Blessed Eusebius of Esztergom
Official memorial: 20 January
He was born in Esztergom in the Kingdom of Hungary around 1200. He was ordained priest upon completion of his studies at the chapter school. According to written records, he fulfilled his priestly ministry with a prayerful soul and with such piety that impressed those who saw him. He distributed his prebend among the poor and he often received the hermits of the Pilis woods who came to town to sell their products. He loved solitude, and the devastation caused by the Mongol invasion of Hungary reinforced in him the need of expiation and, thus the desire to become a hermit.
He managed to fulfil such desire when, in 1246, he renounced his office as prebendary and obtained the archbishop's permission to live as a hermit among the rocks of the Pilis Mountains and spend his life in prayer and fasting as expiation for his country. A cross announced his motto outside his cave: in Cruce salus – Salvation in the Cross. Inspired by a vision he saw in a dream, Eusebius started to unite the hermits spread all over the Pilis and to visit those who lived in other parts of the country. He went to Rome, where he received Pope Urban IV's permission to found an order. He placed his order under the patronage of Saint Paul the First Hermit, and in 1256 he participated at the council of Esztergom as prior and provincial of the religious community.
He died on 20 January 1270 in Pilisszentkereszt after a serious illness. On his deathbed, he invited his brothers to be faithful to the rules, practice fraternal charity and give good example. He passed away pronouncing the names of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. He was buried in the crypt of the church founded by him.
It is little known that he has never been officially beatified. The veneration he had enjoyed for centuries was recognized by the Holy See in 2009 at the request of Cardinal Péter Erdő. The Hungarian Church celebrates his memorial on 20 January.
CCS protocol number: 1514