(ca. 300 – 368) was bishop of Poitiers ('Pictavium') and considered an eminent doctor of the Western Christian Church. He was sometimes referred to as the malleus Arianorum ("hammer against Arianism") and the “Athanasius of the West”. His name comes from the Greek word for happy or cheerful, the same root as English "hilarious".
He was raised as a pagan, but converted to Christianity as an adult. He became Bishop of Poitiers in 350. When the emperor Constantius II attempted to impose Arianism on the western Church, Saint Hilary led a vigorous opposition to his efforts. Because of his outspoken criticism, he was exiled to Phrygia in 356. There he became such a defender and champion of Orthodoxy that the emperor decided it would be less trouble to allow him to return to his diocese.
Saint Hilary continued to fight against Arianism until his death in 368. His holy relics still rest in the cathedral bearing his name at Poitiers in France.
He has lent his name to the “Hilary term” of English law courts and universities, which begin on or near his Feast Day.
Propers for Hilary - 14 January - Bishop of Poitiers.
ALMIGHTY, everlasting God, whose servant Hilary steadfastly confessed thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to be Very God and Very Man: Grant that we may hold fast to this faith, and evermore magnify his holy Name; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle - 2 Timothy 4:1-8.
I CHARGE thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
The Gospel - St. Luke 12:8-12.
ALSO I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: but he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, do not be anxious how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
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