Thought for the Day – 13 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
It was in reading the Holy Scriptures that St Hilary discovered the greatness of God and the sublimity of the Church and Christian teachings. The Scriptures is not just a revered book to be placed on our shelves in a place of honour it is to be read, to be studied and reflected upon. It leads not only to faith and holiness of life but also to the Kingdom of God itself. So we learn that Christ said His coming would bring not peace but a sword (see Matthew 10:34). The Gospels offer no support for us if we fantasise about a sunlit holiness that knows no problems. Christ did not escape at the last moment, though He did live happily ever after—after a life of controversy, problems, pain and frustration. Hilary, like all saints, simply had more of the same.
All-powerful God, as Saint Hilary defended the divinity of Christ Your Son, give us a deeper understanding of this mystery and help us to profess it in all truth.
Quote/s of the Day – 13 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
“The privilege of our Church is such that it is never stronger than when it is attacked, never better known than when it is accused, never more powerful than when it appears forsaken.” (Treatise on the Trinity)
“The Church is the Ship outside which it is impossible to understand the Divine Word, for Jesus spoke from the boat to the people gathered on the shore.”
“No matter how sinful one may have been, if he has devotion to Mary, it is impossible that he be lost.”
“I am well aware, almighty God and Father, that in my life, I owe you a most particular duty. It is to make my every thought and word speak of You.”
“It is the Father from whom everything that exists has been formed. He is in Christ and through Christ the source of all things. Moreover, His being is in Himself and He does not derive what He is from anywhere else, but possesses what He is from Himself and in Himself. He is infinite because He Himself is not in anything and all things are within Him, He is always outside of space because He is not restricted; He is always before time because time comes from Him…. But, God is also present everywhere and is present in His entirety wherever He is. Thus, He transcends the realm of understanding, outside of whom nothing exists and of whom eternal being is always characteristic. This is the true nature of the mystery of God; this is the name of the impenetrable nature in the Father.” (Treatise on the Trinity)
St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 13 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
Then he said, ‘In truth I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven…Matthew 18:3
REFLECTION – “Little children follow and obey their father. They love their mother. They know nothing of covetousness, ill-will, bad temper, arrogance and lying. This state of mind opens the road to heaven. To imitate our Lord’s own humility, we must return to the simplicity of God’s little ones. – St Hilary
PRAYER – Give us the grace, almighty God, to become as innocent and obedient to You as little children. Teach us neither to question, nor fear, for it is our total trust of You that we will reach our heavenly home. Grant that the intercession of St Hilary we may achieve such innocence, through Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 13 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
O Holy Trinity! For Perseverance In the One True Faith By St Hilary of Poitiers
Father, keep us from vain strife of words.
Grant to us constant profession of the Truth!
Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith
so that we may hold fast to that
which we professed when we were baptised
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
that we may have You for our Father,
that we may abide in Your Son
and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Saint of the Day – 13 January – St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church, Bishop, Confessor, Writer, Philosopher, Theologian, Preacher, Defender of the Faith. He was sometimes referred to as the “Hammer of the Arians” and the “Athanasius of the West.” His name comes from the Latin word for happy or cheerful. St Hilary was born in 315 at Poitiers, France and he died in 368 of natural causes. Patronages – against rheumatism, against snakes, against snake bites, backward children, children learning to walk, mothers, the sick/the infirm, 4 Cities.
Hilary was born to pagan parents of Poitiers, France, in 315. After training in the classics and philosophy, Hilary married. He and his wife had one daughter, Afra. All who knew Hilary said he was a friendly, charitable, gentle man. Hilary’s studies led him to read Scripture. He became convinced that there was only one God, whose Son became man and died and rose to save all people. This led him to be baptised along with his wife and daughter.
This gentle and courteous man, became a staunch defender of the divinity of Christ. He was 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.
The people of Poitiers chose Hilary to be their bishop in 353. As Bishop, he was soon taken up with battling what became the scourge of the fourth century, Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ.
The heresy spread rapidly. Saint Jerome said “The world groaned and marvelled to find that it was Arian.” When Emperor Constantius ordered all the bishops of the West to sign a condemnation of Athanasius, the great defender of the faith in the East, Hilary refused and was banished from France to far off Phrygia. There, too, his pastoral solicitude led him to work tirelessly for the re-establishment of the Church’s unity, based on the correct faith, as formulated by the Council of Nicea. To this end, he began writing his most important and most famous dogmatic work: “De Trinitatae” (On the Trinity). Eventually he was called the “Athanasius of the West” and the “Hammer of the Arians.”
Fearing Hilary’s arguments, Arian’s followers begged the emperor to send Hilary home. The emperor, believing Hilary was also undermining his authority, recalled him. Hilary’s writings show that he could be fierce in defending the faith but in dealing with the bishops who had given in to the Arian heresy, he was charitable. He showed them their errors and helped them to defend their faith. Though the emperor called Hilary “disturber of the peace,” Saints Jerome and Augustine praised him as “teacher of the churches.”
During the last years of his life, he wrote “Treatises on the Psalms,” a commentary on 58 psalms, interpreted according to the principle highlighted in the introduction to the work: “There is no doubt that all the things said in the Psalms must be understood according to the Gospel proclamation, so that, independently of the voice with which the prophetic spirit has spoken, everything refers to the knowledge of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, incarnation, passion and kingdom and the glory and power of our resurrection”(“Instructio Psalmorum” 5).
In all of the Psalms, he sees this transparency of Christ’s mystery and of His body, which is the Church. On various occasions, Hilary met with St Martin, the future bishop of Tours who founded a monastery near Poitiers, which still exists today.
Hilary died in 367. His feast day is celebrated today throughout the universal Church. In 1851, Blessed Pius IX proclaimed him a doctor of the Church.
St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
St Agrecius of Trier
St Andrew of Trier
St Berno of Cluny
St Ðaminh Pham Trong Kham
St Designatus of Maastricht
St Elian of Brittany
St Emil Szramek
St Enogatus of Aleth
St Erbin of Cornwall
St Francesco Maria Greco
Bl Francisca Inés Valverde González
St Giuse Pham Trong Ta
St Gumesindus of Córdoba
Bl Hildemar of Arrouaise
Bl Ida of Argensolles
Bl Ivetta of Huy
St Kentigern of Glasgow
St Leontius of Caesarea
St Luca Pham Trong Thìn
Bl María Francisca Espejo y Martos
Bl Matteo de Lana
St Peter of Capitolíade
St Servusdei of Córdoba
St Stephen of Liège
Bl Veronica of Milan
St Vivenzio of Blera
Forty Martyred Soldiers at Rome: Forty soldiers martyred in the persecutions of Gallienus.
They werr martyred in 262 on the Via Lavicana, Rome, Italy.
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