St. Hilary of Poitiers
January 13. Saint.
Author: Andie Rocha | Source: ewtn.com, catholicsaints.info, holyspiritinteractive.net, es.catholic.net, americancatholic.org and catholic.org
"Impart to us the meaning of the words of Scripture and the light to understand it."—St. Hilary
Roman martyrology: St. Hilary, 4th-century theologian, bishop of Poitiers and doctor of the Church, during the reign of Emperor Constantius, who had embraced the Arian heresy, he fought hard in favor of faith Nicene about the Trinity and the divinity of Christ, being banished for it during four years in Phrygia. He wrote some very famous comments on the Psalms and the Gospel of Saint Matthew.
Etymology: Roman name which was derived from Latin hilaris meaning "cheerful".
This defender of the divinity of Christ was a gentle and courteous man, devoted to writing some of the greatest theology on the Trinity, and was like his Master in being labeled a “disturber of the peace.” In a very troubled period in the Church, his holiness was lived out in both scholarship and controversy.
In the year 315, Hilary was born into just such a family in Poitiers, a town in France. His family was rich and well-known. Hilary received a good education, though belonging to a very probably pagan family, he was instructed in all the branches of profane learning, but, having also taken up the study of Holy Scripture and finding there the truth which he sought so ardently, he renounced idolatry and was baptized. He married and raised a family.
We know nothing of the bishops who governed this society in the beginning. Hilary is the first concerning whom we have authentic information, and this is due to the important part he played in opposing heresy. Hilary lived the faith so well that he was appointed a bishop of his town in France from 353 to 368; this did not make his life easy because the emperor was interfering in Church matters. When Hilary opposed him, the emperor exiled him. And here is where Hilary's great virtues of patience and courage shone. He accepted exile calmly and used the time to write books explaining the faith.
His teaching and writings converted many; including Saint Florence of Poitiers, and in an attempt to reduce his notoriety he was returned to the small town of Poitiers where his enemies hoped he would fade into obscurity. His writings continued to convert pagans.
He introduced Eastern theology to the Western Church, fought Arianism with the help of Saint Viventius, and was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1851.