wanted should not be stopped from, and peace should be preserved. But he tended towards paganism. At this time the bishops returned from exile and resumed their Episcopal sees.

After leaving Scythopolis, Eusebius met Athanasius in Alexandria, in Egypt, where a council took place. Bishops came from everywhere to discuss the most important and necessary issues. They did not introduce any new teaching to the Church, but confirmed the traditional primitive teaching. They reaffirmed their faith in the Council of Nicaea, to keep it intact. They professed the consubstantiality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and named it Trinity.

At the Council of Alexandria, it was decided that Athanasius should look after the restoration of faith in the East and that Eusebius, bishop of Vercelli, because of the bishops’ will and the Pope’s nomination, should look after the West. For this reason, Eusebius came to Rome and met Pope Liberius, who received him with great joy. Eusebius gave him his profession of faith, which was kept in the Roman files.

Pope Liberius said: “I see that you are a true priest and a good soldier. You work like one. Soon you will receive the prize of eternal Kingdom. I pray to God that you can return to your seat safely. I commend to you the flock of Christ, for which He suffered, died and rose again and sits in the glory of the Father. I am sure that the Spirit is with you to confirm your Church, which you pulled away from the devil’s mouth through your words and your example, and that exulted with joy, because it was strengthened in faith in the divine unity. May Christ, the Lord, look after you, now and forever, glorious brother.” 
As he said this, he kissed him and then left.

St. Eusebius arrived at the city of Vercelli and the people received him with such enthusiasm, that they wept with joy, and they went up to him singing hymns and saying: “Blessed be the Lord, our God, who gave you back to our Church. He was merciful so that we would not get lost in the devil’s venom. He gave you back to us, liberator and savior. As you taught us in person and confirmed from the exile through your letters, we profess that our faith in God the Creator remained solid and its benefits are still alive in us. “

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