Tuesday, 13 January 2009

St Hilary's Day

St Hilary was native to Poiters in Aquataine, a region of France. He was born and educated as a Pagan until his middle age when he embraced Christianity. He converted his wife and his daughter and seperated himself from anything that was not Catholic. Initially he would not eat with Jewish people or heretics but later he relaxed the severity of his opinions.

In 353AD he was chosen as Bishop to his native area. The Emperor Constanius was at the height of his power and St Hilary was called upon to support the orthodox cause in several Gallic Councils, which Arian bishops formed the majority. The consequence of this was the Emperor banishing him to Phyrgia where he spent more than three years in exile composing works on the Trinity.

In 359 he attended the Council of Seleucia in which Arians, semi Arians and Catholics contended for mastery. He proceeded with council deputies to Constaninople where he dismayed the Arian party so much they appealed to the Emperor to return him to Gaul.

He travelled Gaul, Italy and Illyria and discomforted heretics and procured the triumph of orthodoxy. After around seven or eight years of missionary travel he returned to Poiters where he died in peace in 368.

The lesson we are instructed to learn from this are that we are also called to a lifelong contest with heretics, success is combining hatred of heresy, with compassion for its victims.

My personal view of this is whenever hatred is used in the name of religion then that is its downfall. In the Christian faith the message is about love not hate and here I find another example of the wrong message being preached. I feel that the life of ST Hilary to be one of intolerance and not love.

The information for this blog was taken from "Lives of the Saints".

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