Eustathius of Antioch
Our father among the saints Eustathius was the Archbishop of Antioch during the Arian conflicts of the first half of the fourth century. He was a firm defender of the Orthodox faith. His feast day is February 21.
Eustathius was born in Side, Pamphylia about the year 270. Little is known of his early life. He became Bishop of Beroea (modern Aleppo), in Syria, about 320. In 325, he was elevated to Bishop of Antioch by the fathers of the First Ecumenical Council. St. Eustathius was a learned theologian who also had a broad knowledge of secular sciences.
He participated in the First Ecumenical Council in Nicea in 325 and was among the first to preside during the council. He was prominent among the opponents of Arius and Arianism and zealously fought for the purity of of the Orthodox faith. He continued his battle against the Arians after the council. He refused to welcome any Arian priests into his diocese and conducted a continuous literary attack on them, thus, incurring the hated of the Arians, including Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius of Nicomedia.
In 331, his Arian opponents convinced him to convene a council in Antioch where his enemies, through use of suborned witnesses, accused Eustathius of Sabellianism and adultery . Immediately the Arians deposed him without trial, in violation of the Apostolic Rule that accusations against the clergy must be substantiated by two witnesses. He was exiled to Trajanopolis in Thrace, even though the woman who accused him of adultery came forward and confessed her sin before the clergy and the people.
Although the people of Antioch, who loved and revered him, were indignant over his treatment, Eustathius restrained them and called on them to remain true to the Orthodox faith, as he was accompanied into exile by a large group of his loyal clergy.
St. Eustathius continued his struggle against the Arians with the same zeal while in exile. He reposed in Thrace in 337. In 482, his relics were translated from Thrace to Antioch, to the great joy of the people of Antioch.
- Philostorgoius, in Photius, "Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgoius". book 2, chapter 7.
Eustathius of Antioch
|Bishop of Beroea
|Archbishop of Antioch