Feast Day : June 2
Eugene, the son of Rufinianus, was a Roman from the first ecclesiastical region of the city. He was known for his holiness, gentleness and charity. He became a cleric in the Church of Rome in his youth and held various positions before his elevation to the Chair of St. Peter to replace St. Martin I on August 10, 654. Although it is not known whether Martin I had officially resigned, he was being held in exile in the Crimea at the time, and evidently approved of Eugene as his successor. Martin died less than a month after Eugene’s consecration. Martin had gotten into trouble by his vocal opposition to Monothelitism (a heresy that held that Christ had a single divine nature rather than a double human and divine nature), and had been banished to the Crimea by Emperor Constans II. Eugene continued to uphold the Church’s position, and was threatened with being roasted alive. Fortunately for him, Constans just at this time became involved in a conflict with the advancing Moors. They captured Rhodes in 654 and in 655 defeated Constans in a naval battle at Phoenix. During his pontificate, Eugene consecrated 21 bishops for different parts of the world. He died in Rome on June 2, 657, and was interred in St. Peter’s at the Vatican.