Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of St. Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers — Heroic Defender of the Faith

St-Hilary-and-St-MartinSaint Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers Confers Minor Orders on Saint Martin
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Scribbles of a Catholic Girl

(Franciscan Media) The staunch defender of the Divinity of Jesus Christ, was a gentle and courteous man, devoted to some of the greatest theology on the Trinity and was like his master being labeled a ‘Distributor of the Peace’ in a very troubled period of the Church, his holiness was lived out in both scholarship and controversy–he was Bishop of Poitiers in France.

Hilary raised a pagan, converted to Christianity when he met his God of nature in the scriptures, his wife was still living when he was chosen, against his will, to be the Bishop of Poitiers in France and was soon taken up with battlingĀ  what became to scourge of the 4th century–Arianism, which denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

This heresy spread rapidly, St. Jerome said: ‘The world groaned and marveled to find that it was Arian.’ When Emperor Constantius, ordered all of the Bishops of the West to sign a ‘Condemnation of Athanasius’ the greatest defender of the faith in the East, Hilary refused and was banished from France to far off Phrygia (in modern day Turkey) eventually he was called the ‘Athanasius of the West.’

While writing in exile, Hilary was invited by some semi-Arians (hoping for reconciliation) to a council the Emperor called to counteract the ‘Council of Nicea’ but Hilary predictably defended the Church and when he sought public debate with the heretical bishop who had exiled him, the Arians dreading the meeting and its outcome, pleaded with the Emperor to send this troublemaker back home–Hilary was welcomed by his people.

  • A favorite motto of of Saint Hilary was: “Ministros veritatis decet vera proferre.” — “Servants of the truth ought to speak the truth.”

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1 Comment

  1. Duke says:

    It would be nice if the titles would say “Catholics everywhere…” rather than Christians. To most people Christians includes all denominations of Christianity, including many that don’t properly belong in that category. Since most of those denominations do not celebrate saints’ days, that title would be more accurate.

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