Hieromartyr Eusebius, bishop of Samosata (380)
In the struggle against the Arian heresy, Meletius, Patriarch of Antioch, was deposed, and the emperor Constantius demanded that Eusebius surrender the document that proved his legitimate appointment to the Patriarchal throne. Eusebius said he would not surrender it without the permission of all who had signed it and, when imperial soldiers threatened to cut off his right hand, he held out both his hands to them. When Constantius heard of this, he was struck with admiration and ceased his persecution of the bishop. As the Arian heresy continued to rage, Eusebius stood strong, and was finally exiled by order of the Emperor Valens. When the messenger bearing the edict of banishment arrived, Eusebius warned him to keep quiet lest the people, hearing why he had come, should kill him. Then Eusebius left the city on foot, under cover of darkness, in order to protect the messenger from harm. Upon the death of Valens, Eusebius returned to from exile and traveled throughout Syria (though he was now a very old man), appointing priests and bishops known for their Orthodoxy. About 380, as he was entering a village to enthrone a bishop, an Arian woman threw a tile at him from a rooftop, fracturing his skull. As he lay dying, he made all the bystanders swear not to take any revenge.
Saint Gregory the Theologian corresponded with Eusebius, and esteemed him so highly that in a letter to him he wrote, ‘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.’
St Alban, First Martyr of Great Britain (early 3rd c.)
He was a soldier in the Roman army and, according to the venerable Bede, was brought to faith in Christ by a fugitive priest to whom he gave shelter. The saint exchanged clothes with the priest, allowing him to escape and ensuring his own martyrdom. Some writers, including St Bede, place his martyrdom during the reign of Diocletian (286-303).
Saint Alban’s tomb was venerated as early as 429 by St Germanus of Auxerre. The town of Verulamium is either his home town or the place of his martyrdom; near it a monastery was founded, around which grew the English town of St Albans.