HOSIUS, "THE SAINT" (256-359), b. either in Egypt or Spain, became bishop of Cordova about 296 A.D., and retained the office more than 60 years. He was a member of a council held at Elvira, near Granada, about 305. Having suffered persecution during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian, he was greatly honored for his steadfast. faith. He is said to have contributed to the conversion of Constantine by showing him that Christianity excelled heathenism in being able to grant forgiveness even to the greatest sinners. The emperor afterwards continued strongly attached to him, and in 324 sent him to Alexandria to mediate between the bishop of that city and Arius, as well as to settle the dispute concerning the observance of Easter. His mission having proved too hard for him, in the following year the council of Nicma was called for the purpose of considering both subjects. Of this council Hosius was either the president or, at least, one of its presiding officers. Baronies claims that he was also the pope's legate; this claim, however, is generally denied, with the admission that through his exalted character and great influence in the west he perhaps in sonic degree unofficially represented the pope. At the close of the council lie drew up or, as some sly, announced
the decree, signed it first and prevailed on the emperor to sanction it. He was presi dent of the council or Sardka, called in 347 by Constantius ..and Constans at the desire of Athanasius. In 355 Constantius requested him to join in condemning Athanasius, but. instead of doing so, Hosius earnestly defended that zealous champion of the ortho dox faith. Having persisted in this course a second and even a third time, he was, at the close of the year, banished by the emperor. Two years afterwards he was sum. mooed to attend the council of Sirmium, where, worn out with extreme age and hard ship, lie was prevailed on to sign a document favoring Arianism, yet he steadfastly refused to condemn Athanasius. Having then been allowed to return to his home and office, he died two years after, at the age, probably, of about 103 years. Athanasius and Augustine extol his character, and attribute his partial and late compliance with the imperial demands to the infirmity of age.