Friday Lent IV: Statio S. Eusebio all’Esquilino

God, Who dost renew the world with ineffable sacraments, grant, we beseech Thee, that Thy Church may both be profited by the eternal institutions and not left without temporal assistance. Through our Lord.

Set back from the busy square in front of it, this modest church can boast of a long heritage. The founder, St. Eusebius, is recorded as being a priest of the Roman church in the fourth century. Holding the orthodox doctrine regarding the divinity of Christ in the tumultuous period after Nicaea I, he was condemned to death by starvation in 357 after defending St. Athanasius before the Emperor Constans. This sentence is believed to have been inflicted in his own house, which later became a titulus under his name. This tradition was strengthened by the discovery beneath the current edifice of Roman ruins dating back to the second century. The first record of the titulus dates from 474, although archeological remains hint at an original construction date of the church around the turn of the fifth century. This first church was restored around 750 before being rebuilt later that century. Another reconstruction, under Pope Gregory IX, was completed in 1238 and commemorated in a plaque still to be found in the porch. A campanile was added around this time as well. The old church was extensively renovated and redecorated from 1711 to 1750, giving us, with a few later changes, the church as it stands today.

Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, being conscious of our own infirmity, and confiding in Thy power, we may ever rejoice under Thy tender care. Through our Lord…

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